Highly Sensitive Person

Are you a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)?

Do you often feel "too sensitive," anxious, or exhausted? Would you consider yourself highly emotional, intuitive, or easily overwhelmed? Maybe you are introverted or need lots of alone time?

If so, you may be a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), an innate trait found in about 20% of the population. Being Highly Sensitive creates an advantage of being able to live, love, and feel deeply, but can often lead to feeling overstimulated and misunderstood. 

According to research by Dr. Elaine Aron, High Sensitivity, or Sensory Processing Sensitivity (SPS), is an innate trait equally dispersed among all gender identities. It is a genetic variation that allows the nervous system and brain to process subtleties and details that most miss. This once lifesaving evolutionary tool has become an overstimulating burden in the modern world where there are high amounts of stimuli to process at all times.


HSPs are often highly sensitive to their environment and pick up on subtle differences around them. They process information around them such as sights, sounds, smells, and other forms of sensory input, including the body language of others, with a strongly perceptive nervous system.


Being an HSP has its benefits and its drawbacks. HSPs are can be creative, empathetic, highly intuitive, and feel things intensely (both the good and the not so good). Sensory Processing Sensitivity allows for a deeper connection with one’s experiences and environment. But this deeper connection also means we can easily get overwhelmed by our experiences. Loud noises, bright lights, smells, intense emotions (yours and the emotions of others), and easily hurt feelings can be difficult to deal with. 


Many HSPs experience feelings of not “fitting in” with the world around them. Some have been told they are “too sensitive” or made to feel weak because they “feel too much.”


Being an HSP is normal. SPS is a valuable asset that is crucial to the health of every society and deeply appreciated and admired in many cultures. Unfortunately, we live in a society where SPS is not often valued. This may lead to an HSP pushing themselves to be something they are not and thus paying a high price for it physically, mentally, and emotionally. And because most environments are loud, overly busy, and overstimulating, HSPs often feel overwhelmed and frazzled.


I know how it feels to be an HSP in this intense world, experiencing both the beauty and the challenges it can bring. It can be challenging to meet the demands of everyday life when you feel as if you just can’t do things the way others can. You don’t have to be alone in this. I can help support you in your journey.

Common HSP Challenges

Many of the struggles of being Highly Sensitive are due to being overstimulated and emotionally exhausted. These challenges are easily remedied with more downtime and access to regulation tools.

Easily Overwhelmed

You feel easily flustered or overwhelmed in many areas of your life. This could show up as general anxiety, chronic digestive issues, exhaustion, poor concentration or lowered immune functioning. Even pleasant experiences can be stressful such as transitioning into a new relationship or living situation. 

Anxiety and Depression

Symptoms of Anxiety and depression are common, especially when there is a lack of secure attachment during childhood and meaningful adult relationships. 

Emotional Intensity

HSPs feel more emotional in response to both positive and negative events, as well as pick up on the emotions of others.

Shyness and Social Anxiety

Shyness or social anxiety, mostly due to the intensity of large gatherings, can be a problem. HSPs typically enjoy one-on-one interactions and prefer meaningful connections.  

Guilt and Difficulty with

Setting boundaries and dealing with conflict is often uncomfortable. Due to a high capacity for empathy, HSPs often feel guilt for saying “no” and are worried about hurting others.  

Struggle with Transitions and Decisions

Since the HSP brain is wired to inhibit action, there is a struggle with transitions and difficulty making quick decisions. There needs to be time to reflect before taking action. Even positive transitions such as getting a promotion or starting a new relationship can be difficult to integrate.  

Dislike Small Talk and Bored
Easily in Relationships 

Small talk is dissatisfying and perhaps boring to you. Relationships are very important, so you dive in quickly and feel more connected with someone only when they get vulnerable or emotional. However, boredom or disappointment in relationships can surface when connections are superficial or intimate partners are slower to reciprocate emotional attachment.

Low Self-Esteem and Feeling Misunderstood

Loneliness can also be a big struggle for Sensitive types. A common experience is feeling misunderstood or different from family and peers which can lead to low self-esteem.   

Work Stress and Challenges 

Feeling unfulfilled, overstimulated or burned out at work is a huge challenge for HSPs and can contribute to multiple career changes.  

Failure to Prioritize Self

Tendency to self-sacrifice and difficulty identifying needs leads to feelings of anger, resentment and frustration for the HSP.     

Sensory Sensitivity

Certain types of external stimuli bother you. This could include bright lights, loud noises, social stimulation, crowded buses, quickly flashing movie screens, strong smells and/or rough textures. You cover your ears when an ambulance or fire engine passes by, often cut the tags out of your clothing, and/or feel hyped from consuming caffeine or dark chocolate.