It was June of 2015 when I first learned about highly sensitive people by stumbling onto some YouTube videos by both Elaine Aron, PhD and Heidi Sawyer. If you have read my other blog posts already, then you know Dr. Aron's work was deeply impactful for me. Elaine Aron has more than 35,000 followers (I expect that figure has grown as it was reported a few years back). Around the same time that I learned about her teachings, I also stumbled across Heidi's work on YouTube as well. Heidi works in the field of Transpersonal Psychology and has also trained over 35,000 Sensitives all over the world. That figure is also several years old now, so I am confident it has increased. I watched several videos (and will include those links below) and took copious notes, which I would love to share with you.
I have gone on to read their books and (might I suggest I that you do so as well?) It was not only life affirming, it was life changing!
I also recommend that you take a personal inventory to see how many of these statements ring true to you!
*There are only 15-20% of people in the population which possess this personality trait.
*It’s an actual biological difference from other people. There is a genetic plus behavioral component, for Sensitives. They all have two “short-short”alleles (pair of corresponding genes that arise by mutation and are found at the same place on a chromosome (got this from Elaine Aron, PhD) AND they had difficult childhoods. Typically, you need to have both of these components to be a Sensitive.
*Sensitives have very active amygdalas. Their amygdalas light up like a Christmas tree when anyone comes into your space.
*If you are sensitive, you have a highly tuned nervous system (highly aware sympathetic nervous system) which means you have a heightened awareness of other people’s emotions. You feel that in your solar plexus.
*There are many species of animals that have been researched and they also have a population of 15-20% who are sensitives. In herding animals, these sensitives are considered protectors of the herd as they can sense what’s coming before others. When they start running, others then know that a predator is close by and they follow.
*You feel your feelings in a much stronger way than anybody else.
*You have a strong desire to help others, are known as a giver and are over-giving to the point where you have over compromised yourself.
*As a sensitive, you are known as the Burden Bearer. You take on everyone else’s woes, troubles and worries. You want to help others and help fix things for others. Your capacity for empathy gets you into trouble.
*You feel for everyone and for everything. That creates a huge pressure on your nervous system, your endocrine system, your whole body.
*You have health challenges. It is very common that sensitives have auto immune system problems (such as thyroid problems, lupus, colitis, and other types of auto immune disorders). In a study done with 2,000 Sensitives, it was found that they had a 30% higher rate of incidence for auto immune disorders. Also, 65% had experienced chronic fatigue (somewhere in their life, if not at present). This is because Sensitives spend their life on high alert at all times. You don’t know what it is to calm down.
*You may develop allergies.
*Many Sensitives Endocrine systems have been impacted and so it is common for diabetes or blood sugar problems to happen.
*You absorb emotions in the solar plexus, which stimulates Cortisol and puts you into a fight or flight response. These higher Cortisol levels become stuck over time, which starts affecting hormone levels and you end up with Chronic Fatigue. Chronic fatigue happens because the body forces a shut down.
*Because you take on other people’s emotions, it becomes very draining. Your para-sympathetic nervous system may not take the time for a proper recovery. This can compromise the immune system.
*When you sit down and talk with a friend who is having a problem, you help them feel better, but when they leave, you tend to carry that negative energy around for a while.
*You exercise “reckless compassion.” You put other people first and you trail somewhere behind. You take on their burdens and end up completely burnt out. Your reckless compassion lacks strength, wisdom or direction. You have to build the foundations from the internal world out.
*You have total strangers tell you their entire life story and then say, “I’ve never told anyone else that before.
*You hate shopping because it causes over stimulation and exhausts you.
*You hate roller coasters or other things that over stimulate an already hyper nervous system.
*You may have come from a background of high drama.
*You are easily overwhelmed by a continual flow of data.
*You find it difficult to define your own sore spots from the continual bombardment of other people. You cannot tell where your energy begins and where someone else’s ends. If at a party, you have to withdraw at some point to calm your nervous system down and regroup.
*You cannot stay engaged in a small talk conversation for very long but can go on for hours if you engage in deep conversation with someone.
*You generally lack self-belief. You’ve been called too sensitive so many times. You can feel the real undertone of a joke, (you actually know what it meant), but you are told you are overreacting and too sensitive.
*You can literally sense what is going on below the level of another person’s consciousness, physically, emotionally, spiritually.
*You distrust your own perceptions. Your perceptions have been dismissed by others a number of times. It feels like rejection. You feel like you cannot connect with anyone because they don’t understand you and disagree with your perceptions. You begin to isolate yourself. Being around people becomes painful.
*Feeling alone, disconnected from other people. Feeling something is really wrong with you. People cause you pain so you withdraw but in actuality, you are actually a very social person by nature. It becomes very contradictory.
*You have had the experience of cutting people out of your life.
*The desire for deep development and change comes when...
*You have become more responsible. You are now very self-aware.
*You have begun to end relationships. You have removed yourself from painful relationships that just don’t work. You’ve moved on from accepting compromise. You want ONLY to have authentic relationships from this point forward. You cannot be bothered with surface relationships.
*You have had enough of repeating scenarios and patterns.
*Want to move your consciousness to a more fulfilling life. You want something deeper.
*You are ready when you when you are no longer willing to compromise with your current life situation, when you become interested in the healing arts and when want to find your purpose. These are the opening signs of your psychic ability. It’s when your heart center begins to open up. In this stage, you have to clean up your mental mess.
*Mental mess is when something in the external world triggers fear and negativity in your internal- world and it’s also the inner voice that says you are “not enough.”
*The journey to begin your profound development has three parts: Mind Management, Transition, the Soul Realization.
*Mind Management You need to override negative thought patterns over and above using affirmations. Look for that voice in your head that says you are not worthy, etc. See what its communication is. Where does it come from? Ask it questions. Find out what layer in your consciousness it sits: If it sits in the soul, the subconscious, yours, or someone else’s that you’ve picked up. You have to have kindness towards yourself and transcend this. You have to get past the “You’re not enough” feeling. All Sensitives have this quality of not feeling good enough and that absolutely needs to be addressed in order to grow towards a happy, fulfilling life... You need to get the soul level to harmonize with the personality. They have to make peace in order for you to progress to the transcendent self.
*In order to be successful with mind management, you need Super Contemplative State Meditation.
*Transition is after you’ve cleaned up your mental mess and you are in a period of mind steadiness and waiting. You can feel that something big is going to happen, but you cannot quite feel what it is. You are bursting at the seams waiting for it to happen. It can feel quite alone. Everyone else is doing their thing and you are feeling quite alone at this stage. You feel very disconnected. You are leaving the old energy and you are moving into the new. As you move into the new, you are in sort of a “no man’s land” place during the transition.
*You may feel frustrated, powerless, like nothing is moving and you’re stuck. You’ve done the work but nothing has changed.
*Truth is everything has changed but the ego is what is frustrated. It was previously constantly entertained and now it’s being ignored and it wants attention.
*If you do not manage the transition, you will deteriorate into an emotional blankness and the seeds of the ego will sprout. If you let this happen, you will move right back into negative thinking and patterns again.
*Soul Realization is the stage of true awareness and spiritual growth. This is immense spiritual growth. Soul realization is the healing of the personality, higher psychic senses and the manifestations of desire. Usually you have had to endure some very difficult and painful situations in order to get here. This is the stage that all committed Sensitive people want to attain.
*In order to attain this, you need to devote time, effort, dedication to the big picture, a desire to contribute to the bigger picture and you need to be free of the victim vibration. If you have the victim vibration, your business, your life will not thrive/succeed. When you harmonize and remove the victim vibration, your business will thrive.
*Soul realization is the state where the personality responds to the soul, instead of the other way around. The soul breaks through and becomes dominant. If the personality doesn’t realize the need for the soul, the soul will eventually fight to break through. This is when everything in your life becomes a mess and you end relationships and cannot live the way you’ve been living anymore.
*At this stage, you go ahead in life without hesitation and the sensitivity of your nervous system is no longer a hindrance. You have an increased awareness and intuitive ability. You have experienced unconditional love and have peace and confidence within yourself. You stop reacting to or absorbing external stimuli and you start to respond or observe.
*To find your soul’s purpose/give your nervous system/endocrine system a break/rewire your brain (develop the connection between the prefrontal cortex and the limbic system so you bypass your Nervous System altogether), you need to Meditate. Over 2,000 studies have been done and have proven it works. When you rewire your brain, that split-second communication that happens when someone or something comes into your space will bypass your nervous system response.
*Your heightened intuition will become your emotional confidence. You will have peace.
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU READ THE FOLLOWING BOOKS:
Aron, E.N. (1996). The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You. New York, NY: Broadway Books.
Aron, E.N. (1999). The Highly Sensitive Person’s Workbook. New York, NY: Broadway Books.
Sawyer, H. (2015). Highly Intuitive People: 7-Right Brain Traits to Change the Lives of Intuitive-Sensitive People. London, UK: Hay House
I find Amazon has the best prices on books... To make it easy for you, I've included the Amazon widget below. Scroll down to the bottom of the widget and you can type in the title in the search bar. You can search for them right here.
To learn MORE about the difference between being a highly sensitive person and an empath, click here.
AWESOME YOUTUBE VIDEOS TO WATCH (MY NOTES ON THIS PAGE COME FROM THESE):
Heidi Sawyer’s Lecture – Why Are You So Sensitive?
Heidi Sawyer’s Lecture - Highly Sensitive People and Chronic Fatigue
Elaine Aron – A Talk on High Sensitivity Part 1
Elaine Aron – A Talk on High Sensitivity Part 2
Elaine Aron – A Talk on High Sensitivity Part 3