Anxiety · Depression · Opt Ed · Student · UOIT Mental Health Services

Extra Sensitivity

When someone in my life goes through something hard, I tend to live it in my mind and think about that person, how he or she is feeling or how he or she is going to get over the situation. This behavior or personality trait affects my life negatively, it’s time consuming and depressing. Another issue with being sensitive is the tendency to argue with people who constantly criticize me or people around me.

However, there is a good side about being extra sensitive, as it allows me to support people around me and somewhat feel what they are going through. Also, when a friend or a relative is pregnant, recovered from an illness or anything good, it makes me happier and positive.

I try to train my brain to react to situations differently. Here are some ways to deal with extra sensitivity:

  • Replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
  • Understand that what is meant to be will be and it maybe for the best.
  • Accept uncertainty and life challenges.
  • Replace negative words with positive ones.
  • Ignoring negative thoughts.
  • Avoiding arguments.
  • Remain silent when angry.
  • Try to give others the benefit of the doubt.
  • Stay focused on my goals.
  • Stay busy.
  • Ignore constant criticism and accept constructive criticism. At the end of the day, arguing will do nothing good.
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4 thoughts on “Extra Sensitivity

  1. Hi al516, you are not alone, I can relate, I’m toooooo sensitive as well. My father tells me I’ll always be a softy pushover taken adv of by everybody. I like my sensitive side though. I think it makes more aware. When things get tough I reach for research of dr. Elaine Aron. She studies highly sensitive people ( HSP). That’s what she has to say about you and me:

    – Your trait is normal. It is found in 15 to 20% of the population–too many to be a disorder, but not enough to be well understood by the majority of those around you.
    – It is innate. In fact, biologists have found it in over 100 species (and probably there are many more) from fruit flies, birds, and fish to dogs, cats, horses, and primates. This trait reflects a certain type of survival strategy, being observant before acting. The brains of highly sensitive persons (HSPs) actually work a little differently than others’.
    – You are more aware than others of subtleties. This is mainly because your brain processes information and reflects on it more deeply. So even if you wear glasses, for example, you see more than others by noticing more.
    – You are also more easily overwhelmed. If you notice everything, you are naturally going to be overstimulated when things are too intense, complex, chaotic, or novel for a long time.
    This trait is not a new discovery, but it has been misunderstood. Because HSPs prefer to look before entering new situations, they are often called “shy.” But shyness is learned, not innate. In fact, 30% of HSPs are extroverts, although the trait is often mislabeled as introversion. It has also been called inhibitedness, fearfulness, or neuroticism. Some HSPs behave in these ways, but it is not innate to do so and not the basic trait.
    – Sensitivity is valued differently in different cultures. In cultures where it is not valued, HSPs tend to have low self-esteem. They are told “don’t be so sensitive” so that they feel abnormal.
    http://hsperson.com

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    1. Thank you so much for your helpful comment. I never knew of dr. Elaine or of the term HSP.I’m happy that you mentioned it so I can have a better understanding of myself.

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  2. Al516 here is ore psychology on high sensitivity for you:

    A psychometric evaluation of the Highly Sensitive Person Scale: The components of sensory-processing sensitivity and their relation to the BIS/BAS and “Big Five”
    Kathy A. SmolewskaScott B. McCabeErik Z. Woody

    This research identified three forms of sensitivity measured by the Highly Sensitive Person Scale: Ease of Excitation, Low Sensory Threshold, and Aesthetic Sensitivity. Those who score high in ease of excitation tend to become mentally overwhelmed by internal or external stimuli, those with a low sensory threshold tend to experience unpleasant arousal in the face of external stimuli, and those scoring high in aesthetic sensitivity tend to have a greater awareness and appreciation of beauty.

    Here are the test items so you can see where you fall on these dimensions.

    Ease of Excitation

    1.Do other people’s moods affect you?
    2. Do you tend to be more sensitive to pain?
    3. Do you startle easily?
    4. Do you get rattled when you have a lot to do in a short time?
    5. Are you annoyed when people try to get you to do too many things at once?
    6. Do you try hard to avoid making mistakes or forgetting things?
    7. Does being very hungry create a strong reaction in you, disrupting your concentration or mood?
    8. Do changes in your life shake you up?
    9. Do you find it unpleasant to have a lot going on at once?
    10. Do you make it a high priority to arrange your life to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations?
    11. When you must compete or be observed while performing a task, do you become so nervous or shaky that you do much worse than you would otherwise?
    12. When you were a child, did your parents or teachers seems to see you as sensitive or shy?

    Low Sensory Threshold

    1. Are you particularly sensitive to the effects of caffeine?
    2. Are you easily overwhelmed by things like bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics, or sirens close by?
    3. Are you made uncomfortable by loud noises?
    4. Do you make a point to avoid violent movies and TV shows?
    5. Do you become unpleasantly aroused when a lot is going on around you?
    6. Are you bothered by intense stimuli, like loud noises or chaotic scenes?

    Aesthetic Sensitivity

    1. Do you seem to be aware of subtleties in your environment?
    2. Do you have a rich, complex inner life?
    3. Are you deeply moved by the arts or music?
    4. Are you conscientious?
    5. When people are uncomfortable in a physical environment do you tend to know what needs to be done to make it more comfortable (like changing the lighting or the seating)?
    6. Do you notice and enjoy delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, works of art?
    7. Do you find yourself needing to withdraw during busy days, into bed or into a darkened room or any place where you can have some privacy and relief from stimulation?

    http://www.salon.com/2015/05/07/what_your_levels_of_sensitivity_says_about_you_partner/

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