Are You Numbing Your Sensitivity?

Kathryn NulfHealth, The HSP Trait26 Comments

numbing your sensitivity

Are your numbing your sensitivity? I do sometimes. As I stood in line waiting to order my cup of coffee, I reached for my phone in my purse. You know, just in case there were any new updates within the last 5 minutes since the last time I checked it. I didn’t feel the need to check. I just did it. You might be thinking that yes, you do this, too. It’s like we are on autopilot sometimes. Or are we? Avoiding Our Sensitivity What if we aren’t? What if we know exactly what we are doing? What if we are checking our phones—or eating when we’re not hungry, or watching another episode on Netflix, or {insert supposedly mindless activity here}—because feeling our sensitivity just feels like it’s too much? Do you do this? Do you participate in little actions throughout your day to avoid your sensitive self-feeling too much, feeling life around you? You are numbing your sensitivity. Why You Are Numbing Your Sensitivity I get it. We HSPs know what it’s like to truly feel our way through life. It can get overwhelming. Eye contact with a stranger. Sitting too close to someone on the train. Returning a phone call we don’t want to make. Showing up to a stressful job. Meeting new people at a party. Heck, even being with our own families at a holiday gathering. It can be a lot to handle. Because we feel life’s moments more intensely, the volume can feel like it’s turned up too high a lot of the time. Mere eye contact with a stranger can feel like it’s just too much to handle when you’ve already got an ongoing to-do list in your mind, plus you’re still dwelling on the conversation you had earlier with a friend that just … Read More

Those Pesky Boundaries

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development, Stress7 Comments


Fuzzy boundaries? Boundaries are one of the biggest challenges facing highly sensitive people. They can be a source of aggravation and unhappiness. There are many reason why boundary issues are a problem for us, some having to do with us and others having to do with the world. It would help if we could get a handle on them. Why Boundary Issues Are Different For Highly Sensitive People Boundaries are personal and impersonal. When we stop eating because we are full, we are responding to a natural boundary. When we are on time for an appointment we are respecting a social boundary. When we stop our car at a stop sign we are responding to a societal boundary. Those boundaries are fairly easy to deal with. Then there are the others. These are values and identity boundaries that create all sorts of problems. An identity boundary would be the one on same sex marriage that is being challenged and overturned. A values boundary would be one about war, or greed. Values boundaries show up in the priorities we set. Setting boundaries is different for HSPs. Highly sensitive people often have humanitarian and compassionate values that conflict with the world around them. Their physical needs are greater and therefore they will have situational challenges in setting boundaries. So what can we do about this? Step 1: Know Yourself And Your Needs As A Highly Sensitive Person This first step in creating boundaries is to make some time to consider your needs and ideas. You need to create a way to confidently handle boundary issues. When you have that map in your mind, you will be able to handle conflict in a way that works for you and hopefully the other person, whether they are highly sensitive or not. Here are some … Read More

Criticism Is Not Problem Solving

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development, Social Smarts2 Comments

Much has been written about criticism and the inner critic. So why another article? It seems to me that we take criticism for granted as an OK thing to do. Perhaps it is our consumer culture run amok. Isn’t complaining how you get something done? Maybe to some but I think we need a rethink about this topic. Is Criticism Really Problem Solving? I don’t think so. Criticism is not problem solving. Criticism often feels intense, but criticism can be deceptive because it feels as if we are doing something when we are criticizing someone or something. However, more often than not we are not really doing anything when we criticize except putting our displeasure on someone else. I am not suggesting that all criticism is a mistake – far from it. Without displeasure and criticism we could not improve and progress. However, all criticism is not equal. In our consumer culture, convenience is an expectation and the absence of it often treated as a problem. This is one  kind of criticism that deserves questioning. Were we promised a convenient world? Criticism And The Need To Be Right Criticism can often feel strange or a little bit unreal. After all, the sun does not rise and judge us. The wind does not criticize us. A red light will not mouth off at us when we are driving through it. So criticism is our personal expression of some sort of disharmony, dissonance or displeasure. Implicit in any criticism or judgment is the thinking that there is a right way to think, be, or do something. This is another form of criticism that deserves questioning. One of the biggest difficulties people have in relinquishing their critical views is that they may feel that their point of view is perfectly reasonable – and … Read More

The Problems You Have To Have…

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development0 Comments

If you are having the problems you don’t have to have, you are not having the problems that you have to have. It’s a saying I have to remind myself that cluttering up my life with problems that are unnecessary is a great way to not get to the “problems” of growing and creating that I really need. Having the problems I do not have to have is a great way to avoid putting myself out there and it does not feel very good. The Problems Of HSP’s And Their Hidden Advantage Highly sensitive people have a particular set of issues which show up in physical, emotional, mental and spiritual challenges that require mindful attention. HSPs experience a higher level of intensity which requires different life strategies. It can be difficult to handle all the intensity but learning to do so is very rewarding. Every aspect of life for highly sensitive people demands more of them and as a result, HSPs bring more attention to most things they do. That can become an asset. Because of the HSP tendency to sensory overstimulation, they need to manage their lives in such a way that they minimize stress overload. All aspects of life: work, social, family, and management of daily life require careful consideration. This challenge means that a sensitive person can develop greater focus and mindfulness about what they do. Highly sensitive people need to monitor the build up of stresses in their lives. We live in a culture where people are expected to put up with significant amounts of stress, which is often perceived as normal. For HSPs, “normal” stress is a non starter. Unfortunately, HSPs may be treated with disrespect and be perceived as weak because of their need to minimize stress in their lives. This challenge can lead to a need … Read More

Frustration: How It Affects Your Health

Maria HillHealth, Physical Health2 Comments


  It may not seem obvious but frustration can adversely affect your health. Please consider the following: you cannot be healthy if your body and being are not getting your needs met. When your needs are being met, you are not frustrated and therefore healthier. You are also more easily functioning at your highest level. Ideas About Frustration Frustration is a complicated subject and there are many ways of thinking about it: in a capitalistic economic system, the health implications of self denial is not well considered. We are expected to frustrate our needs for rest and balanced living in the pursuit of money. frustration can be viewed as a form of caring, when we put someone else’s needs ahead of our own. accepting frustration can be a sign of maturity when we accept an imperfect world, that does not always perform as well as we would like frustration can have political implications, when some people’s needs are served more than others. An example would be the uneven support for the educational needs of all children. spiritual ideas about non-attachment directly deals with problems related to desires and frustration. When we eliminate desires and expectations, we eliminate frustration and the potential abuse that can come from it. Frustration And Health You could say that we have many conflicting ideas about doing without and therefore it can be difficult to make sense of how to deal with the feelings created by it as it relates to our health and well-being. So here are one ideas to consider: frustration to your body’s functioning means that nutrients and oxygen do not reach your cells causing a form of malnutrition. when toxins enter your body and bloodstream they will be distributed throughout your body, impairing the functioning of your cells. when your food is not properly … Read More

Create A Successful And Peaceful Work Environment

Ted ZeffPersonal Development, Stress1 Comment

work environment

Many specific methods can help create a more peaceful work environment helping the HSP become more successful at their job. Consider which of the suggestions in this section are germane to your workplace and try to incorporate some of the following ideas into your work situation. Make Your Physical Work Environment Beautiful You can listen to calming background music to reduce or eliminate ambient noise at work. Many HSPs have told me that they frequently listen to music, wearing a headset, while some wear earplugs on the job. Put up inspiring pictures of natural settings such as land or seascapes or family pictures. If you are working under fluorescent lights or in an artificial urban setting, gazing at nature will soothe your nerves. It may also help if you bring flowers and plants to your office. Your nervous system will be calmed by inhaling the delicate fragrance of flowers or by gazing at an exquisite bouquet. Surround yourself with the love of pictures of family and friends. Make sure that you have a comfortable chair to sit in throughout the workday so that your muscles are relaxed. You can buy a massage cushion for your chair that will electronically massage your tension away throughout the day. Try to transform the sound of the telephone ringing at work into a relaxation cue. First lower the volume if possible. Let the ringing remind you to relax your muscles, take some slow deep breaths and repeat a mantra such as peace. If possible, don’t answer the phone until the third or fourth ring. Use those few moments to relax deeply. Reduce Stimulation In Your Work Environment It’s a good idea to create a daily work schedule to reduce stimulation in your work environment, rather than just immediately jumping into a busy workday every … Read More