How To Turn Being “Highly Sensitive” Into Your Greatest Superpower

The world is full of endless stimuli. We’re bombarded on a daily basis with so much information that it’s only natural to become overwhelmed as a result. This is especially true for highly sensitive people, or HSPs. However, the quality that many people perceive as a weakness can actually turn out to be your superpower. It brings with it a depth of emotion as well as a unique and special perspective on the world. Instead of seeing it as a setback, it’s time to embrace and harness this quality so you can use it to improve your life. Here are some suggestions for turning your highly sensitive personality into your greatest strength.

  1. Embrace your empathy rather than seeing it as a flaw. While you might worry that being able to put yourself in others’ shoes is a liability rather than a gift, that’s not the case. Highly sensitive people have an incredible ability to empathize and feel for others, which makes them incredible friends, partners, and caregivers. You innately understand people and where they’re coming from, and that’s amazing.
  2. Use your sensitivity to channel your creativity. Some of the most amazing artists in every medium are also highly sensitive people. Use your ability to feel so deeply to express yourself in a creative way. Try out visual art, writing, music, or any other creative outlet, and put all those intense feelings you have to good use. You never know what might result from it.
  3. Build a mindfulness practice that works for you. Engage in mindfulness practices like meditation and deep breathing. These tools can help manage overwhelming feelings, ground you in the present moment, and sharpen your intuition. While being a highly sensitive person is a good thing, it’s also important to take time for self-reflection and adjustment where necessary if you notice yourself getting out of balance.
  4. Set boundaries to protect your energy. While empathy is a gift, it can also be draining. That means you have to set boundaries to ensure your mental, emotional, and physical health are protected. What boundaries are necessary depends on the person and the circumstances, so take time to figure out where you need to draw the line in your personal and professional lives to feel your best.
  5. Trust your intuition. In addition to being able to read others, highly sensitive people also have an amazing gut instinct. You simply know yourself so well that your intuition tells you exactly what’s right for you. The best way to turn your sensitivity into your superpower is by trusting this instinct above all else. It will serve you well.
  6. Prioritize self-care. Self-care is important for everyone, but for highly sensitive people, it’s paramount. Regular breaks, quiet time, and nature walks can help you recharge and avoid sensory overload. Do the things that make you feel calm, balanced, and whole. Take the time to practice these habits regularly to keep yourself in a good place.
  7. Seek out other highly sensitive people. Surrounding yourself with others who are highly sensitive can be a huge comfort and inspiration. It’s really important to be able to have others to relate to when your sensitivity feels overwhelming and you’re not sure how to cope. Building a strong community of like-minded people will make you feel strong and capable.
  8. Share your experiences with others. By openly discussing your sensitivity, you help dispel misconceptions and foster understanding. This can lead to more empathetic relationships and environments. Not everyone is going to understand what it means to be a highly sensitive person. However, by sharing where you’re coming from and what you’re going through, you open others up to learning what it’s like to be you.
  9. Use your sensitivity to forge a new career path. Careers in counseling, art, writing, or even research can be particularly fulfilling for HSPs. If you’ve ever wanted to work in one of those areas, you’re in luck. Your ability to connect with others easily and your instincts for anticipating other people’s needs and feelings will serve you well in a variety of career fields.
  10. Embrace the bigger picture. Recognize that sensitivity brings a unique lens to view the world – one filled with depth, richness, and nuance. While you might feel like things are that much harder for you than they are for those who aren’t highly sensitive, try to reframe this viewpoint to instead appreciate the special and rare gift you’ve been given.
Gail is Bolde's social media and partnership manager, as well as an all-around behind-the-scenes renaissance woman. She worked for more than 25 years in her city's local government before making the switch to women's lifestyle and relationship sites, initially at HelloGiggles before making the switch to Bolde.