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What does it mean to be a Highly Sensitive Person?

HSP disturbed

Healing Medium and author Annemiek Douw discusses Highly Sensitive People for whom life can be easier: if they learn to handle the extra information they receive.

The Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) who attend my HSP courses usually aren’t too crazy about being Highly Sensitive. When asked, they almost always answer that they’re over sensitive. Normally it’s an expression they’ve heard so often that they’ve adopted it for themselves: the judgement of others has become their own opinion of themselves.

Of course they only think so negatively because they have difficulties with being so sensitive. But lucky for them, there is no such thing as an Over Sensitive Person just as there is no such thing as being too tall or too short. It’s just a matter of opinion and therefore very subjective. When the advantages start to show, the HSP won’t mind anymore. Then the perspective shifts and he no longer feels too sensitive.

What is Highly Sensitive?

Highly Sensitive People are a lot like everyone else except that they experience the world with more intensity than other people do because their brains and nervous systems work differently and aren’t able to filter all the stimuli as efficiently. It can be compared to sitting on the couch with your grandfather who is a bit deaf. He turns up the volume on the telly and can still hardly hear it, while your ears hurt because it’s much too loud for you. The same is true for HSPs: ‘regular’ triggers such as sound, light, fragrance, temperature (but also energy, atmosphere and stress) enter more vividly. Because the HSP cannot seem to filter, this results in an over-stressed brain and nervous system.

HSPs look the same and have the same values and dreams as other people but they tend to isolate themselves and seek rest, while others go out and socialise. They prefer to go hiking in the forest while others go to town. They often don’t like loud noises or large crowds. They are usually intuitive, and more susceptible to pain, light, colours and other external triggers than other people. These triggers can tire them easily and they tend to respond more emotionally to this compared to their peers. Of course, these are just examples of qualities an HSP may have. But what’s the reason for this heightened sensitivity and why does it sometimes feel like a heavy burden?

Over Sensitive

When the brain gets over-stimulated by external triggers, HSPs tend to become emotional because suddenly they don’t feel so well. They just can’t cope with every stimulus that’s offered to them and they don’t know how to block it out, so it causes stress. That stress is sometimes transferred into tears in order to release it, and that’s why HSPs tend to be more emotional than other people.

And when the brain gets over-stimulated, it only has one solution:  to withdraw and get away from the trigger. Withdrawal means seeking absolute silence away from stimuli like TV, radio, PC or other people and this can mean not being able to do what you want just so that you can try to let go of the tension that was built up by receiving those stimuli.

For when the brain gets over-stimulated it passes these triggers on to the nervous system, which is the next system to shut down. That’s why, for instance, HSPs can get migraines, they might throw up regularly, hyperventilate a lot, get depressed or become addicted.

They get migraines because their brain has become over-loaded with stimuli and needs time to digest. The resulting tension causes the nerves in the neck to squeeze together and this gives them a migraine. Throwing up or hyperventilating are also the result of accumulated tension and are both involuntary mechanisms that help the body to release it. Depression and addiction are both ways of fleeing the continual bombardment of triggers by numbing yourself so you don’t feel them anymore.

Managing the Triggers

Of course, I believe it’s a pity if someone has to retreat on a daily basis, simply to be able to manage the normal triggers of life. Even if it’s part of what you came to experience as a soul, I still believe that if you realize that you’re a Highly Sensitive Person it’s time to change your habits. The one thing that helps a lot of people on my courses is adjusting their aura.

‘Well’, you might think ‘I don’t see or feel my aura so that won’t work for me’. Yet it does. Most sensitive people on my courses have auras that stretch far wider than the usual arms-length that is advisable. So when they are at the movies, the 4 people either side of them are sitting in their aura and ‘contaminating’ it with their emotions and stress.

aura wide

As I explained in The Benefit of Blocking Emotions it is possible for someone to help you release your stress just by sitting next to you while others may influence you in a less positive way because their energy is adding something that you find hard to digest. That doesn’t necessarily mean that these people are in any way negative, it just means that you have trouble ‘digesting’ their energy. This is similar to how a herbivore is wired to digest only plants. When you give meat to a herbivore, his belly will hurt because he can’t digest it. It doesn’t mean that something is wrong with the food, he’s just not designed for it.

Adjusting Your Aura

So, even though you might not see or feel auras, you still have one that you can use. It is simply a matter of energy following intention, so if you tell your aura to stay put at arms-length when you go to the cinema, it will. Really, it works! It’s that simple!

Of course you can also adjust your aura even if you aren’t an HSP at all but just because you are feeling tired. Because making this adjustment simply makes the density of your energy stronger, thus preventing other energy from mixing with yours.

 aura small

Next time

In a future blog I will write more about what you can do to avoid over-stimulation of the brain and nervous system and about the advantages of being Highly Sensitive. Please register if you don’t want to miss it. And if you have any questions, please comment on this blog and I will try to answer them in a future blog.

Read more

Would you like to read more about sensitive people? In my upcoming book 21 Layers of the Soul, I describe lots of them. 21 Layers of the Soul is out now! And are you Highly sensitive and need some help solving the issues and cleansing your aura because of it? Book your session with me now! 

Annemiek Douw – photography by Peter Nugteren www.prents-and-more.nl

ANNEMIEK DOUW, MSc is a management coach, energetic therapist, lightworker, medium, trainer and author. Coming from an unlikely background in engineering, Annemiek has always been interested in how people think and grow at a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level. In her work within the government and business sectors, she began to see how illness comes into people’s lives, often making it unpredictable and seemingly out of control. This influenced her to start exploring bioenergetics and other alternative therapies, eventually leading her to complete a 3-year course at the Natural Medicine Academy South-Netherlands to become a paranormal therapist. In 1998 she dedicated herself to this work full-time. She later fell ill herself for an extended period of time, which allowed her to gain first-hand insight into the human experience of illness, and to learn how the soul is an internal compass that continuously guides. Probing more deeply into how this compass works, Annemiek discovered 21 layers of the soul that influence our ability to grow and to heal in our bodies, minds and relationships. This discovery became the foundation of her unique healing style, and today Annemiek helps clients heal at many levels, and teaches them how to read this compass for themselves. Wanting to share this unprecedented work with a wider audience, she published the Dutch language book De ziel in het licht van haar hogere auralagen in 2011. The English translation of this book is coming in autumn 2013, under the title 21 Layers of the Soul: Healing the Karmic Ties with Friends, Lovers, Family and Enemies.

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