7 Tips to stay healthy and happy for a HSP-HSS
My own experience made me want to write this article and I found many articles and books on the internet that resonated with me and I was very happy to discover that there are more people like me.
I found so much valuable information during my research, that I’d like to share some of it with you.
Being a highly sensitive and adventurous person, the so called HSS, highly sensitive sensation seeker, life hasn’t always been easy. I sometimes felt abnormal. I was told that I should talk to a doctor...that maybe something was wrong with me
Today I know that my sensitivity is a gift, and that I am totally OK the way I am.
To reach this point, I needed to take my own journey with all it's ups and downs. Sometimes I felt insecure and very alone on this planet. However, I finally found my way and discovered inner peace, and now I’d like to share my ways ,discoveries and knowledge with you. And if you feel a bit like me I know you can use the information that I share.
Here are some of my findings
- In different cultures sensitivity i:s valued differently. HSPs tend to have low self-esteem in cultures where it is not valued. You feel abnormal when you feel emotions, because you are told not to feel. About 20% of our population is highly sensitive and they are not only shy and introvert.
- Only around 70% of highly sensitive persons are introverted, and therefore sometimes called shy, but the other 30% are mostly extroverts and most of them are sensation seekers and risk takers.
Human species are not the only sensitive creatures.
As dr. Elaine Aron pointed out on her website that “ biologists have found the trait 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.”
I hope you enjoy some of my tips to stay happy and healthy as a HSP/HSS:
Tip 1: Sleep
A healthy sleep, minimum of 7 or 8 hours a day will support your system. Getting enough sleep soothes your senses and will help you cope with an already overwhelming world.
Tip 2: Healthy diet
Keep your nerves happy by maintaining a steady blood sugar level through regular healthy and well-balanced meals and snacks. I need to snack every 2 hours to keep my sugar level steady, without getting grumpy. I use supplements such as omega3/6, magnesium, calcium, zinc and L-Theanine for better concentration and souplesse.
Tip 3: Plan a recovery period
Sensitive people don't do very well with an overly packed schedule or too much time in noisy or crowded environments, or during periods of high stress. If you that you are sensitive, you should allow yourself a recovery period after spending some hours at a concert, birthday party, crowded mall or after a challenging period of study, deadlines at work, Christmas, your child’s birthday arrangements, etc. This recovery period should be spent somewhere quiet and relaxing, on your own if possible.
Tip 4: One room/space in your house to relax and retreat
Create a quiet safe place you can retreat to when you need to get away from people and noise. This could be a bedroom, a study, or even just a bath (or shower if that's all you have!). I've found it often helps to listen to quiet relaxing music as well, which can even drown out more external noise when you need it to.
Tip 5: Keep the lights down
learning more about my sensitivity helped me to understand why I prefer to only put on low lights in the evening, and prefer to shop in certain local grocery stores which have gentle mood lighting. Less stimulation was the answer.
Tip 6: Quiet everything for a while
No crowds, no music, no lights, no people, just nothing, and aloneness helps me to recharge and being able to succeed in doing what I do. Sometimes I use meditation or visualisations to calm my spirit down, or just take a nap to relax.
Tip 7: Surround yourself with beauty and nature
I feel deeply affected by my surroundings, and beauty and calmness help me to recover from all the influences I have been through each day, week or month. I've decorated my home simply in a way that's very pleasing to my eye, with minimal clutter and chaos, if possible. Personally I love white and earthy colours. I also spend as much time as I can alone at my beautiful house, or walking in nature, enjoying the quiet and its naturally healing and calming beauty.
I hope you enjoyed reading my blog, and if you feel inspired to share please feel free to do so. Anyone who could use that information should be reached!
Have a great week and know that you are wonderful and special as you are. Be the light and bring it to the world.
Thank you Leni for your post! I feel grateful to be in this position now to get things right and hope my tips will help. More to come 🙂
What a nice article – thanks a lot for that. As I am a High Sensation Seeker as well I can 100% agree to all the points you have listed.
The dilemma I see at the moment – which makes myself feeling sometimes a little bit down – is that in good times we are able to perform 300% of that than we perform in times of recovery or overstimulation. The constance of performance is my main issue at the moment. This is not easy – but as I am aware of my High Sensitivity and High Sensation Seeker trait I can explain so much!!! So this solaces me very much and I can get along with that much more better.
I don’t set myself under pressure as I did it in the past (burn-out included).
Anyway – we will try our best and accept our HS/HSS and love ourself as much we are able to.
Thanks again for your blog and take care,
Hi Julia, thank you so much for your honesty. By taking more time-outs we
can perform better and constantely give around 150% 🙂
Come back again some time ! happy sunday xoxo M
I’m an INFJ (Meyers-Briggs) and HSP and HSS, so I’m an introvert. A so-called bubbly introvert, i.e. I talk a lot to whoever is around me, but I find my energy in solitude. Most (not that there are many) HSS HSPs I know are introverts so I’m wondering where the research saying it is mostly the extraverted HSPs that are HSSs come from? It doesn’t correspond with my experience. Do you have any references/links where studies have been made on this?
Aron, E.N. (2002). Hoog Sensitieve Personen, hoe blijf je overeind als de wereld je overweldigt, Uitgeverij Archipel, Amsterdam.
Aron, E.N. (2005). Het werkboek voor Hoog Sensitieve Personen, Uitgeverij Archipel, Amsterdam.
Thanks for sharing. I discovered the HSP/HSS designation today and am relieved to have discovered my “fit.” I have a bucket list of long treks I plan to do, unquestionably starting with the AT. I now understand why this goal is so deeply rooted in me. Because of the people I will meet in what is the most serene setting for me. Not too physically strenuous, well-traveled, but still adventurous and, of course in nature. I can’t think of a better goal for someone like me.
Also, random question. Does anyone else get insomnia from the smell of food (of any kind) in their bedroom? Actually, almost everything gives me insomnia – smells, loud repetitive noise, light, being too hot or too cold, itchy bed sheets.
So many of my persoanl curiosities now have a name! Now if only I could find the ideal job. I read that we are good interviewers, which I already know to be true. Can I make a career of it without pursuing journalism? Anyone have any suggestions?
Insomnia comes often through too much thinking and awareness of disturbing environment :), and holding control on everything :).
Meditation can help to calm and relax your mind and to let go.
The ideal job – is a good question. I would like to know more of you and your interests, values, preferred skills and your most appreciated qualities. Becoming an interviewer in any kind of form is very interesting for sure, Journalism not the only way, but communication is needed mostly. If I can be of any help please do not hesitate to contact me. Sincerely Martina UP Coaching
Thank you so much for sharing. I´m so grateful that I can now start to better understand myself and my needs. Insomnia and not being able to relax is also a problem for me, and I think partly because I enjoy the serenety of night, and don´t want to leave this quiet refugee, where there´s little stimulation and noise. It´s peaceful. And I find it hard to calm my senses. What helps me is “body scan”, a method to focus your attention on really feeling into specific parts of your body, and it totally brings me and my senses back to my physical being, which I tend to forget and get lost in my mind.
So I can recommend an audio guided “body scan” as a relaxation technique.
By the way, a little tip for Janine, who was looking for a job as an interviewer. I´m a sociologist, and for my social research I conduct qualitative interviews, where the most important skill is to really empathically listen and ask the right questions in the right way, so sensitivity is a very important skill. But it´s really, really exhausting, because I kind of “get lost” in the other person. But a job in research I think is a good career path for HSP/HSS. Unfortunately, it is a long way and needs a LOT of persistance.
All the best,
Thank you so much for your message. I hope Janine will read this, as you are inspiring to many.
Have a wonderful day, be persistent, en take your needed breaks to be able to shine. Hugs Martina
I am literally sitting here crying because of how much I resonate with your post. I never comment under blogs, but I just wanted to thank you for helping me realize who I am a little more, and allowing me the freedom to feel related to. Now I’m confident in continuing this new journey! Much love.