In an article in the Wall Street Journal “The Superpowers of Highly Sensitive People,” journalist Elizabeth Bernstein talks about strategies sensitive people use to cope with overwhelming moments. (I love Bernstein’s articles and the fact that she’s an Elizabeth Anne like me. Although I’m an Ann without an e.)
She admits she’s what known as an HSP herself.
At the end of the article is a test you can take to determine if you’re an HSP too. I did, and according to the quiz, I passed with flying colors.
Here’s an excerpt from the article:
HSPs process information more deeply than other people. They’re very responsive to emotions, both their own and those of others. And they’re often more attuned to sensations, such as taste, touch, sound or smell.
Scientists have been examining HSPs for decades. Researchers believe that sensitivity occurs on a spectrum: About 20% to 30% of people are HSPs, including both men and women. A similar amount have low sensitivity, while the majority are in the middle.
High sensitivity—another term is environmental sensitivity—is an innate, stable trait, requiring some HSPs to employ next-level coping skills. They use strategies such as setting boundaries, scheduling downtime and planning positive experiences.
These tactics often enable them to thrive in their personal lives and careers. They are also a great blueprint for everyone.
I thought it was an interesting concept to think about. It reminded me of a picture book manuscript that I wrote when my son was young. He told me his friend’s feelings were only in black and white while he had feelings in many colors — more than you can find in a large crayon box.
I won a couple awards with that manuscript, although I didn’t find a publisher.
I do agree with the journalist that the way HSPs cope are helpful to everyone. Set boundaries, allocate your energy, schedule downtime and things that make you happy, Sometimes I sit down in the yard, listen to the birds and watch the clouds. Then I feel recharged.