A Highly Sensitive nervous system is like a Maserati.
About 15-20% of the population are born with a genetic personality trait called the HSP Trait (Highly Sensitive Person), also known as Sensory Processing Sensitivity.
Which means they notice much more external stimuli than a non-HSP.
So when a Highly Sensitive Person enters a room, within the first few minutes, they’ll notice things like;
- Objects in the room,
- The overall energy of the people in the room,
- Individual energy and mood,
- As well as small details like how objects are placed in the room, how many objects there are, what colour they are, if there are any particular smells in the room, the lighting in the room, etc.
In contrast, a non-HSP notices much less. This isn’t their fault. They just aren’t built to notice these things.
They don’t have a highly sensitive nervous system.
But this means a Highly Sensitive person deals with much more information than a non-HSP.
Why A Highly Sensitive Nervous System is Like A Maserati
Figuring out what to do with this information has much to do with why many HSPs can struggle with overthinking, anxiety, and depression.
And to explain, we’ll compare a Highly Sensitive nervous system, or a person with the HSP Trait, to a Mazaradi.
We’ll compare a non-HSP to a Chevy truck.
Now, there are circumstances where a Chevy truck is a great vehicle, it can haul a heavy load and go four-by-fouring, but it can’t go as fast as a Maserati, nor does it handle as well.
A Maserati can’t go four-by-fouring, and it can’t haul a heavy load, but it goes very fast and handles exceptionally well.
An HSP may need to understand they own a Maserati, metaphorically speaking.
Their Maserati is built-in. It’s their nervous system.
And like any fine machine, it requires specific attention.
Meditation is one of the best tools to ensure your Maserati runs optimally.
Benefits of Meditation
Much like a tune-up, meditation allows an HSP to “re-set” their nervous system as well as;
- Lowers stress,
- Reduces anxiety,
- Enhances mental health,
- Improves self-awareness,
- Increases concentration and attention span,
- Generates empathy and kindness,
- Improves sleep hygiene,
- Lowers blood pressure,
- Strengthens immune system health,
- Improves memory,
- Regulates mood,
- Promotes longevity,
- Increases self-awareness,
- Helps with addiction management,
- Increases creative thinking,
- Allows the opportunity to check in on the body (notice if they are holding stress anywhere like the shoulders or neck),
- Encourages deep, calm breaths, which provide more oxygen to the brain and body and lead to an overall relaxed state.
- Encourages allowing thoughts and feelings to flow, not attaching to negative or positive ones.
- Helps with decision-making, so what information can be discarded and what information to store (thereby reducing and eventually removing the unhelpful habit of overthinking),
- And allows an HSP to “re-set” their nervous system if they experience vivid dream/dreams during sleep.
This is why an HSP needs to create a daily habit of practicing meditation at the beginning of their day.
It’s a way of re-setting their nervous system.
It’s a “tune-up,” so they have an optimum running state to compare to throughout their day.
You would expect a vehicle to work well consistently if it has a regular tune-up schedule.
The same goes for a Highly Sensitive Person.
When an HSP develops a daily habit of meditation, they’ll begin to quickly notice if and when they’re feeling out of balance, compared to the state they were in during meditation at the beginning of their day, and they can then focus on bringing themselves back into a state of calm.
This is also why meditation is the first daily habit introduced in Level 1 of the HSP World Mastery Program (a free, no sign-up, 12-week program designed specifically for HSPs).
Types of Meditations
There are different types of meditations; some of them are;
- And movement.
An HSP who doesn’t have sound sensitivity may find meditation with music distracting and irritating and, in this case, will benefit more from a silent meditation.
For others, especially those new to meditating, guided meditations are beneficial.
A walking meditation is a practice that can be easily incorporated into your day and is fun to experiment with, especially when combined with a walk in nature.
Movement meditations can be a series of long stretches and yoga practices.
It’s important to note that meditation encourages deep, even breathing while meditating.
It’s a fun exercise to experiment with each of these types of meditation.
For Highly Sensitives with a Sound Sensitivity
Many HSPs have a sound sensitivity and are drawn to creating and/or playing music.
Most HSPs enjoy listening to music.
In Level 1 of the HSP World Mastery Program, Sensory Input Worksheets are provided to help Highly Sensitives determine their particular sensitivities.
For those with sound sensitivity, there’s an added benefit of having the HSP Trait.
Some sounds are beneficial.
Combining music with meditation can deepen the positive effects of both the reflection and the music and provide even greater stress relief.
As an added bonus, for many beginners to meditation, music meditation can feel more straightforward and more instantly relaxing than other forms of practice.
It’s helpful to listen to this music when meditating, resting, reading, napping, cooking, or creating art.
Studies have shown that negative stimuli affect an HSP to a higher degree than a non-HSP, but HSPs also benefit more from positive stimuli than non-HSPs.
It’s easy to conclude that developing a daily meditation practice, or habit, is one habit a Highly Sensitive Person can cultivate to enhance their quality of life.
Have you experimented with a daily meditation practice?