Hypersensitivity, also known as Sensory Processing Sensitivity (SPS), is a personality trait that makes someone more sensitive than average to their environment. People with hypersensitivity are usually more emotionally, mentally, and physically affected by their environment. They take in more information from their surroundings and are often overwhelmed by loud noises, bright lights, strong smells, or other stimuli.
Signs of Hypersensitivity
Hypersensitive people tend to have certain traits that make them stand out from the crowd. Some of these signs include:
- Easily Overwhelmed: Hypersensitive people may be easily overwhelmed by sensory stimulation like loud noises, flashing lights, and strong smells.
- Highly Responsive: These individuals may respond quickly and strongly to emotions and situations around them. They may react to things that others don't notice.
- Very Self-Aware: A person with hypersensitivity is often very aware of their own feelings and thoughts. They may be quick to pick up on subtle changes in their environment.
- Empathetic: People with hypersensitivity are often quite empathetic, being able to feel the emotions of others even when they themselves aren't feeling them.
- Deeply Affected By Change: People with hypersensitivity may be deeply affected by changes in their environment. This could be something as simple as a new piece of furniture in their home.
How to Identify Hypersensitivity
If you believe you may be hypersensitive, there are a few simple tests you can take to see if this describes your situation. The first step is to answer some questions honestly. Do you find yourself getting overly emotional or overwhelmed in certain situations? Are you highly responsive to your environment and the emotions of those around you? Are you very self-aware and do you have deep empathy for others?
Another way to identify hypersensitivity is to observe how you react to sensory stimuli. For example, do you become overwhelmed by loud noises or brightly colored lights? How do you react to strong fragrances like perfumes or cleaning products? If any of these make you uncomfortable or cause you distress, then you may be hypersensitive.
Managing Your Hypersensitivity
Once you have identified that you are hypersensitive, it is important to learn ways to manage the condition. Here are some tips:
- Limit Exposure To Stimuli: Try to limit your exposure to loud noises, bright lights, and strong smells. When possible, find quieter places to work or relax.
- Take Timeouts: If you start to feel overwhelmed, take timeouts to recharge. This could mean taking a walk outside or simply sitting in silence for a few minutes.
- Learn Relaxation Techniques: Find relaxation techniques that work for you such as yoga, meditation, or journaling. Doing these activities regularly can help reduce stress and improve focus.
- Communicate Your Needs: Tell your friends, family and colleagues about your sensitivity and what you need in order to be comfortable. Don't be afraid to speak up and ask for help if needed.
Being hypersensitive doesn't have to be a negative thing. While it can be overwhelming at times, recognizing and managing your hypersensitivity can be beneficial. It can help you become more aware of your environment, understand the emotions of those around you, and better control your reactions to stimuli. With practice, you can learn to use your hypersensitivity as an advantage rather than a burden.