This world is not only rainbows and butterflies, and we all know that. Life is made out of “contrast”, between what we call “good things” and “bad things”, “negative” and “positive”, what we like and what we don’t like. Each day of our life, from our birth to our death, we use our 5 primary senses, through which we either feel pleasant or unpleasant emotions and reactions. All of our life is managed through these 5 senses (but we will see below that we have actually more than 5 senses). All of our reactions are primary based on what we see, hear, taste, touch or smell.
As a reminder, Here are our 5 primary senses:
Sight, Hearing, Taste, Touch, and Smell.
For the highly sensitive people, a seemingly ordinary day can be overwhelming, as all of our senses are hyper-developed. For example, I am a hypersensitive person. I confirm, everything is felt more intensely on all of the 5 senses (and even the other “spiritual senses” we have, I talk about it below). For example, my sight is extremely good (superior as the minimum asked to become a pilot), I am highly sensitive to smells (pleasant and unpleasant), noise drives me crazy, I am very sensitive to touch (I get goosebumps as soon as somebody touches me and I am very sensitive to massages), I can not tolerate many types of fabrics on my skin when it comes to clothes, heavy lights make me very uncomfortable, I can not stand hunger sensation, I react very rapidly when it comes to my emotions, and I have absolutely every other characteristic of an hypersensitive person listed below.
In short, the hypersensitive feels everything, perceives everything, sees everything, in a way that is way more intense than most people. We estimate that hypersensitive people make up 15% to 20% of the population.
The characteristics of an hypersensitive
Hypersensitivity to noise (blocks her/him to concentrate, to think)
Can not stand the hunger sensation
Can not stand being in places that are too crowded
Hypersensitivity to fabrics (do not tolerate some fabrics when it comes to clothes, on the skin)
Hypersensitivity to food
Very receptive to touch (likes to be touched and to get massages)
Very sensitive to lightning
Indignation at injustice
Looks for meaning in everything
Feeling of being alienated and alone
Willingness to be original, and to not be like everyone else
Strong desire to bring something to the world thanks to his/her creativity
Constant need to learn new things
Informations from the nervous system circulate very fast, which makes the hypersensitive person hyper-reactive, he/she reacts to all kinds of stimuli, without any filter
He/she sees everything, hears everything, feels everything, which can be sometimes very hard to manage
He/she is overwhelmed by a too big quantity of ideas, words, informations and perceptions, which can also be hard to manage
He/she is sensitive to ambiances. He/she can be disturbed and affected by all conflicts, tensions and psychological problems of people that surround him/her, even if he/she is not responsible nor concerned
He/she is extremely empathic: He/she has the capacity to put himself/herself in other people’s shoes and to feel their pain. He is overwhelmed by other people’s feelings and emotions, and by his own. He feels everything very intensely. Emotions take a lot of room is his/her life.
Emotional intensity: he/she easily cries.
Sadness, joy, and anger can take tremendous proportions. He/she can go from laugh to cries in a minute.
Sudden angers for no “apparent” reasons (for the others) can occur. But the hypersensitive doesn’t lie and is very sincere. He feels things intensely and his/her entourage often have a difficult time understanding his/her behavior (as they don’t perceive the same things).
He/she needs love because he/she is sensitive and highly emotional.
Being Highly Sensitive is an inherited trait. Hypersensitive people have a more sensitive nervous system and react more intensely to external and internal stimulation than average people. I confirm. We are “born” this way. Personally, I know that I am like that so far as I can remember. The problem is, given the fact that there are only 1 to 2 people out of 10 that are hypersensitive, we can often feel very lonely and misunderstood, and think there is something wrong with us.
But hypersensitivity has many positive aspects, and a lot of people that changed the world or that will stay forever in people’s mind in our humanity history, were as a matter of fact, hypersensitive people.
Hypersensitivity and mental hyper-activity
Hypersensitive people can also be “highly gifted kids” – with a mental activity that is higher to the norm.
Here are the characteristics of mentally hyper-active people.
– Hypersensitivity, susceptibility
– Curiosity, creativity, high imagination
– Ability to do many things at the same time, perseverance
– Various fields of interest, easily going from one interest to another
– Looking for the company of older people
– High sense of humor, not always understood by others
– Respect of the “logical” rules, but tendancy to question authority that is unfounded
– Perfectionism, doubled with extreme lucidity, which sometimes leads to doubts and fear of failure
– HIghly gifted people have an immense need to be loved, so big that it is rarely fulfilled
– To feel extasy even for the smallest things in life
– To never get bored when alone, to understand things fast
– Experiments a lot and learns a lot
– Highly sensitive to people and very empathic
– Has the ability to “play” with life
– Has strong sensations with music and art
– Is not impressed by other people
– Is open-minded
I was told many times it was my case and I started to understand that I didn’t have a “problem”, but simply, my brain and my senses are working too fast. In my head, it’s like a computer that would have 30 windows open at the same time, all day long. My biggest pain is when the day finishes, and that I haven’t done all the things I wanted to realize (I create too fast compared to my humane capacity to realize things).
More than 5 senses
Our 5 senses are the primary senses that we use on our day to day lives. But it would be very limited to think that human beings are only defined by those 5 senses, that are in fact, only our “body” senses.
Indeed, we are not only a “body”. We also have a spirit and a soul. As a consequence, other senses exist and are added to those 5 primary ones. They are the “spiritual senses”.
We often talk about the “6th sense”, that we associate with intuition generally.
There is also emotion, imagination, consciousness and inspiration. And those who master those additional senses live a more meaningful and peaceful life, than those who just live life through the filter of only the 5 body senses.
How to live in this world, being an hypersensitive?
– How to have a social life?
– How to obtain serenity and peace of mind, despite all these thoughts, images, and sensations that permanently inhabit me?
– How to do one thing at a time without getting too distracted?
– How to stop thinking I have a problem and wanting to be “normal”?
– How to live in this world, without rejecting the way society works?
I have been through all of this, and here is what my experience has taught me, and what I suggest.
1) Stop thinking we “have a problem”.
The hypersensitive person has all of her senses developed. It can be something really overwhelming, but on the other side, it is a BIG advantage. Here are the benefits that I personally found, of being hypersensitive:
-Huge capacity to feel compassion for others, which make people want to talk to us and trust us.
– Highly developed intuitions, and high speed of analysis and reflexion, which makes us less entitled to be fooled by others or to end up in uncomfortable or dangerous situations that we wouldn’t have seen coming.
– Huge creativity and imagination, which makes us unable to get bored. Life for us is a cocktail of infinite possibilities. Hypersensitive people are often artists, writers, creators, innovators, and visionaries of all kinds. Their sensitivity and their imagination mixed up, allow them to change the world.
– Hypersensitive people are “good people”. Being profoundly empathic, they can not hurt anyone on purpose. In fact, they often want to help others, the weaker and to fight injustices.
– We never get bored with hypersensitive people, as our emotions vary so much. When we feel enthusiasm and joy, we REALLY feel it and express it. It is often very communicative. On the opposite, when we feel sadness, it is very deep too, and so is anger. We are like a rollercoaster of emotions.
– We consistently want to learn, and are consistently questioning ourselves, which make us consistently growing (compared to the “less sensitive ones” that sometimes stay the same for all their lives).
2) To Protect ourselves from places, people and circumstances that could affect us negatively
Knowing our hypersensitivity, it is vital that we protect ourselves. The world is the way it is and it won’t change tomorrow. It our responsibility to adapt, by selecting carefully everything that we do, the places we go, what we watch and hear, and the people that we hang out with.
The hypersensitive person needs to be in positive, serene and healthy places. She must avoid stressful and competitive places and situations. Same for the people she sees, as she detects every negative intention or emotion from others. The hypersensitive often needs solitude and doesn’t like to be in crowded places. She then should respect that and consider it not as a selfish act but as self-love, in order to protect herself.
That doesn’t mean the hypersensitive must live in denial, or in a bubble, cut from the world and ignore its problems. She simply must know herself enough to understand what she can watch, do and who she can surround herself with without being too emotionally impacted. An example: I am hypersensitive, so watching animal cruelty REALLY hurt me deeply I am then too emotionally overwhelmed. That means I shouldn’t put myself under the stress of watching it too often. But on the other side, that doesn’t mean I won’t do anything about it. On the contrary, I use what I feel as a strength, for a positive change in the world, by spreading the awareness about it and by being myself this change I want to see in the world (not eating animals anymore for example and promoting a cruelly-free lifestyle).
3) Using your hypersensitivity as a strength
Kind of like I said in point 1, understand that your hypersensitivity is a strength. If you are born with this abilities (yes, most people don’t have it), then you should be proud and you should use them.
The hypersensitive needs to live a purposeful life (he needs meaning). He will fulfill this need by investing his time and energy into a cause or a job that will correspond to his passions, by getting involved into an activity that he/she likes (artistic, physical, or spiritual…). That will allow her to develop her self confidence and to become less sensitive to criticism.
Today, I realize to which extent my sensitivity is a strength, as it allows me to fully understand the clients that I coach to a very high level, and to be touched by big causes in the world and to be willing to do something about it. Somebody that is not sensitive will usually not develop a strong will to make this world a better place and to help others, usually not gifted with empathy.
4) Practice meditation and all kinds of activities that brings you more inner peace
The hypersensitive needs to often release everything that she has in her mind, as well as all the emotions from her or others that she catched during the day (she’s like a sponge).
Meditation is an excellent method to release all of that. Physical activity is also a great tool, as well as music, art, and every activity that allows your mind to stop thinking.
To detach from the opinion of others is also a must for hypersensitive people. It may be hard but with practice it is possible. It is important to remind ourselves that we should never take anything personally. That what other people think is a reflection of them and not who we are.
5) To understand that everything has a reason, even our hypersensitivity
If everyone was hypersensitive, there wouldn’t be any surgeons, firefighters, or policemen.
But if no one was hypersensitive, then there wouldn’t be any artists, revolutionaries, writers, psychologists, and volunteers of all kinds for great causes in the world.
The world needs all types of people, and if you are hypersensitive, that means there is a good reason behind it, you just have to find it. You should find that job that would need your sensitivity, and you should look for people that honor it.
To live in such a violent and harsh world, being an hypersensitive person, can be extremely hard. Many times, we can ask ourselves, what am I doing here, this makes no sense.
But in this world, nothing is a coincidence. Even if it can seem hard to understand, from a “terrestrial” perspective, from a “universal perspective”, it makes perfect sense. If a person is born “hypersensitive”, that means there is a reason to it. We just have to find out what it is.
What brings you the most joy in life? Think about it. Think about your passions and try to figure out how you could mix your sensitivity with your passion, to then give rise to an activity that would make you feel like you have your place in the world, your role. It will confirm to you that it was not a mistake, you had to be born this way, so that you and only you could do the things you’re supposed to do. It was your destiny.
Sensitive people are often those who have an “important mission” on earth, with big challenges. To learn to love and honor our sensitivity is one of the most important things we can do, in order to then be able to offer the world those extraordinary things that we were supposed to offer.
I will end up this article with a text from Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov which I love:
“Sensitivity is not only the capacity to be moved by people, nature or works of art. It is a higher faculty that opens the doors to immensity and gives us an understanding of the divine order of things. It is what allows us to relate to theregions, beings and currents of heaven and to resonate as one with them.
Those who seek to cultivate this form of sensitivity not only have the splendours of the divine world revealed to them, they also sense that the subtle vibrations beginning to animate their psychic matter protect them from aggression and harmful currents.
Those beings gifted with true spiritual sensitivity are invulnerable. No one can have much hold over them anymore, because they are elsewhere, somewhere higher, and they see things differently. Their sensitivity to the divine world keeps them safe, as if they were surrounded by a protective wall. Their heart, mind and soul are not affected by base or vile acts, and they do not respond to them, for they resonate only with the messages from heaven.”
Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov