Lightbulb Moment: Being an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person)

October 15th, 2014 by Laura Longley

My story: Discovering I am an HSP

I wanted to share a little bit about my own experience of how I discovered I was a highly sensitive person, and one way that has helped me deal with some of the problems associate with being an HSP.

In August of 2012 I was at a 3-day mastermind group. There were 5 of us in the group, as well as a facilitator. At the end of the first full day I went back to my hotel room and burst into tears. I was thinking, “This is ridiculous!” I had no idea why I was crying.

I felt exhausted. I felt overwhelmed. There was nothing emotional that had happened, it’s just how I felt. A couple of hours later we met for dinner. At dinner I was talking about that experience. My mentor, who was leading the mastermind group, said to me, “That’s because you’re taking on the energy of these other people. You need to learn a way to be able to deflect other people’s energy.”

I went back to my room after dinner and I thought about that. It made so much sense to me. As I thought about taking on other people’s energy, I remembered other times when I had felt overwhelmed or exhausted.

A year earlier I had gone to New York for a 5-day Happiness Coaching Certification. The class took place at a hotel right in Times Square. I could remember coming out of my hotel to walk to the location of the seminar and Oh – My – God! I felt like I wanted to run away. I felt like I was being bombarded from every side. It was noisy and the smell, and physically just people all around.

I had been to New York a number of times before and I had never felt like that. Now I look back on that and I realize what was going on for me. Way too much energy from other people that I didn’t know how to shield myself from.

I think as I have gotten older, perhaps I’ve become even more sensitive. I also think that over time this foreign energy has been building up and building up and building inside of me. I’ve had years of taking on what didn’t belong to me. I was very grateful once I had this a-ha moment thanks to my mentor.

I happen to know a woman who is a hypnotherapist and specializes in working with highly sensitive people. I went to see her. The very same week my acupuncturist shared with me she had found someone else who specialized in working with HSPs. I felt like all these resources were coming to me.

When I start feeling overwhelmed with foreign energy, I get this static-like feeling of things swirling around me and outside of me. What’s really helped me when this happens is to get into my body and get centered. The way that I learned to do this is to focus on feeling my toes. I have to get really focused in my body to be able to feel my toes. That really brings down that real swirly feeling for me and helps me feel grounded. Then I can think a lot more clearly and it’s easier to distinguish between what is mine and what is not.

Lightbulb Moment: How to tell if you’re an HSP

So, how do you know if you’re a highly sensitive person? And if so, what can you do about it?

A few of the experiences and traits of an HSP include:

  • I am easily overwhelmed by bright lights, crowds, loud noises or strong smells
  • I startle easily
  • I need to withdraw from the world after a busy day because I’m exhausted or overwhelmed.
  • Other people’s moods affect me.

If you identify with one or more of these, here are some tools you can use to reduce the impact of other people’s energy on you:

  • First, notice that you are feeling overwhelmed or exhausted (awareness is always the first step).
  • Bring your attention inward to your own body. Do whatever works for you to be in your body. You can try the trick of feeling your toes, or focusing on feeling your breath.
  • Center or ground yourself in your body. Imagine a rope or cord from the center of your body connecting you to the center of the earth.
  • Now that you’re in your body, you can more easily release the stress of other people’s energy, and more easily identify what is yours.



2 Responses

  1. Maria says:

    Feeling bombarded is a very common experience – it happens to all of is HSPs. We are so sensitive to all forms of energy. Good health practices and meditation can be helpful

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *