So what is a Highly Sensitive Person, an HSP exactly?
Dr. Elaine Aron coined this term in the 1990’s and in that time there has been done a lot of research. In general youcould say that an. HSP has a more sensitive nervous system, and that as all kinds of effects. You think about things much more deeply than others and you feel things more intensely. About 15 to 20 % of all people are more sensitive than others to their surroundings, emotions and body. You see, hear, taste, smell and sense more. Je react more intensely, you process things more intensely and your body reacts more intensely.
Every HSP is unique, all sorts of things have influence in how your process the world. For example, your upbringing, education, experiences and all kinds of other traits or even diseases can effect your personality. Everything has influence on how you experience your sensitivity and which things you have difficulty dealing with and what goes very fluently in your life. So all your personal circumstances create who you are.
There are a lot of tests and lists on the internet on what criteria an HSP meets, not always correct and based on scientific basis. The scientific research of Dr. Elaine Aron and many others have given us much clarity and insights on what SPS is. ( Sensory Processing Sensitivity, the scientific name for High Sensitivity)
HSP is a neutral trait, which means you can live a great active life without any problems that another person wouldn’t experience. Of course you can have many different experiences and things influencing your life which can prevent you from living happily but such things are not automatically a consequence of being an HSP. Unfortunately many HSP’s have difficulty thriving in life. The main reason for that is they adjust too much to the norms of the other 80% of people who are not Highly Sensitive, so in other words, they live in a way that is not very well suited for them. This shows itself in all kinds of situations, maybe they work too much, or have a job they don’t fit in, mostly they do things that that are not a very good match or are in their nature. And this could also apply to non-HSP’s of course, everyone who works too hard or is in an environment which doesn’t suit them will get problems sooner or later. Everyone has a need for the exact right amount of stimulation in their life. The problem can be for HSP’s that they are more easily overstimulated and stressed by what is not good for them than others and if you are too long in that surrounding you start to get problems. And HSP’s adapt so easily to other norms and expectations so we encounter problems sometimes very often. But the most important thing to know is; the HSP trait in itself does not stop you from living a happy and successful life!
Dr. Elaine Aron’s created an acronym based on her experience and research; D.O.E.S. This describes very clearly the four indicators that each HSP has.
Listen to the podcast Sensitive and Strong. All kinds of information and interviews with inspiring people, like Dr. Elaine Aron, Jacquelyn Strickland and Tom Falkenstein, the author of the book ‘The Sensitive Man’. Just click here! If you have any requests for what topics you would like me to discuss let me know and send me an email! I love to hear from you!
So how can coaching help?
Coaching is a way to get answers from yourself. It will not work very well if I tell you what to do. Through coaching you will learn how to find the answers in yourself, how to honestly look at what is working well and what is not. Most people have a ton of habits that do not actually work very well for them, they are just there based on past experiences, rules and norms from childhood that you just automatically apply to life, sometimes out of a need to survive in a specific time in your life. But these habits and unconscious rules that guide and steer your life can be changed into new habits and norms. Through coaching you will discover these habits and replace them with ones that suit your life at thismoment much better. Sometimes you need a certain way of dealing with things to get through a specific time in your life but it becomes a habit, and when you move on but still have this habit it will create difficulty in stead of thriving in your life. Once you become conscious of it, you can choose to change it, which requires some persistance. It is said that you only want change once there is enough pain or uncomfort, but you can also choose to change something before it starts to be a pain or uncomfort. And that is when coaching can really help. The power of coaching is in the cooperation and alliance.
Besides a specific issue you want to change, these are some of issues you can often encounter with coaching:
Learn to guide yourself to situations you want, to create the life you want. If a situation in life is not how you would like it, learn how to make changes, to coach yourself to what you do want.
Dealing with Overwhelm
It can be hard to create a life where you have a balance. To do this you will learn how to deal with the overwhelm, to have enough downtime and rest, and to set boundaries for yourself.
Learning about yourself
Knowing how you function, what creates overwhelm, how do you recover, when do you need rest, how do you thrive? Also knowing your other traits like, introversion/extroversion, ar eyou High Sensation Seeking or not? All these things influence what works well for you and what not, knowing about these traits is crucial to have a good balance and satisfying life.
Coaching will make you strive for the best and at the same time accept what is. It will make you aware of the constant process, sometimes struggle, between what is and what you want. Sometimes these two things seem completely out of alignment and coaching provides you with the opportunity to keep growing and learning.