9 signs you’re a highly sensitive person and how to embrace it

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Are you someone who gets easily overwhelmed by loud noises or strong smells? Do you feel like you’re constantly on edge or get emotional at the drop of a hat? If so, you might just be a highly sensitive person!

I know it feels like a curse, but being highly sensitive is actually a pretty cool thing. It means that you have a heightened awareness of your surroundings and the emotions of those around you. 

It’s like a secret superpower, so it might be wise to embrace it! 

Not sure how to go about it? Here are nine signs that you might be a highly sensitive person, and some tips on how to embrace your sensitivity.  

1) You feel things deeply

When I was a little girl, I would often go out in our garden, stop by the flower bushes, and breathe in the smell of the flowers, eyes closed, savoring the moment, unmindful of the minutes that passed by. 

My grandma told me that the first time she saw me in that blissful state, she knew I was a highly sensitive person. She knew I would feel things deeply – joy, pain, sorrow, every emotion there could be in life. 

And she was right, you know. As a highly sensitive person, I do feel things intensely. I easily get super emotional during movies or while reading books, and I feel a deep connection to nature. 

This can be a double-edged sword, though. As our emotions can sometimes overwhelm us, it can sometimes be hard to deal with certain situations.

How to embrace it: 

I’ve learned this the hard way – do not suppress your emotions. Allow yourself to feel them fully. Write in a journal, talk to a friend, or just take some time to yourself to process your feelings. 

Acknowledging and processing your emotions is the only way you can learn to control them and use them to your advantage.

2) You’re easily overwhelmed

As I mentioned earlier, the depth and intensity of feeling, as well as too much stimulation, can overwhelm you. It can all drive you crazy! 

Other people find loud noises, bright lights, and crowded spaces energizing, but not you. Too much of it can make you feel like running away like you want to retreat from the world to find your bearings. 

How to embrace it: 

Try to create a peaceful environment for yourself. Listening to calming music, turn down the lights, or spend time in nature (this is my go-to solution!). 

If you need to be in a crowded or noisy space, try wearing noise-cancelling headphones or taking breaks to step outside and get some fresh air.

3) You’re intuitive

The good thing is, you know exactly when you need to step back and recharge. That’s because you’re super intuitive, like most highly sensitive people. 

Not only that, you have a strong sense of what others are feeling, and you can pick up on subtle changes in a room. This can make you a great listener and a supportive friend.

How to embrace it: 

Trust your intuition and use it to guide you in your relationships and decision-making. If you have a hunch about something, don’t ignore it. Instead, investigate it further and see where it takes you.

4) You’re a deep thinker

Have you ever been told any of these things?

  • “You think too much.”
  • “You’re always so serious, why can’t you just relax and have fun?”
  • “Why are you making things more complicated than they need to be?”
  • “Stop analyzing everything and just go with the flow.”
  • “You’re too sensitive, you need to toughen up and not take things so personally.”

If yes, take it as a sign that you are a highly sensitive soul

I spend a lot of time pondering the meaning of life or reflecting on my own experiences. And while being a deep thinker allows me to see the world with fresh eyes, it can also sometimes feel burdensome. Those big questions of life can feel really overwhelming. 

If you’ve ever felt this way, I hear you. I can’t count the number of times I’ve thought, I wish I didn’t have to be this way! 

But the fact of the matter is, highly sensitive people like us can’t help it – we were born this way, as Lady Gaga says! 

How to embrace it: 

Just lean into it! Stop pushing your inner philosopher away. Spend time exploring the deeper questions in life. Read books, have conversations with friends, or just take some time to ponder the mysteries of the universe. 

You never know what insights you might gain from your musings. And you never know if those insights might come in handy when someone comes to you with their problems! 

5) You’re empathetic

Yes, it is inevitable – someone will come to you with their problems. Because that highly sensitive nature gives you heaps of empathy

You feel deeply for other people, and imagining yourself in their shoes is just second nature to you. 

So, yeah, you might get criticized for being overly sensitive, but guess who people will turn to when they need a comforting presence? YOU! 

How to embrace it: 

Think about this – the world needs more kindness and compassion. So go ahead and use your empathy to the best of your abilities! Connect with others and go on building strong relationships

Just be sure to recharge afterward because your high sensitivity also makes you a target for energy vampires… 

6) You’re affected by the energy of others

It’s a known fact that emotions and energy are contagious. And since you’re a highly sensitive person, you’re extra prone to that. 

You pick up on someone else’s energy, even if they don’t say anything. 

Here’s where it becomes a double-edged sword: 

If they are happy and joyful, you’ll get those good vibes, too. 

Unfortunately, the same goes for bad vibes. When someone’s full of negativity, you’ll absorb those too, and feel drained. 

How to embrace it: 

This calls for extra self-awareness. Learn to recognize when you’re picking up on someone else’s energy, and take steps to protect yourself. Here are some of those steps:

  • Take a break from the person
  • Engage in activities that bring you joy
  • Use visualization techniques to release those negative vibes
  • Practice self-care

7) You need alone time

That point above is the reason why highly sensitive people need time alone. After spending time with other people and absorbing all of that confusing energy, they need to recharge. 

My family used to get mad at me for retreating to my room in the middle of a party, but they’ve since learned that it’s necessary for my state of mind.

How to embrace it: 

Don’t be afraid to take time for yourself. Schedule some alone time each day to read, meditate, or just relax. 

It’s also important to communicate your need for alone time with those around you, so they can understand and respect your boundaries. 

8) You’re easily moved by art and beauty

Do you love going to museums? Or doing creative pursuits like writing, painting, or playing music? 

That’s a sign you’re a highly sensitive person. 

Being highly sensitive renders you to be easily moved by art and beauty. That’s why you’ll often find HSPs (Highly Sensitive People) in the world of art. 

You see, that deep connection to the arts just makes our lives better. We gravitate to artistic expressions because they help us feel less alone in experiencing things intensely. 

Does that make sense? 

For me, who’s an HSP, it totally does. When I view a painting or listen to a sad song, I immediately recognize a kindred spirit, someone who feels things as deeply as I do, and that thought fills my cup. 

How to embrace it: 

Use your senses and drink it all in! Allow yourself to feel those feelings, regardless of what others say. 

And give yourself room to explore your own creativity as well. Set aside time each day to engage in creative activities, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Don’t worry about whether or not you’re “good” at it – the point is to enjoy the process of creating something.

9) You’re detail-oriented

Finally, here’s a detail (pun intended) that points to your highly sensitive nature – you notice details

Your sensitivity allows you to see the small things that others overlook. It’s a trait that gives you an advantage in both your personal and professional life! 

How to embrace it: 

Use your attention to detail to your advantage. Take pride in your work and focus on the littlest things that make a big difference. 

In your personal life, pay attention to the small things that make your loved ones happy, and try to incorporate them into your daily routines.

However, be careful not to cross over into perfectionism. HSPs do have a tendency to be perfectionists and overly critical of themselves. As long as you can guard yourself against that, you can make that talent for spotting details work for you in many ways! 

Final thoughts

As you can see, being a highly sensitive person can be both a blessing and a curse. The key is to harness it so that it empowers you instead of overwhelming you.

Remember to take care of yourself and always recharge. And never feel ashamed for feeling things too much. The world needs more people like you who can make us feel less alone in life! 

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