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Highly Sensitive Souls

Has anyone ever called you shy - or worse: "too sensitive"? Do you care deeply about EVERYTHING? You may be a Highly Sensitive Soul - a person of deep empathy and high intensity, with powerful intuition, awareness, and intelligence.

Research psychologist Dr. Elaine Aron, author of The Highly Sensitive Person, has studied high sensitivity extensively. Her research shows that being sensitive is a personality temperament or trait, one usually inherited. According to Dr. Aron, up to 20% of the population is Highly Sensitive.

Being Highly Sensitive comes with a number of gifts, as well as challenges. See if any of these Highly Sensitive qualities resonate with you.

1) You are deeply affected by all aspects of your life. As a Sensitive Soul, you have great emotional passion, intensity, and depth. You may have been told that your emotions are "too much." You are sensitive, caring, and easily affected by the energy and emotions of others.

2) You have heightened perceptive skills. A Sensitive Soul is intuitive, highly aware, and keenly observant of the subtleties of your environment, including energy, light, noise, smell, texture, and temperature. You may also be empathic or even psychic. Your perceptive skills operate in the physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual realms. You tie together things you see into complex and original concepts. This makes you a visionary.

3) You have a lower tolerance for stimulation than others. Because you receive so much information from your surroundings, your threshold for what's "too much" is significantly lower than for those around you. This means: a) You may be seen as shy or timid; and b) You may feel uncomfortably dissimilar to others because you respond so differently to stimulation.

4) You are highly conscientious and thorough in all your undertakings. A Sensitive Soul makes a great employee. You concentrate intensely and process multi-source information. However, you require privacy, uninterrupted time, and little or no pressure in order to do your best work.

5) You have a strong relationship with aesthetics and art. As a Highly Sensitive Soul, you have a passion for beauty, art, and aesthetics. You may be highly artistic and creative yourself. You easily create beauty and comfort. Seeing things "out of alignment" can actually be physically or psychically distressing.

6) Your inner life is just as intriguing and inspiring as your outer life. You likely have a rich, complex inner life and are highly imaginative. You may find it challenging to connect to "real world" priorities and realities.

7) You absolutely require private time alone in order to feel replenished. Up to 70% of Highly Sensitive Souls are introverted. But even extroverted sensitives need downtime to rejuvenate, often in a quiet room.

8) You have a strong spiritual connection and depth. If you are Highly Sensitive, you experience a profound spiritual connection with the divine and/or spiritual realm. You "see" a lot in what appears common. Because of this you may feel impatient with the truly mundane.

If you're sensitive, you have likely accumulated years of training in trying overcome the trait because you don't "fit in" with society. And yet being Highly Sensitive is a vital part of you. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. You are just different. Being Highly Sensitive is both a gift and a responsibility.

Sensitive Souls require regular self-care, meaningful work, and supportive relationships. Trust the power and gift of your sensitivity, and be inspired to share your much needed wisdom with the world.

© Jennifer Avery 2005

Jenna Avery, Certified Life Coach, is the Life Coach for Sensitive Souls. It is her purpose and vision to support Highly Sensitive Souls to find their power, to change the world with their wisdom, beauty, and depth, to find their voice and share their gifts with the world. Please visit Jenna at