On a recent trip to South East Asia, I was quite taken by the heartiness of the lotus flower. I wondered how these beautiful pink and white flowers could grow in an environment of muddy waters. I have come to learn that Buddhists see the lotus flower as a symbol of strength amongst adversity.
Like the lotus flower, HSP’s can find strength within their trait and thrive.
Environments are an important element to consider in therapy. When working with a highly sensitive person environments take on a distinct role in their well being. HSP’s have nervous systems that process stimuli intensely making some environments feel like turbulent “muddy waters”. The effect of certain environments on the temperament trait of high sensitivity is at the core of Dr. Elaine Aron’s book: The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You. According to her research, this innate trait is found in approximately 20% of the population. HSP’s are simply more emotionally responsive to both negative and positive environments. Western cultures often perceive sensitivity as a weak trait with less resiliency. Living in a “just do it” world goes against the wiring of a deep processor who is observant before acting. Having a nervous system that can process more stimuli can create an overload or overwhelmed state of being, especially living in this Age of Information.
True Empaths. Intuitive. Talented.
Yes, certain environments are more challenging for the highly sensitive person, however, there is strength in being finely tuned in on a deeper level. HSP’s noted sixth sense equips them to respond to subtitles, moods and even danger. This extra awareness enables the highly sensitive person to utilize their intuition when making decisions. An asset in this ever-changing world.