Thrive While Being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)!

Do you often feel that this world is too tough for you? It’s surely hard enough, but if you’re a highly sensitive person (HSP) then perhaps you feel it even harder.

So what exactly is a highly sensitive person? It is “a term for those who are thought to have an increased or deeper central nervous system sensitivity to physical, emotional, or social stimuli”. It has both strengths and challenges, but often people who are described as highly sensitive persons find it hard to have a inner peace and a good relationship with others.

Have you ever had people around you pointing out to you that you think too much, and you’re being oversensitive? Does that make you feel stricken? Do you have dilemma that people don’t get you and they’re the ones being blunt, insensitive and uncaring? You may want to check if you have any personal traits that belong to a highly sensitive person:


  • I am easily overwhelmed by strong sensory input.
  •  I seem to be aware of subtleties in my environment.
  •  Other people’s moods affect me.
  •  I tend to be very sensitive to pain.
  •  I find myself needing to withdraw during busy days,into bed or into a darkened room or any place where I can have some privacy and relief from stimulation.
  •  I am particularly sensitive to the effects of caffeine.
  •  I am easily overwhelmed by things like bright lights, strong smells,coarse fabrics,or sirens close by.
  •  I have a rich,complex inner life.
  •  I am made uncomfortable by loud noises.
  •  I am deeply moved by the arts or music.
  •  My nervous system sometimes feels so frazzled that I just have to go off by myself.
  •  I am conscientious.
  •  I startle easily.
  •  I get rattled when I have a lot to do in a short amount of time.
  •  When people are uncomfortable in a physical environment I tend to know what needs to be done to make it more comfortable (like changing the lighting or the seating).
  •  I am annoyed when people try to get me to do too many things at once.
  •  I try hard to avoid making mistakes or forgetting things.
  •  I make a point to avoid violent movies and TV shows.
  •  I become unpleasantly aroused when a lot is going on around me.
  •  Being very hungry creates a strong reaction in me,disrupting my concentration or mood.
  •  Changes in my life shake me up.
  •  I notice and enjoy delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, works of art.
  •  I find it unpleasant to have a lot going on at once.
  •  I make it a high priority to arrange my life to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations.
  •  I am bothered by intense stimuli, like loud noises or chaotic scenes.
  •  When I must compete or be observed while performing a task, I become so nervous or shaky that I do much worse than I would otherwise.
  •  When I was a child, my parents or teachers seemed to see me as sensitive or shy.

Copyright, Elaine N. Aron, 1996

If you see that more than 14 of these apply to you, then you’re probably a highly sensitive person. However, please note that HSP is not a sickness, and no psychological test is so accurate that an individual should base his or her life on it. This is just to show the tendency of HSP so it may help you to know what can make your life a little easier.

Challenges + Strengths

Being a highly sensitive person may present unique challenges and struggles. Like below:

  • Easily feeling overwhelmed by everyday tasks
  • Expecting perfection from yourself
  • Evaluating your own value by how others look at you
  • Wanting to cancel an appointment in the last-minute
  • Finding hard to ask for a helping hand
  • Being unable to stop crying when talking your heart out

These are only a few things that make people who have traits of HSP find challenging to cope in their lives. I myself have these traits, and it can be really hard as it feels like life can just chew you and spit you out. But don’t forget, HSP also have truly beautiful traits and ways of thinking that many are losing today. Such as…

  • Treating others with tender kindness and empathy
  • Being deeply moved by beauty expressed in nature, art, music..
  • Being able to enjoy “alone time”
  • Having a rich, complex inner life with deep thoughts, strong feelings, and creative imaginations
  • Being able to maintain a high concentration and keen focus on the things they’re doing
  • Having a high risk management skills

See? Who doesn’t need a loving friend that is willing to sympathize with you, giving you a deep insight, and independent and mature enough to care for his/her own needs? You have many wonderful personality traits that attract people to you. But if there are people or events that are “energy vampires” to you, what should you do? Here are the suggestions.


  1. Going for a walk for 5-10 minutes in nature – Natural environment is a good therapy to you. Do you live nearby a park, beach, or forest? Get up and go for a slow walk. I’m sure it can refresh your mind.
  2. Cleaning your house – If you want to take care of yourself well, cleaning is a good start. The more neat and well-arranged your surroundings are, the more organized your thoughts will be.
  3. Making sure that you have a good life routine – Having a good quality of plenty of sleep, healthy eating habit, and balanced workout plan will help you maintain a cheerful mood.
  4. Turning yourself off – Move your phone away from you physically or turn notifications off. Limit your time on social networks, news, or any online activities. Overloaded information can overwhelm you. You can withdraw yourself in a dark, quiet room for a few minutes alone.
  5. Talking with your trusted friend – Normally HSP is a good listener. So people want to talk about themselves when they’re around HSP. But you also need to take a turn to pour your heart out. Go to your chat list, choose a mature friend that you can trust, and take an hour or more to talk talk talk!
  6. Getting yourself a reward – You’re usually a very self-sacrificing person, always putting the needs of others before yourself. So buy a little piece of cake or get that new bag that you’ve wanted for a long time.
  7. Writing down 3 things that make you happy today – Remind yourself that your day didn’t go by without any single accomplishments. You did something worthy of praises and you had something that made you smile. Count your blessings each day 😉

You can thrive even if you are a highly sensitive person. Don’t let your strengths become your weaknesses. If you know how you can live with it, you will enjoy your life more, and others will be drawn to you because of your kindness, compassion, and caring attitude 🙂