Overthinking and being a Highly Sensitive Person seems synonymous, doesn’t it? Thinking deeply about things is not always bad, but when a Highly Sensitive Person keeps on overthinking about every minute thing, then it’s a sign that they need to put a stop to it.
As a Highly Sensitive Person, we know that our depth of processing is more advanced than that of other people. What this means is we think deeply. We process a multitude of stimuli around us like sounds, smells, colors, and the energies of other people. The ability to absorb things and examine them deeply could result in worry, stress, and overthinking.
Since thinking deeply does not equal overthinking it is a stepping stone towards it if you are not aware of your own power.
Most HSPs tend to have a high level of empathy. They tend to worry about others and go on the verge of having people-pleasing tendencies. HSPs are also inclined to be perfectionists. We never want to make “bad” decisions. We also tend to overthink which decision to make in fear of making a wrong one.
One of the hardest things as a Highly Sensitive Person is that we were often not understood growing up. We had no one to tell us that what we were feeling and experiencing inside was normal. We had no one to tell us that we were highly sensitive. Instead of feeling connected and equal we often felt different and that something was wrong with us.
How The HSP Brain Works
Understanding how the brain of an HSP works is essential to understand why you tend to overthink. It will also begin to put the puzzle together on why you are inclined to have anxiety.
The Limbic System is the major part of the brain which controls your emotions, memory, and stimulation. Within the limbic system, there are many subparts: thalamus, cerebrum, hypothalamus, and amygdala.
The Thalamus takes in information from our senses like smell, sight, and relays that information to the cerebrum. The Cerebrum will then think about the information that is coming in and tell your body what to do.
For example, if you smelt smoke and saw a fire that information would come from the thalamus and it would talk to the cerebrum. The cerebrum would then talk to the Amygdala which would give your body the fight or flight response, but it is the cerebrum that would tell your body to run.
The Hypothalamus is another component in the limbic system and it sends messengers throughout your body called hormones. The primary job of this part of your brain is to create a hormonal balance inside your body. This part maintains sleep cycles, heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, energy levels, appetite, etc.
The last element of the limbic system is the Amygdala. The amygdala is responsible for the processing of our emotions such as anger, fear, sadness, happiness, aggression, etc. The amygdala collects your emotions and links them to an event. It then stores a memory of that event in your brain based on the emotions you had during that event. Here is where your trauma lives. Your sex drive also lives in the amygdala.
These parts of your brain are simply described as the emotional side of your brain. You also have a logical or cognitive side. With an HSP we activate the limbic or emotional side more than the logical side. Since our bodies are wired to have more sensitive nervous systems and we have an overactive amygdala this will always create a fight or flight response in our nervous system.