In recent times, there has been quite a lot of attention about HSP, or Highly Sensitive People. A Highly Sensitive Person is one who possesses the trait of “High Sensitivity”. Although the term was coined in the 90s by the psychologist Elaine Aron, research into its validity, scope and repercussions they have not stopped. What’s more, they have been carried out from different points of view to define it: neurology, genetics, and of course psychology. /strong>. What has been deduced from these studies is that it is an innate trait in no less than, at least, 15 and 30% of the population.

It must be clarified that, although it is commonly associated with vulnerability, weakness, fragility, victimhood, or even “women’s things,” it has nothing to do with that. Nothing is further from reality.

What do we understand by a Highly Sensitive Person?

High Sensitivity, by definition, is a trait, that is, a distinctive characteristic of a person. These types of people have a more developed neurosensory system than usual, and, therefore, are capable of processing much more information simultaneously.

It must be understood that being PAS is not any disease, disorder or pathology, and that it has advantages and disadvantages, like any other peculiarity. Likewise, a person cannot “stop being PAS”, since as we explained, it is a trait that also has an important genetic load.

Characteristics of PAS: D.O.E.S.

It is important to know and know how to manage the characteristics of High Sensitivity to ensure a good quality of life for the Highly Sensitive Person.

To consider that a person is PAS, they must have all the following characteristics, summarized in the acronym D.O.E.S.< /strong> (D for “Deep Processing”; O for “Overstimulation”; E for “Emotional Reactivity” and S for “Sensitive to Subtleties”):

  1. Deep Processing: refers to the conducting exhaustive analysis of thoughts. A Highly Sensitive Person evaluates situations globally, comparing all the information to which they can have access. Furthermore, it is not done voluntarily, and, therefore, it has no control over this action: it takes place innately. li>
  2. Overstimulation: one of the most determining characteristics of PAS is the reactivity to stimuli, which occurs in a way excessive compared to a non-HSP person. If we add this to the excess of information they receive from the environment, on many occasions the Highly Sensitive Person ends up feeling overwhelmed or exhausted.
  3. Emotional Reactivity: defined thanks to fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging), a technology from the field of neuroscience , it has been shown that PAS people record more activity than normal in the right hemisphere of the brain. In this area are emotions, feelings and creativity. A greater number of mirror neurons, with more activity, has also been observed.

    Mirror neurons are a class of neurons that are activated when executing an action or when observing the execution of that action by another individual. They allow you to understand the feelings of others and establish connections with other people. Blockquote

  4. Sensitive to Subtleties: special sensitivity to the subtleties and changes of the environment. The Highly Sensitive Person is capable of perceiving details that others overlook.

Do you want to know if you are PAS? Take the PAS Spain test from here.

Complementary characteristics of the Highly Sensitive Person

Although the D.O.E.S. are the four pillars, we can observe other common characteristics in PAS people:

  • They need more time to adapt to changes and new things.
  • They have a high sensitivity to physical and emotional pain.
  • They have difficulty tolerating very intense stimuli (lights, sounds, tastes or smells).
  • They tend to hyper-empathize and fall into the role of the “savior.”
  • They reject violence in all its forms and expressions.
  • They have a great interest in personal development.
  • They feel more comfortable in small groups.
  • They need to have significant emotional ties, with a natural presence of emotional language.
  • They tend to somatize stress, suffering long periods of anxiety.

What it is NOT to be PAS

There are other characteristics, however, with which High Sensitivity can be confused. Let’s clarify some!

  • Being a Highly Sensitive Person does not mean having high abilities.
  • HSPs do not have to suffer from autoimmune diseases.
  • An HSP can be extroverted (in fact, 30% are).
  • Highly Sensitive People are not “sighted”, nor are they required to be “spiritual”.
  • High Sensitivity is not a synonym for susceptibility, weakness, etc. Nor is it related to hypersensitivity.

What is the life of a Highly Sensitive Person like?

Even with numerous investigations and having demonstrated their theories, today there is still a great general lack of knowledge about Highly Sensitive People.

It is true that, at a certain point, being a PAS person has its advantages: life is more intense, without a doubt. However, dealing with the cons of being one may diminish that positive part.

What’s good about it?

An HSP must learn to become aware of what they are like, to positively value their abilities and, above all, to depressurize the excessive information they receive. Once we have resolved this part, we have several strong points:

  • PAS people have a great capacity for listening and empathy, which greatly facilitates the creation and maintenance of interpersonal relationships.
  • They enjoy their space of solitude and are able to recover their biological balance before undergoing another session of excitability.
  • Due to their great information management, HSPs have a deeper and more precise analysis skill. They can also develop in-depth deductive thinking.
  • A PAS will always take sides in the face of an injustice, and in the same way, will do everything in her power to be collaborative .

What is the “bad” part?

This “excessive sensitivity” also has a series of weak points, which we must learn to deal with in the best possible way.

  • Usually, by receiving a large amount of sensory stimuli throughout the day, the Highly Sensitive Person ends up becoming saturated, suffering blockages and continuous stress.< /li>
  • By deeply experiencing all emotions, they also experience the negative aspects in the same way, which can lead to sadness, helplessness, or even depression.
  • An HSP person needs brief periods of rest after continued exposure to stimuli.

NAS or Highly Sensitive Children

Since the infant stage is crucial for development from any point of view, it is important to know how to recognize the signs that a child can count on the trait of High Sensitivity. This manifests itself from the first stages of life, and seems to have a determining genetic component.

It is easy for a NAS to experience frequent stress, since they also present the D.O.E.S. and can easily become oversaturated. These are usually intelligent and creative children, with little control over their emotions, and who seem overwhelmed by new environments >. These children, despite what you may think, do not have sociability problems.

How to treat a NAS?

First of all, it is important to not place “labels”. You have to explain to your little one that they have a series of unique skills and characteristics that make them special. The best alternative to explain High Sensitivity is to refer to the “ability to feel”, reinforcing the existence of people who feel more intensely.

Next, it is important to avoid exposure to a large number of stimuli; make it easier for you to rest; Having patience and trying to understand them are the key points of raising a Highly Sensitive Child. Setting limits through rewards can help them deal with their daily lives, and teaching them how to solve problems are also considered basic tasks for parents of a child. NAS.


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