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Trauma Healing for Highly Sensitive People

Mental health professionals consider one in five individuals to be “highly sensitive people” or HSPs. These individuals generally feel emotions more deeply than most. For those who have experienced trauma, being an HSP can be even more challenging. Finding tools and methods that work best for you will greatly help your healing journey.

Highly Sensitive People: What It Means to Be an HSP

To understand what it means to be an HSP, it’s first important to look at a concept called sensory processing sensitivity (SPS). This concept was developed by Aron and Aron in 1997 as a way to gauge how people are affected by external stimuli. According to a 2014 study in Brain and Behavior, SPS was “originally measured in human adults by the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) scale.” High-SPS individuals, or HSPs, are associated with greater sensitivity to environmental and social stimuli. They typically feel both negative and positive emotions more powerfully than others.

Highly Sensitive People: Characteristics

A different study in Brain and Behavior published in 2022 says that about 15 to 20% of the population “could be regarded as highly sensitive.” The study also mentions that HSPs are “more likely to perceive negative affectivity, stress and burnout, and symptoms of illness” than the average individual. Serious health problems can even arise in HSPs due to chronic stress.

Benefits of Being an HSP

Even though it has its downfalls, being an HSP is certainly not a negative trait. In fact, HSPs are able to fully experience life through the whole range of human emotions. HSPs have greater awareness and responsiveness to the moods of other people. This makes them excellent candidates for professions where they can help others. They also experience the world around them in a much more profound way. HSPs can find deeper meaning in pieces of art or literature and even everyday conversation.

Highly Sensitive People and Trauma

Since HSPs often feel negative stimuli more than most people, it may be difficult to navigate complex experiences like trauma. It’s important to note that being an HSP is considered a personality trait and not a clinical condition.

A 2023 study in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience says that highly sensitive people may be more vulnerable to “social exclusion and social pain.” Feeling excluded, being bullied, or having other social issues in childhood can also lead an HSP to have low self-esteem. Getting yelled at a lot, punished as a child, or witnessing your parents argue can also be extremely frightening for HSP. Events like this can lead to the same issues as any other trauma, including addiction and poor mental health.

Healing Trauma for an HSP

As an HSP, it’s important to be extra gentle with yourself as you navigate the complexities of healing trauma. In order to avoid re-traumatization, you should seek out professional guidance or a trauma-specific program like the one at The Guest House. Feeling more emotions more than most doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. Bringing awareness to this fact is the first step in healing.

Feel All Your Feelings

Unfortunately, many people aren’t taught how to properly express their feelings as children. In fact, we’re often taught that having “negative” feelings like sadness or anger means we’re doing something wrong. As a result, many people will try to mask or hide their negative emotions, which only does more damage in the long run.

As you begin healing trauma, gently open yourself up to the idea that it’s safe to feel however you’re feeling. You may even want to keep a journal and write down your emotions as they come up. This can help you learn how to observe your feelings without judgment. It will also allow you to regain a sense of control.

Meditation and Mindfulness

Another excellent way to feel through all your feelings is by practicing mindfulness and meditation. Many people think meditation means you “shut off” your mind completely. In actuality, meditation is a practice that allows you to become the observer of your thoughts and emotions. This will help you learn how to gently release your emotions instead of letting them run the show.

Meditation is considered a practice of mindfulness. This means you’re fully aware and observing the present moment as it unfolds. A consistent mindfulness practice can have profound effects. It can help you handle feelings of stress or anxiety and become more connected to your mind, body, and soul.

Healing the Body

Trauma doesn’t only impact the mind. In fact, the effects of trauma can live in the body well after the event has passed. As an HSP, it’s important to explore body-focused healing methods as well. Therapies like somatic healing are excellent for healing trauma on the body level. This practice was developed after witnessing how animals in the wild do not exhibit the long-lasting effects of trauma as humans do. These animals will move and shake their bodies in order to release trauma. Somatic therapy works in a similar way. Through gentle body movements, you can begin releasing pent-up energy along with low vibrational feelings like stress and anxiety.

Healing for Highly Sensitive People at The Guest House

When exploring options to heal trauma as an HSP, it’s important to have a trauma-specific professional’s guidance and support. You’ll find these professionals at The Guest House, along with a cutting-edge blend of holistic and traditional therapies. We are here to help you heal on a physical, mental, and spiritual level.

At The Guest House, you’ll find innovative therapies like somatic healing, core energetics, meditation, and many more. Our comprehensive approach to healing will allow you to create your own toolkit that takes your unique experiences as an HSP into account.

Living as an HSP may feel difficult at the moment. But with a little help from The Guest House, you’ll find that being an HSP is actually a beautiful gift.

Since highly sensitive people (HSP) experience emotions more than most, it can be difficult to navigate the journey of healing trauma. At The Guest House, you will find a cutting-edge blend of therapies rooted in trauma healing and care. Our trauma-specific program is here to help you navigate your journey as an HSP. We offer a wide variety of traditional therapies along with holistic modalities that will enable you to heal on a physical, mental, and spiritual level. The Guest House’s wide range of therapies includes innovative modalities like somatic therapy, core energetics, and more. Here, you can explore the therapies that work best for your unique circumstances, helping you find long-term success. Call us at (855) 483-7800.