Wellness coach Elizabeth Scott, MS explains that HSPs “have an increased or deeper central nervous system sensitivity to physical, emotional, or social stimuli.” Although being labeled as highly sensitive or being too sensitive is mostly seen as a negative thing, it is not necessarily negative. This personality trait has both positive and negative aspects that are unique to HSPs. “If you know how to manage the unique features of being an HSP, you can make it more of a strength and less of a challenge in your life,” Elizabeth adds.
Personality traits of HSPs
Some of the most common personality traits of a highly sensitive person are:
- HSPs feel more deeply and are easily overwhelmed
- HSPs are more emotionally reactive & cry more easily
- HSPs can’t perform when under observation
- HSPs are extremely detail-oriented
- Not all HSPs are are introverts. 30% are extroverts
- HSPs are more prone to anxiety & depression
- HSPs avoid noisy environments & violent media
It has been observed that around 15% to 20% of the population are HSPs. However, psychologist and author Dr. Elaine Aron believes that around 20% to 30% of the population “have a highly attuned nervous system that deeply processes information both within and around them.”
According to studies by Dr. Aron, HSPs have an innate trait known as Sensory Processing Sensitivity that is found equally in both men and women. This enables the brain and nervous system of HSPs to process finer and subtle details that most others generally miss out on. Although it was considered as an evolutionary tool designed to save our lives, now in the modern world, it is considered a burden which can overstimulate and overwhelm an HSP.
The brain of an HSP has a highly active insula, which enables to increase perception and self-awareness. Moreover, their brains are also weird in a way that allows them to stop and think before they act. Hence, they tend to be deep thinkers and slower decision makers. Research also shows that brain scans of sensitive individuals reveal highly active mirror neurons that regulate feelings of empathy and emotional responses.
4. Old souls
An old soul is someone who is wiser than their appearance or age. They tend to have a better understanding and appreciation of things which are mostly ignored by others. They often have a unique perspective and approach towards life. Old souls often prefer the charm of the bygone era over the rush of modern life. They have a greater sense of knowledge & inner wealth.
“On the simplest definition, old souls are people who have had many different lives. This is often regardless of if they can actively recall those previous incarnations of themselves or not,” explains author and LOA expert Katherine Hurst. She adds that old souls are often disconnected from the material realm and possess an innate level of understanding. Life coach and author Weston Jolly writes “There is a definite spirituality to old souls that is hard to ignore. Commonly, old souls tend to be very powerful but generally tend to be more quiet or introspective. There is a desire to connect within which can be misinterpreted as their being aloof or not paying attention.”
Read also: 7 Signs You Are an Old Soul