Blog Post Today I came upon a couple of very helpful articles on PsychCentral that shed light on what it means to be a highly sensitive person. Zoe Kessler’s article, “ADHD and the Highly Sensitive Person,” focuses on the connection between ADHD and high sensitivity, concluding that there is a high degree of overlap between the two, i.e., many folks with ADHD are also highly sensitive.
(If you’re interested in learning more about HSPs, you may want to read Elaine Aron’s excellent book The Highly Sensitive Person.)
The article that started me down this road today was another article from PsychCentral. It doesn’t mention ADHD, but if you are an HSP I think you’ll find this article very interesting. What it offers is a somewhat counter-intuitive option for folks the author calls “emotionally sensitive people.” (I’m choosing to assume that ESPs are similar to, if not identical with HSPs.) This article is called “Acting Opposite to Your Emotion” and it’s by Karyn Hall, PhD.
Very briefly, Hall suggests that acting consistently with an emotion such as sadness or fear (for example, not answering the phone if you wake up and don’t want to talk with people), results in a strengthening of the emotion, something most of us probably don’t want. She suggests that acting the opposite of the emotion (such as going to the grocery store when you really want to stay in bed) lessens the power of the emotion and results in your feeling better. She does clarify that for this to be effective, you have to do more than go through the motions. You need to actually be fully, mindfully present in the grocery store or in the telephone conversation, gently letting go of any upsetting thoughts that may crop up and returning your focus to what you have chosen to do.
I recommend checking out Hall’s article, if the HSP shoe seems to fit you. Post a comment with your thoughts![Since I’m doing well with my ADHD Awareness Month challenge to myself to post a blog, walk two miles, and practice yoga every day, I think I’ll stop reporting on that unless I miss a day. No news is good news!)