Overload is an important sign of stress in highly sensitive people. HSP sensory processing sensitivity creates stress overload which, if left unchecked, can speed the progression of stress to illness because of excessive wear and tear on the body. It is very dangerous for highly sensitive people.
The HSP nervous system’s sensitivity to bright light, noise, touch, fabric and scent, and/or electromagnetic devices, means that highly sensitive people need a gentle environment that does not overtax their nervous system in order to function well. The absence of a supportive physical environment will create physical imbalances and stress overload in the body that can develop into illnesses.
Causes of stress in the physical environment impact the mental and emotional functioning of highly sensitive people. HSPs feel the effects of their sensitivities very strongly because they interfere with and prevent highly sensitive people from being at their best.
HSPs can find their sensitivities discredited by the people around them. HSPs needs are not a matter of expecting preferential treatment. A better analogy is the difference between plants that need a lot of sunlight and those that grow in the shade. We don’t think that plants that need sunlight are spoiled or being silly. They simply have different needs to thrive and be at their best.
HSPs sensitivities may include any number of food and chemical allergies that may damage their health, meaning that they can require special diet support.
…molecules of emotion run every system of our body and …this communication system is in effect a demonstration of the body-mind’s intelligence, an intelligence wise enough to seek wellness and one that can potentially keep us healthy and disease free…
Candace B. Pert, Ph.D, Molecules of Emotion, Scribner, New York, 1997. p. 19.
HSPs Stress Advantage
The HSPs nervous system provides them with advantages as well as disadvantages. A highly sensitive person has the ability to pick up on conflicts and disharmonies that are subtle and easily overlooked and which have the potential to create problems in the future.
In essence, highly sensitive people have a built-in radar system acutely receptive to early signs of stress and stress overload. This capacity can provide a basis for proactive self management and boundary setting with others. It can help with the development of creative non-harming strategies in work and relationships. This is one of the ways that HSPs can use their trait to provide invaluable assistance to the people around them.