As many as one in five people are highly sensitive, and Sarah Barr has a guide to identifying the personality trait and helpful solutions.

Are you a highly sensitive person?

Do you feel like you reflect on things more than everyone else? Do you often worry about how other people feel? And do you prefer quieter environments?

If so, you may be highly sensitive.

This personality trait was first researched by Elaine N. Aron, in the 1990s. It is quite common, with as many as one in five people possessing it.

Here is a list of common traits or behaviours associated with being a highly sensitive person:

1. You find it difficult to let go of negative thoughts and emotions.

2. You frequently feel physical symptoms (stress headaches/muscle tension etc) when something unpleasant happens to you.

3. If you have a bad day, it often affects your eating and/or sleeping habits.

4. You probably live with moderate to high levels of anxiety.

5. You give yourself a really hard time.

6. You are afraid of being judged and rejected.

7. You tend to comapre yourself to others.

8. You can feel really angry or upset at unjust or unfair situations in society and in the world.

9. You worry what other people think about you.

10. You tend to take things personally and internalise other peoples problems or worries as your own.

11. You hide negative feelings, believing you don’t want to burden others.

12. You are a fixer, always helping

13. You are very, very empathetic.

14. You find it really hard to accept any critical feedback.

15. You tend to jump to the worse case scenario, fearing the worse will happen.


16. You can be prone to overreacting.

17. Guilt is your main driver or reason for doing things.

18. You can feel awkward in group situations.

19. Sometimes you find it hard to be your authentic self.

20. Bright lights, alot of noise or strong scents can make you feel very uncomfortable.

Some highly sensitive people are affected by just one or two of the traits above, whilst others may relate to more on the list.

If this article resonates with you, it may be worthwhile to do a little more reading and research on this topic.

Learning new tools and techniques such a CBT, Mindfulness, yoga, journaling, can help you to become more self-aware and to care for and manage yourself and your wellness.

Take Care ~ Sarah.

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