Challenges of Being a Highly Sensitive Person

Recently I asked the question on my HSP Facebook page: What are the biggest challenges of being a highly sensitive person? One of our biggest struggles, in general, is a nervous system that seems to be in overdrive by default.  That makes us feel overwhelmed, emotional, hypersensitive, reactionary, and this can be very exhausting and difficult.  As an HSP myself, I used to struggle a lot and the more HSPs I met through my work as a psychotherapist, the more I saw we all seemed to struggle in the same ways.  I feel it is so important for us to understand our unique brains and the differences in our limbic systems.  I made it my mission to find out why and to develop tools and techniques to reduce the challenges and increase access to the positives of this trait.

I’m excited that these tools are available now in my book and online course.  If you are tired of struggling and want to live better, I encourage you to either get the book or sign up for the course. 

A new online, nurturing and supportive class starts January 29.  Join me as I guide you through the 8 weeks together.  Read what other HSPs who took previous courses have to say about their experience. 

These are the responses of HSPs from all over the world about what they find challenging about being highly sensitive: 

• Crying easily when overwhelmed, especially when angry, then thinking everyone thinks you're a crybaby.

• The overthinking (depth of processing) is the hardest for me.

• The sensitivity to sleep deprivation.

• Picking up other people’s ‘junk’

• overload. Uggh.

• Feeling EVERYTHING !!

• Being misunderstood.

• Having your feelings displayed all over your face.

• Being hypersensitive to criticism.

• Not being able to turn off "feeling everything from everyone" blessing but some days feels like a curse

• working a stressful job

• Wanting to save everyone.

• Encountering people who do not understand I am Hsp.

• Daily news

• Very few people take my sensitivity seriously; they think I'm weak or mentally off.

• The anxiety. Knowing something is about to happen and having no control over it. The sinking of my stomach. Walking into a room or house and feeling the tension of fighting no matter how much it's hidden.

• Handling the stress of my job. I love my job most of the time but Monday I was stressed for three hours straight with no relief and by the time I was leaving was so frustrated/overwhelmed I wanted to cry.

• I don’t know the worst ... but first one to come to mind just now is, not wanting any communication when I’m mentally exhausted. Folk probably think I’m unsociable.

• Knowing when people aren't being honest, but others can't see it.

• Feeling exhausted from stimuli - & thus fitting in /getting some 'down time' in a very hectic, social world.

• Other people being insensitive - especially about animals- huge trigger for me that most folk really don’t care

• Loud noises and uncaring people.

• One big challenge I have is other people's bad moods rubbing off on me. I absorb their energy. When this happens, the other person can revert back to being happy very quickly, but I'm left with the bad mood for hours!!

• Work, parenting, life.

• Living in self protection, not strong enough to speak my mind. Getting easily distracted when trying to focus.

• I struggle with trusting what I need to be healthy, knowing other people will be hurt by my choices.

• Struggle with my limits and the impact that has on relationships and the amount of time I can devote to social situations. Also helping my HS son when I haven’t sorted me out yet!

• Anxiety, insomnia, small talk and conversation, memory, articulating my thoughts

-Do you relate to many of these? I want you to know that life can get better and you can truly thrive.  You are needed in this world and now we understand why we experience things the way we do and how to develop certain techniques that can change the way we experience our sensitivity.  These methods allow us to train our brain and transform our experience.  Everyone around us benefits when we are living well. 

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Julie Bjelland is a licensed psychotherapist and author of several books, including Brain Training for the Highly Sensitive Person: Techniques to Reduce Anxiety and Overwhelming Emotions.  Julie developed and teaches an innovative online global HSP brain-training course, serves on the advisory council of the Global Cooperative for Sensitive Leaders, is a consultant to other therapists, teaches workshops, and coaches HSPs globally. Her passion and expertise is in neuroscience and determining how to successfully train the brain so people can live their best lives and thrive. Her most recent book, has received outstanding reviews from world-renowned psychologists Tara Brach, PhD, Rick Hanson, PhD, and Ted Zeff, PhD.  She has also published two companion journals for her brain training program as well as several beautiful keepsake journals.  Julie specializes in working with anxiety and the highly sensitive person (HSP), couple's communication, self-esteem, and the LGBTQQ community.  In addition to her work in psychology, she is a former Guide Dogs for the Blind trainer and author of the book Imagine Life With A Well-Behaved Dog


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