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Dear HSP, You’re Not Too Sensitive

Don’t be so sensitive. Don’t be so indecisive. Don’t be so anxious. Don’t be so… you.

It took me seventeen years to figure out why I was always so unequivocally exhausted – to figure out why I had come to measure my school years in doctors visits, my months in blood draws, and my weeks in vitamin supplements. Paired with the physical stress was a looming existentialism that seemed to only be amplified as I grew older, and although I felt incredibly self-aware and as if I was meant to be doing so much more with my life, I could not shake the feeling that aspects of my health had become skewed from a balanced equilateral to an unhealthy scalene. What was I doing wrong?

Truth be told, it wasn’t what I was doing; what was wrong was that society, the healthcare system, gifted-kid programs, and other professionals hadn’t known about the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). It was wrong that I had never heard of the HSP.

The HSP deals with Sensory Processing Sensitivity (SPS), an inherent personality trait that elicits deeper processing and a higher emotional intelligence, but also overstimulation and exhaustion to certain environments and stimuli. These feelings of overwhelm paired with other negative emotions can be detrimental to one’s quality of life, but can also be a super-power in the Empath realm if you know how to harness your sensitivity.

Most HSPs unfortunately never understand or are informed that they might possess SPS. If you’re anything like me, harnessing this trait will change your life and how you view yourself. You may be sensitive, but it’s a gift. You may be indecisive, but it sure wasn’t contemplation that killed the cat. You may be anxious, but we can work on that once we understand why. Stay tuned for more sensitivity content!

In the meantime, take this HSP quiz to find out more about yourself: https://www.juliebjelland.com/sensitivity-scale

Bettina is a first year and a prospective Neuroscience major at the University of Virginia. She loves painting, baking, and planning eclectic events! She hopes you enjoy her various takes on topics that inspire her!
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