Are you a highly sensitive person (HSP)?

Hello for another week,
This post is a big one for me…

You see, I’ve been sitting on this knowledge for a few years and waited for the right time and platform to share something that changed my life.

I discovered I was a HSP, short for a Highly Sensitive person.
I learnt there was such a trait after I heard it on a podcast and I literally bawled…I know there are reservations about labels, and having worked in Supported Education in a secondary school, I certainly know about the often overuse of labels.
But in my experience, sometimes it was a helpful diagnosis for the student, and other times it was requested to remain hidden and not discussed.
So it was with this in mind that I have held back.
After finding a wonderful post about this very topic by a a Psychologist, school professor blogger by the name of Dr Andrea Dinardo…. I knew what my next reblog had to be…

So it is with much pleasure that I’m helping to spread this information shared here by lovely Dr Dinardo from her inspiring blog about Positive Psychology (not to be confused with Positive thinking).
Our hope is for everyone who didn’t quite understand why they couldn’t just ‘fit in with the crowd’ for many reasons, who had been told to just ‘grow a thicker skin’, was made fun of for crying easily, over thinking everything… the list goes on, comes to accept there is nothing wrong with us. Dr Dinardo covers this topic beautifully below.

There are resource links in Dr Dinardo’s post, including that of Elaine Aron, who pioneered the research.

You will discover your sensitivity is a beautiful thing and something to be proud of, no longer wishing to hide it under the carpet for fear of ridicule. It’s in a way, like coming home to ourselves and feeling a new sense of belonging and purpose…

This just may be… your first step to that self-acceptance you have strived for throughout your life…
I’m with you in this HSP journey, and may just explain some of my musings in previous blog posts.
Wishing you well,
and I’d really welcome comments and thoughts if feel you have something to share about your experiences.

Much love,
Di πŸ’œ

Thriving Under Pressure

Cherish your sensitivity. It is your superpower.

Do you experience more stress than the average person? Are you overly sensitive to external stimuli. Chances are, there is nothing wrong with you orΒ your coping strategies.

Instead,Β your brainΒ may be more sensitive to stress than the average person.Β You may in fact, be what Dr. Elaine Aron has coined β€œA Highly Sensitive Person” (HSP).


Neurological differences found in HSP’s.

Brain scans show that HSP’s have β€œheightened activity in empathy-related brain regions” including the anterior insula (insular cortex), highlighted in the brain scan below.


The intensified response of highly sensitive people (HSP) to stress is not a choice – it’s biological. HSPΒ brains are wired differently than the average person. This fact hasΒ been clearly supported by scientific research.

Self Test: Are You Highly Sensitive?

  1. Are you easily overwhelmed by such things as bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics, or sirens…

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46 thoughts on “Are you a highly sensitive person (HSP)?

  1. You are right in what you write that labeling people can often do more damage than good. But then it can also be helpful when one can connect words to make is going on. I have to admit that I have never heard about HSP, but I thought the blog post by Andrea Dinardo was really interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Otto,
      Thank you so much for reading and responding to this post. It is certainly not a common knowledge trait, but if you are a HSP, it’s a very welcome piece of research to provide welcome comfort.
      Hope you are well,
      Until soon,
      Di 🌺

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, Di, for blogging about this ❀ Fits me. Amazing how many things I've done to compensate. I still want a sensory deprivation chamber in my house when I get home from a busy day at work πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello KarmaKnitsLove,
      Firstly, it was my pleasure to finally share something I’ve known about for a little while now. So when Dr Dinardo posted about it, this was my chance to share her blog as well as this news.
      Secondly, thank you for sharing your side of life as HSP. I can certainly understand your thoughts about a sensory deprivation chamber… I love that term and the idea of one!
      Thirdly… thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting- it means a lot.
      Best wishes,
      Di πŸ™‹πŸ»πŸ’πŸ’

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am a sensitive person since birth but somehow worked on myself so that I don’t spend my entire life in feeling hurt and dejected. Now I don’t get hurt easily and give my self time to understand the logic. Nice post πŸ‘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Pooja,
      Thank you firstly for reading my post. I appreciate it a lot. Secondly, thank you for sharing your inspiring thoughts on your ability to now manage your sensitivity. It’s a work in progress for me to prevent myself being so easily wounded but self acceptance makes a huge difference.
      Thank you for your kind words here πŸ’βœ¨

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved this post Di and definitely resonate with many of the traits of HSP’s…at different times in my life it has been excruciating to deal with, but with age and experience I have definitely found myself more able to set boundaries, say no, not take things so personally and actually appreciate sensitivity as a gift that is more important than we might first imagine, in bringing presence, awe and wonder to the world. Much love xxx Carol🌹

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello Carol,
      Thank you for your generous contribution to this revealing post. It’s certainly something I’ve found comforting after feeling very similar to you all these years. I love your words about bringing presence, wonder and awe to the world through these sensitive eyes…and heart. Beautiful.
      Thank you again for reading and taking time to comment Carol. I appreciate it, and you πŸ’πŸ’•


  5. Di. I’ve enjoyed seeing the comments of so many others above. We are certainly not alone.

    For decades, I fought, suppressed, and denied my “egregious sensitivity” (I was introduced to this foul term by a surgeon/mentor early in my surgical training when I displayed too much empathy with my patients and their families). Eventually it became too much.

    Now, I go with it. I have found such a deliciously welcoming community in the blogosphere (of which you are a valued part). We can pour ourselves out over our keyboards, knowing that there will be supportive and receptive friends on the other end of our virtual connection.

    I can see you already know this Di, but I’m gonna say it anyway… You are awesome! And it makes me smile every time I see those genuine comments in response to my latest post.
    Cheers and emotes!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello dear Gabe…
      Well what a wonderful and honest contribution to my posting about HSP. Thank you so much. It’s lovely to read that you now go with your sensitivity and have found something you love that suits you. It is so difficult denying such a huge part of ourselves and I can understand that your empathy was on high alert as a surgeon. It’s such a shame there is little ‘room’ for that trait, even though I believe it would be a brilliant thing for your patients.
      And I agree… finding kindred spirits and supportive people at the other end of our posts is so good.

      I truly value your kindest of compliments about me and my comments to you. Thank you so much. I’m touched that I can make you smile. I think as empaths and sensitives, we are highly tuned into the feelings of others and respond ‘as if’ everyone were the same.
      I love it too now!
      Much appreciation to you, my little mate, and thank you again πŸ™‹πŸ»πŸŒŸπŸŒŸ

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh wow! Thank you for sharing this information Di, I recently blogged about a similar topic and how we ’empaths’ can become entangled in toxic energy. I am certainly a HSP and can relate to this a lot! It’s nice to know that i’m not alone in my sensitivity. Wishing you a peaceful Sunday Di xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s such a lovely response to this share, Hayley. Thank you for your contribution.
      Yes, that’s a challenging part of you are an empath…
      And no, we are certainly not alone. It’s a real personality trait and one we don’t need to hide any longer… be proud my friend πŸ’βœ¨βœ¨

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for the reminder to be proud of my sensitivity lovely lady! I used to get myself all in a tizzy at how easily I’d cry 😭 wishing you a peaceful day Di ✌🏻🌷🌈 xx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh you’re welcome Hayley. And don’t worry… so did I.
        Thank you for your kind wishes and hoping the same for you too πŸ™‹πŸ»πŸ’•

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Honestly, I had no idea that brains are actually just wired this way. What a great post from Dr Dinardo. Thank you for introducing her to us. Of course I had never looked at it this way before. I love that she refers to it as having superpowers – so perfect. And I love your blog, Di. So much. You are changing lives and it is because you are blossoming and being only you. Keep being you, because you are absolutely amazing! πŸ’•

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello dear Tanya,
      Thank you for your valuable contribution to this post as well as for your very kind words.
      It was a real pleasure for me to spread the word because this knowledge seems to have helped many.
      You are so lovely and so encouraging.
      Thank you ever so much again πŸ™‹πŸ»πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Harinie!
      Thank you for coming over here and reading this post… I’m so glad to think sharing this information helps you realize it’s a perfectly beautiful trait as much as any other, just not as common. We are part of our own special group…be proud of you.
      Thank you for your lovely contribution. It all helps πŸ’πŸ’•


      1. That’s good to read you are slowly learning to deal with it, Harinie. It’s a wonderful trait for those people on the receiving end of your empathy without a doubt but I guess you have to also remember to take care of you too when you may be overwhelmed with empathetic emotion. It’s all a journey isn’t it?
        Thank you for your kind words and much love to you too, lovely πŸ™‹πŸ»πŸ’•πŸ’•


  8. Dear Di,
    Such an encouraging and helpful post. You might be connecting dots for many.
    I shared your post with some of my friends. I very much liked the above comment for you and would like to repeat for you β€œBig Hear and Huge Spirit”

    Love & Care

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello dear ArtOfMobile,
      It was absolutely my pleasure to share something I’ve kept quiet for a good while now.
      Thank you for your encouraging words about this share, and I truly hope that your friends will also value this information. Let them know they can be proud of who they are…
      And thank you too for my very kind compliment…
      You are so lovely. Thank you for everything…πŸ™‹πŸ»πŸ’•


    1. That’s such a lovely response, Dr Dinardo. Thank you so much for your kind words and yes, it’s a group to be proud of.
      I’m grateful to be following you, as your message is always so positive and inspiring.
      Thank you again πŸ’πŸ’•


  9. I was told by an osteopath that I take my daughter to, that she could tell she was highly sensitive. After reading about it, it connected all the dots for me and I could see some of her behaviour in a different light. You are so right that labels sometimes can be more harmful then helpful, but for me it has given me the tools to help my daughter in the right way. So glad you’re sharing information about this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Tanja,
      Thank you so much for finding and reading my post, and for contributing such helpful and kind comments. I’m so glad that your daughter was able to be seen as sensitive and with that knowledge, she can grow to love it instead of thinking she is so very different. Parenting sensitive children can be a little different but there are resources to assist. We aren’t on our own in this any more…
      I really value and appreciate your kind words… it makes this post so worthwhile to know it’s helped you.
      Kind regards from Di πŸ’


  10. When you sit and read what could be a character profile of yourself and finally realise that you are not odd, not weird but actually rather special and should be celebrating the very essence of being sensitive…….it’s not surprising that you weep.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello pentopaper647,
      I really value and appreciate your warm thoughts on this discovery I described… yes, it was a mammoth day when I listened to the podcast and everything fell into place. Now I’m a proud member… no more hiding.
      Thank you for reading and leaving such an encouraging comment. It means a lot πŸ’πŸŒŸπŸŒŸ


    1. Hello Brigid,
      Oh it was certainly my pleasure. I have only followed Dr Dinardo for a short while but she has really resonated with what I love to learn about too.
      And thank you for your lovely contribution to the sensitivity you experience…yes, it’s wonderful when people just ‘get us’ as we ‘get’ them.
      I get you Brigid…
      Thank you again for your kind addition here πŸ™‹πŸ»πŸ’•

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Ohh wow Di…so glad you shared this..i am an educator and yes you are right when you said there’s just so much confusion about labelling our can be good sometimes it can be bad….but understanding it and proper prognosis help a lot in providing prope intervention
    .this HSP is new to me..having said that….off i go to check the link.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello dear michnavs,
      Firstly, thank you for your kind words and reading my post. They mean such a lot.
      I’m honestly very proud to have shared this information as it’s not yet common vernacular.
      I’m so touched that you read it here first, of course thanks to Dr Dinardo who took the time to put it together better than I could have. I was just going to do the book review by Elaine Aron to share the ‘news’.
      Thank you again… I really appreciate it πŸ’πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Wonderful post by Dr Dinardo and such a worthwhile share Di. If we only knew then what we know now we would realise that the world needs more people just like this, just like you. Growing up I was often labelled as “too sensitive” now I realise it’s a blessing. Yes, I can relate which I guess is why you and I hit it off so easily. πŸ’• Thanks my beautiful sensitive friend. Hugs. πŸ’–

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hello dear Miriam,
      Thank you for your lovely thoughts on this post. Yes, if only, most certainly. In retrospect, I’ve been able to join many dots and offer myself the understanding that I needed then.
      It’s wonderful that you are able to see that label as a blessing now, as I do too. No wonder we connected so easily and naturally… thank you for saying that.
      You’re very welcome, and from one sensitive to another… hugs for you…(and please don’t feel that you must reply in your busyness of your trip prep…) πŸ’•πŸ’πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I love the graphic, Di. It very quickly shows that there is so much more depth to the HSP other than just being ‘reactive’. I wish this had been around when I was young. It may have helped to know that I wasn’t just weird when I, and others, questioned my shyness. And I tried to fit in by covering up the sensitivities and pretending not to be painfully shy and afraid. Needless to say, I didn’t succeed very well: I wasn’t fooling anyone. Thanks for reminding us that HSPs abound and we do indeed have a superpower worth embracing! πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ‘

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hello dear Kim,
      Thank you for reading and adding your welcome thoughts on this post and repost from Dr Dinardo.
      I’m absolutely with you on all you said about your growing up challenges and trying to hide, to no avail… it was hard finding ways to ‘harden up’ and now, I can say that I probably won’t harden up but have learnt how to manage my anxious times better.
      Be proud of who you are now Kim, as we end up finding others who feel the same way…
      Hugs and gratitude for your contribution here πŸ’πŸ’•πŸŒŸ


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