Are you thankful for your high sensitivity?
Photo by Sarah Mak

Are you thankful for your high sensitivity?

Unfortunately, many HSPs see their high sensitivity as more of a negative than a positive, but is it really? Has it ever occurred to you that high sensitivity is a gift, something to be grateful for, despite its challenges?

As highly sensitive people, we deeply take in everything around us and are profoundly influenced by our environment, which bestows us with the gifts of creativity, observation, intuition, and compassion. We have the ability to experience intense joy on happy occasions. We are thoughtful and excellent problem solvers. We are curious and always seeking to know more. We are caring and intuitive, especially about the feelings of others, making us great parents, friends, spouses, sons, daughters, siblings, and co-workers.

On the flip side, our high sensitivity also results in feelings of overwhelm, making us uniquely challenged by the experiences of our everyday lives. Feeling overwhelmed is stressful, but there are ways to mitigate the effects of this anxiety. The most important thing is to be aware of your sensitive nature and to understand the things that trigger your feelings. That way, you can be proactive rather than reactive. For example, if the news or social media makes you depressed, then limit your exposure. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the things you have to do, take a time-out and do something calming to recharge your batteries, such as taking a walk, meditating, stretching, or listening to relaxing music.

Many highly sensitive people also have a tendency towards perfectionism. While we can readily list our shortcomings, we may have a harder time acknowledging our positive attributes. We berate ourselves for making mistakes and fail to credit ourselves for the things that go well. These negative habits of thought become so ingrained that we fail to see the impact they have on our happiness.

Again, there are ways to address these challenges. Keep in mind that highly sensitive people have a powerful capacity to think deeply and analyze problems. When your mind is flooded with negative thoughts, take a moment to stop and examine these thoughts. Are they true? How do you know? Do they come from actual experience, or are you just believing something because others told you, or because it’s what you’ve always believed?

Also, it’s important to take stock of the things that you have done well. What successes do you have? Have you given yourself credit for these accomplishments? What are you most proud of? What are your strengths? If you struggle with this, ask people who know you well what they think your best qualities are.

The purpose of my work is to bring more self-awareness to highly sensitive people and to help them embrace a positive mindset and appreciate the many gifts they have. Sometimes a thought-provoking article or question at the right time spurs an epiphany that motivates you to shift your perspective.

I undoubtedly see my high sensitivity as a beautiful and powerful gift! While I don’t enjoy the perfectionism and overwhelm, I savor the intense bonds that I am able to form with others (humans and animals), the rich inner life I have, the expression of my creative impulses, the connection I feel to nature, and my lifelong passion for learning and growing. I cannot imagine my life without these pleasures!

What do you think? Are you grateful for your high sensitivity? Or do you focus more on the challenges of high sensitivity? What do you like most about being highly sensitive? I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have. Happy Thanksgiving wherever you may be!

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Most of the time I’m grateful for being a highly sensitive person. Right now I’m struggling. I try hard not to put people down, beat them up with information they have found that they “have” to share…because they don’t understand me or maybe it feels good to put people down and shame them. I sometimes have trouble crawling up out of the hole I’ve fallen into at these times. But I think the self-awareness we have as highly sensitive people is worth the challenges. I appreciate the deep connections I make with people, and the sincere friendships I’ve made along the way. I’m really thankful I learned a long time ago that I’m HSP. I have found ways to take care of myself and respect and honor my needs rather than feeling like there’s something wrong with me. Spending time alone, avoiding noisy and chaotic situations, and getting adequate rest are just a few ways I take care of myself. But I do get exhausted when I have to deal with too many people. I struggle with a deep sadness when I see my highly sensitive daughter have to deal with working full time and dealing with two small children. Her husband is kind and helpful, but she still gets so overwhelmed. I remember how hard those years of parenting small children were. May we have compassion and understanding for all the things we see in others that we have struggled with. (My daughter and her family live in Missouri. I live in Colorado, so I’m not there to help.) Thank you for sharing so honestly, making yourself vulnerable, real and positive in spite of a really tough couple of years. It sounds completely overwhelming. I hope things are a bit easier for you by now.

    1. Hi Judy,

      We highly sensitive people have to realize that we have strengths and challenges. The more we understand ourselves, the better we can deal with life. My upcoming Cliff’s Big Move posts will help you learn what you can do if you have a strong desire to do something. I share my mistakes and my frustrations throughout this process. Thank you for your comments! Things are a bit easier for me and my family. Stay tuned!

  2. This post brought tears to my eyes. Thank you. I’ve never thought about my sensitivities being a gift. My daily life tends to make this more of a negative. I’m right there with you with everything you said except for the bond with humans. I can feel for animals and trees but not humans, they disappoint me more often than not. But this has me so uplifted, thank you for this post. I’m grateful for the beautiful moments in nature that bring me to tears.

    1. Hi Samantha,

      I’m thrilled that my post moved you in such a positive way! Don’t give up on humans! Accept them as they are and do the best you can. Be aware of the bad qualities of others and look for the good. When I do this, it’s surprising that I feel better about our civilization!! LOL Thank you for your comments.

  3. I am grateful for my high sensitivity. I feel deep love from the higher self of others after talking with them and I reach states of ecstacy often when I see beautiful things or in a religious ceremony.

  4. Thank you for this beautiful post.

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