If you’ve been practicing the Joy of Missing Out (JOMO) and you slept on the 2023 Sensitive Success Summit, an online international celebration of the HSP Trait created by Frida Kabo, you’re in good company.
I couldn’t watch and participate daily, but I did want to take the time, at my own pace, to benefit from the gems dropped in these half-hour interviews.
It was also a great place to meet fellow sensitives, too. One individual I met, Carolina Strang, inspired this blog post series.
All speakers are Highly Sensitive, and each shared their stories, along with what they’ve been learning and finding helpful.
Here are the highlights of these conversations.
Jenn Granneman – The Sensitive Boost Effect
Jenn, along with Andre Solo, is a co-creator of the Sensitive Refuge and Introvert Dear blogs and authors of the book, “Sensitive.”
Jenn believes it’s essential for Highly Sensitives to acknowledge and embrace the strengths of having the HSP Trait, a genetically inherited personality trait.
Jenn relates that HSPs have the unique advantage of taking basic supports and going further with those supports. Jenn calls this the ‘Sensitive Boost Effect,’ based on scientific studies on ‘Vantage Sensitivity.’
So things like healthy boundaries, practicing self-care, healthy relationships, creating peaceful environments, and having good routines – sensitives benefit more significantly from these things.
For more information, you can visit www.highlysensitiverefuge.com.
Dr. Andrew May – Sensitivity Research
Dr. May is a postdoctoral researcher specializing in genetics and psychology. He delves into the exploration of sensitivity and how sensitivity affects personal development.
He believes it’s crucial for there to be a label for High Sensitivity to debunk the myth that sensitives are vulnerable to adversity and that sensitivity is a weakness.
Dr. May related with an increased awareness of the HSP Trait over the years, there’s more research on Sensory Processing Sensitivity.
He relates recent sensitivity research is now evolving to focus on physiological and biological markers and refining the HSP testing scale. He stresses the importance of a positive environment for a highly sensitive.
You can find the latest research on high sensitivity at www.sensitivityresearch.com.
Alane Freund – Supporting Highly Sensitive Youth
Alane has a passion for supporting sensitive youth. She believes the term ‘youth’ can be seen as a process where we’re developing who we are, which begins in our early teens and continues into our thirties.
We can support our sensitive youth by teaching them about their brains and their Highly Sensitive nervous systems; that some people are more sensitive, are more thinking, are more noticing, are more feeling – and that’s wonderful.
Alane stresses that often, parents of Highly Sensitive Children (HSC) will need to communicate more with teachers and doctors, who may erroneously believe an HSC has ADD. Still, the issue is that they are overstimulated. Eliminating and or limiting screen time is usually a good remedy.
You can find more information at www.AlaneFreund.com.
Dr. Elena Lupo – Coping Strategies
Dr. Lupo provides valuable insights on coping strategies and teaching approaches for Highly Sensitive individuals. She’s the author of ‘Il Tesoro die Bambini sensibili: Conoscerlo, gestirlo, valorizzarlo’
Dr. Lupo hails from Italy and relates a notable challenge HSPs face is being part of mainstream culture. In most countries in the world, we feel pressured to function as non-HSPs, whereas we need to embrace creating a way to “be” that isn’t part of the mainstream.
She related it’s important for HSPs to find other support than their families, who tend to lean heavily, emotionally, on the HSPs in their families.
Dr. Lupo commented that HSPs must legitimize themselves and how they are and accept how we experience the world, which will lead to trusting in our intuition.
She also notes it’s essential we learn how to manage our emotions. Emotions guide us, but we can also learn body strategies to avoid overthinking, learn how our emotions affect our bodies, and learn activities that allow our feelings to flow.
Communication strategies are also vital, and for HSPs, it’s about communicating authentically, vocalizing their emotional needs and practicing (small steps) becoming comfortable having difficult conversations.
You can find more information at www.personealtamentesensibili.it.
Mark Tanaka – Nervous System
Mark is a teacher and coach specializing in nervous system regulation. His tips are helpful for HSPs prone to overstimulation and stress.
Mark notes most HSPs grew up in unsupportive environments and can benefit greatly from practising trauma work.
He relates that HSPs are more prone to experiencing nervous system dysregulation, so questions to ask yourself are;
- How do I experience stress (or dis-tress)?
- What are my symptoms when I’m experiencing stress?
- How do I communicate I’m experiencing stress? (e.g. shutting down, speaking faster).
He says we can use our gift of attunement (with our body) to monitor and track if our nervous system is regulated and then use tools to manage our nervous system (e.g. gentle shaking of the body, deep breathing).
Mark points out that HSPs often use their gift of ‘noticing’ details and subtleties in their external environments instead of focusing their awareness on themselves.
You can find Mark at www.marktanaka.com.
Rayne Dowell – Being A High Sensation Seeker (HSS) HSP
Co-creator of the HSP World blog, the HSP World Podcast and The HSP World Mastery Program, she provides new insights and practical strategies to embrace your sensitive nature.
Rayne notes HSS HSPs tend to get bored more easily, can be restless, more prone to experiment and can benefit from practicing moderation. When dysregulated, they can present ADD symptoms.
It’s helpful for HSS HSPs to develop healthy boundaries with themselves and others. A balanced schedule is beneficial for HSS HSPs.
Daily meditation is a helpful tool to ground and monitor your nervous system and set a healthy boundary with yourself as part of a self-care routine. It’s also a way to honour, respect, and be thankful for your HSP Trait.
She notes that having a creative outlet(s) is essential for HSS HSPs. It’s a way to experiment, explore, and express emotions, as well as a way to process information and emotions.
Rayne believes HSPs must become curious about their HSP Trait and less focused on fitting into the mainstream. Accepting your trait takes time and is also a healing journey.
You can find more information at www.HSP.World.
Manisha Tare – The Challenge of Relationships
A somatic healer for HSPs, she uses a trauma-informed approach to guide us on how to overcome past challenges, establish boundaries and communicate confidently in our relationships.
Manisa notes how traumatic events that occur early in childhood, and when emotionally unprocessed, remain in the body and manifest in physical and relationship challenges.
Somatic work benefits HSPs who tend to overthink, and somatic work allows for an equal balance of the heart and mind.
Somatic work allows the HSP to learn to feel their feelings, process their feelings, and be able to communicate their feelings.
She notes how we must limit our expectations of others (who don’t have the benefit of the positive aspects of our trait, like empathy) to meet our emotional needs and instead focus on understanding what our emotional needs are to communicate them.
Marisa further adds it’s helpful for HSPs to recognize what they can fulfill for themselves and what needs they’ll need to ask others to meet.
For more information, you can find Marisa at www.manishatare.com.
That was just Week 1! Let us know if you found any helpful gems. The next blog post will be a review of the Highlights of Week 2.