Highly Sensitive Person Traits and Physical Reactions

    As an HSP, your body and your body awareness are more finely tuned than most others. You might have physical reactions and discomforts that nonsensitives don’t experience or don’t feel so intensely. I’ve noticed this phenomenon in myself in many situations. 
One too many cups of coffee in the morning can shift my mood from high-energy and upbeat to anxious and agitated. Over the years, I’ve learned to combine decaf and caffeinated coffee and to drink no more than two cups in the morning with food.
 I’m also highly aware of changes or pains in my body and tend to respond more acutely to specific medications. I’ve had doctors suggest I was overreacting to pain during certain procedures that I found excruciating. 
The combination of the pain and the shame of experiencing so much pain made these experiences even more difficult, something you eventually try to avoid altogether.
 “Naturally unbearable pain leads to a fear of experiencing anything like it ever again, and that creates a complex about it,” says Dr. Aron on her blog. “The complex can make us overly afraid of injury, medical procedures, a long illness, or the experience of dying.” On the positive side, I have a profoundly favorable reaction to physical affection and massage. It’s as though my skin craves touch, and physical touch immediately relaxes me. 
   I also find I’m noticeably calmer and more physically relaxed when I’m in nature, particularly walking in the mountains or on the beach. I can be around people who instantly put me at ease, and others who immediately make me feel anxious and stressed. As a highly sensitive person, you might notice some of these same physical reactions and traits in yourself:
  •  Being more aware than others of physical changes and symptoms
  •  Having highly refined sensory details 
  •  Experiencing skin rashes, redness, and reactions to chemicals 
  •  Having acute sensitivity to touch 
  •  Having strong negative reactions to loud or repetitive noises 
  •  Feeling distracted or disturbed by sounds that others don’t notice, like a ticking clock or people talking in the background 
  • Noticing subtle details around you and being able to find lost things more readily than others 
  • Being highly sensitive to strong light, or preferring natural light to artificial 
  •   Feeling overwhelmed by unpleasant smells and perfumes and needing fresh air 
  •  Having a sophisticated, subtle palette or having strong distaste for certain foods
  •   Experiencing more acute reactions to pain and pleasure than others 
  •  Experiencing more acute reactions to medications
  •  Strongly affected by stimulants, such as caffeine and sugar, and by depressants, such as alcohol
  •  Physically agitated by intense environments, such as malls, concerts, or airports
  •  Experiencing chemical sensitivity to food additives, dyes, perfumes, and household products 
  •  Having keen fine motor skills
  •  Experiencing a weaker immune system, often due to the stress of overstimulation
  •  Needing more sleep than other people
  •  Having greater reaction to or awareness of changes in the natural environment, such as a shift in barometric pressure or the onset of seasonal changes
  • Having physical reactions to emotional turmoil or stress around you, such as feeling ill when someone is angry around you As HSPs, we have nervous systems that tune in to subtle experiences and react to them more dramatically, either positively or negatively. 
        Our keen awareness of our bodies and the reactions our bodies have to certain stimuli make it necessary for us to be more mindful of how we treat ourselves. It’s important for everyone to eat healthy pure food, to drink lots of water, and to exercise.
    It’s even more essential for highly sensitive people in order to maintain physical and emotional equilibrium. We need to use our keen awareness to understand what our bodies are telling us and how we can alter our lifestyle choices in order to allow our bodies to function optimally. Think about how your own body reacts to experiences, people, environments, food, drink, medications, sounds, smells, chemicals, stress, lack of sleep, and pain.
     Begin with the most debilitating physical reaction you experience, something that disrupts your life or makes you extremely uncomfortable, and take action to address it. 
    This might mean going to your doctor, eliminating or cutting back on certain foods, going to bed earlier, or avoiding certain places or people. There is nothing wrong with you because you have physical reactions and needs that others don’t. Be kind to yourself, and pay attention to what your body is telling you so you can enjoy your gifts without the distractions of physical discomfort.

You might like:

The Highly Sensitive Person Test
What Is a Highly Sensitive Person?  

Highly Sensitive Person