How very little we know about ourselves…but how much we could know if we took the time to do so. So much of our personal happiness depends on getting along well with ourselves. We know ourselves better than others do, and yet we don’t often take the time to discover our strengths and weaknesses.
Did you ever think that something about you was different? Were you puzzled about what that difference was? Were you frustrated that something seemed to be holding you back? I had those thoughts and feelings, but I gained a great understanding of myself when I went to a class about “highly sensitive people.” I always knew that I was very sensitive, but I didn’t realize that my highly sensitive nature had a specific cause.
According to author and clinical psychologist, Dr. Elaine Aron, being a highly sensitive person is an inherited trait that is characterized by an overactive nervous system. Her extensive research indicates that 15-20% of the population is comprised of highly sensitive people. A significant percentage of that 15-20% is not aware of their inherited character trait and the affect that it has on their lives.
The nervous system as defined by Discovery Communications, Inc., is made up of the brain, spinal cord and nerves to coordinate all of your actions and reactions to internal and external situations. Some characteristics of highly sensitive people include:
* Becoming agitated when surrounded by a lot of people and/ or activity.
* An unusually high sensitivity to noise, light, caffeine, pain, medications, temperature.
* The need to be alone for extended periods of time every day.
* Being unusually overwhelmed when they have many things to do in a short time.
* Getting easily flustered when being watched by others.
* Being unusually affected by the moods and problems of others.
These symptoms can also be caused by other emotional and physical problems.
The class on highly sensitive people was a real eye opener for me—I felt as though I was seeing myself for the first time. I realized that this new knowledge could help me improve my life. That day marked the beginning of my journey towards self-knowledge and understanding. These are the keys to a healthy, happy and productive life. As I learned more about my inherited character trait, I developed a personal “road map” to utilize my strengths and devised a strategy to work with my weaknesses.
Do you take the time to learn about yourself? Do you feel like you’re in a rut instead of really living? From this moment forward, make it a priority to get to know the real you. Why not utilize your best self? Wouldn’t life be easier and happier? The most famous statement of Socrates was confined to two words: “Know Thyself!” Get self-acquainted and you will open yourself up to the many possibilities of life. You will then go forward to a extraordinary life experience.
Cliff Harwin is the author of Making Sense of Your High Sensitivity…Discover, Develop and Maximize Your Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) Traits.