Oh the internet! So much time wasted, and yet, every now and again I learn something new.
Who knew there were a gazillion articles on highly sensitive people? From scientific to commonsensical they all describe characteristics of this segment of the population.
Who knew that I might be one of them? (Do I hear my family members laughing?)
Well, I’ve just taken an online test and, phew, I’m not. Well, not exactly. It is clear to me on the empathy scale of sensitivity I am highly sensitive. On the practical scale of sensitivity, I am not. For example, statements like: “I get rattled when I have a lot to do in a short amount of time” don’t apply to me. The fact is, the busier I am the more organized and efficient I am. Perhaps my reaction here is a long-used strategy to avoid the unpleasantness of feeling pressured.
Other statements such as, “Other people’s moods affect me” and “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)” ring true for me. I suspect this type of sensitivity helped me be a good nurse.
What got me started on this thread was the article: 6 Sweet Tips for Super Sensitive Souls. In it, author Victoria Erickson quotes researcher Elaine Aron’s estimation that about 20% of the population is “highly sensitive.” If you took the self-evaluation test linked above and qualify, the world around us must be overwhelming at times.
Regardless of where you fall on the sensitivity spectrum, the six strategies Erickson suggests could benefit you.
- Enjoy the company of animals
- Seek out water
- Be aware of what is yours and what is not
- Surround yourself with people who understand your nature and nurture that connection.
- Retreat, replenish, and rejuvenate.
Many of us instinctively gravitate to what makes us feel better. When I am “creating” either at work or play I feel validated. When I enjoy my dog’s unconditional love or watching wildlife on a walk, my heart feels good.
When I’m at the beach or in a bath I feel rejuvenated. When I’m with, or talking to, my dearest friends, I feel better.
Taking walks and catching pictures of double rainbows puts me in a state of awe about nature, and in turn, replenishes me.
What I continue to struggle with (and I know I’m not alone here!) is #4: “Be aware of what is yours and what is not.” This has to do with taking in other people’s negative energy. Erickson suggests: “Learn to recognize what is only your energy and emotion and place a protective invisible shield around yourself to block out anything that is not.”
Well, I’m working on it. How about you? Are you highly sensitive? Or, after reading this, are you thinking, “OMG my kid is totally a highly sensitive!”
All we can do is be open, aware, and strive to live life better. That’s what Runitlikeamom is all about!
Latest posts by Candace Fitzpatrick (see all)
- Are We Really Struggling? - May 21, 2015
- A Mother’s Day Tribute – Just Ask the Questions You Have - May 7, 2015
- Any Ideas? - April 23, 2015