There are 1.5 billion highly sensitive people on the planet. That’s approximately 20% of the population.
Phew, you are not alone!
The term highly sensitive person (HSP) was coined by clinical psychologist Elaine Aron in 1996 in her book, The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You. She writes about how to thrive in the world as a sensitive being.
So many of us sensitive types grew up thinking there was something deeply wrong with us. Maybe as a young child, you were labeled “too sensitive.” Maybe you were also told to toughen up and grow a thicker skin!
Basically, we were shamed for being different. Neurodivergent, to be exact.
According to Alane Freund, therapist and HSP expert, as a highly sensitive person, you were born to be a leader and spiritual guide!
HSP brains are wired differently. This neurodiversity makes HSPs highly aware of everything in their environment and often causes them to respond with heightened emotional sensitivity and intelligence.
Turns out, sensitivity is actually a superpower — not a life-hindering curse. There is nothing wrong with you. Being a highly sensitive person is a valuable trait. In fact, many great artists, innovators, and healers are HSPs.
4 Traits of a Highly Sensitive Person
Check out the 2-minute video below to hear Alane share the four common ways to know for sure if you are an HSP.
What Is a Highly Sensitive Person?
What an informative and empowering video! I love that Alane’s expertise is born from her personal experience as a highly sensitive person.
Did you check all the boxes/traits?
✅ Deep processing
✅ Overwhelmed or overstimulated easily
✅ Emotional and empathetic
✅ Sensing subtleties and nuances
Then you, my friend, are a highly sensitive person (HSP). Cheers! Embrace it, work it, and celebrate it! The world needs more sensitive people who feel empowered — versus feeling flawed, misunderstood, anxious, and overwhelmed!
HSPs and Anxiety
For most HSPs, anxiety is the #1 complaint that puts them at a painful disadvantage. It makes perfect sense that HSPs would feel anxious living in a world designed by and for the 80% who are NOT highly sensitive.
Research shows that depression and anxiety tend to coexist with the HSP personality trait. This is why it’s so important to learn how to accept and love yourself as a highly sensitive person.
An esteemed International Consultant on High Sensitivity (ICHS) and therapist, Alane has developed and implemented programs for highly sensitive people and youth, as well as for the clinicians who serve them.
One of the first things we need to do in order to thrive as an HSP, Alane teaches, is be to kinder to ourselves. Take better care of ourselves. We’ve mastered the art of how to take good care of others. And that’s great, but in order to live a life of joy, we need to be equally attentive, generous, kind, and caring toward ourselves.
She’s helped many HSPs discover how to truly appreciate their innate sensitivity as a valuable asset — and how to use it to reset and redesign their lives.
When you make the most of your gifts and live your life to the fullest as an HSP, everything shifts. You’ll change your world and the world around you!
Let us know in the comments below if you identify as an HSP.