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What does it mean to be a highly sensitive person?

Have you ever heard people say that you are “too sensitive”, “to just suck it up” or to “just get over it”.

Do you have a sensitivity to the light, different sounds or scents?

Do you have a sensitivity to the light, different sounds or scents?

Do you get overwhelmed quickly and easily?

Do you need to retreat after a busy day with a lot going on around you?

Do you find you have a rich inner complex life?

And did you start to feel like there was maybe something wrong with you?


I’m here to tell you that there is NOTHING wrong with you!


hearts coach tessa self study overwhelm anxious courseA lady by the name of Dr. Elaine Aron started researching high sensitivity back in 1991 and since then it has been slowly gaining recognition. Here are some facts (source:

*Highly Sensitive People make up about 20% of the population

*Also called Sensory-Processing Sensitivity

*It is an innate trait (like having blue eyes, you can’t change it)

*You process information at a much deeper level than the 80% of the world so you pick up on more and sense things deeper

*You are more easily overwhelmed

*The trait has been around forever but is just now being understood

*About 70% of Highly Sensitive People (HSP) are introverted and 30% are extroverted

*Due to cultural differences HSP’s in an aggressive society can end up with low self-esteem

Here’s an example.

You walk into a crowded room.

You process and take in:butterfly-896668_1280

*Every single person there; you hear them speak, what they are wearing, you can sense their emotions, notice the perfume they are wearing, see where they are in relation to other people, tell if they speak loud or soft, etc.

*The surroundings; if there is music playing, the colour scheme around you, the layout of the house, how many people are there, the scents in the house, the brightness of the area, if there is a particularly loud or quiet area, etc.

*Sense emotion; the tension in the room, the excitement, the boredom, the happiness, the sadness, etc.

*The relationships; who gets along more with who, who is outgoing, who is shy, who likes music, who likes eating, who likes to sit outside, etc.

*And on and on

The other person (assuming they are a Non-HSP) sees; the person greeting them at the door and the landing area of the house.

Can you see how as an HSP you can get overwhelmed by what you pick up. Most people can ‘tune out’ parts of the world but as an HSP we tend to pick up more than others.

So, how do you handle all this information being processed at the same time? How do you live your life as a highly sensitive?

flower-168974_1280Here are a few tips:

  1. Learn as much as you can about the trait. When you understand the ins and outs of a highly sensitive person you will realize that you actually have a gift, a super power of sorts.
  2. Find out if you are an introvert or an extrovert. This can help you figure out where you need to regain your energy when you are drained. Introverts need alone time and extroverts need to be around people.
  3. Learn to meditate. This can help ground us when we get too overwhelmed with our senses and bring us back to the present.
  4. Build in “me” time. Take some time to just stop and rest for a few minutes each day to stop your brain from picking up and processing all that information.
  5. Find support. Reach out to someone who understands you. It can be someone you already have in your life or you can meet someone new through volunteering, your job, your kids school or online through a Facebook group (check out our community here).

Try these techniques and see how they go. It’s also about doing what works for you. Get out your journal or go for a long walk and just be with your thoughts. What comes up for you when you think about being a highly sensitive person?

coachtessa Tessa ArmstrongTessa is an introverted, highly sensitive person, and INFP personality type who always felt like there was something wrong with her. She felt out of place, awkward in social situations and was formerly shy. Now she knows that people who are introverted and highly sensitive have an amazing gift and are able to lead peaceful and happy lives. She wants other introverted highly sensitive people to know that they do fit in, that they are amazingly beautiful, and that they can feel comfortable in their own skin. She is the founder and CEO of CoachTessa.


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