Part 2: How To Handle 5 Types of Overwhelm as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)

You’re overwhelmed. Now what?

If you aren’t familiar with the term “Highly Sensitive Person” or “HSP” it refers to about 20% of the population which possess a unique sensory processing trait which allows them to pick up more on subtleties in the environment, resulting in deeper processing and often being easily overwhelmed with stimuli. Most people exist on a spectrum of sensitivity. Learn more here

Being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) has its joys and struggles.  The joys include being able to feel beauty and joy very deeply, being in tune with the world around you and your loved ones, and having a rich inner world and imagination.  However, the struggles include being easily overwhelmed due to the amount of stimuli you take in.  What’s an HSP to do so that they can capitalize on their strengths and also manage the overwhelm?   Continue reading “Part 2: How To Handle 5 Types of Overwhelm as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)”

What Are Your Top 5? A Critical Question For Highly Sensitive People (HSPs)

As a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) or empath, your time and energy is a limited and precious resource you have to spend wisely.  This seems obvious, right? Yet, we live in a society that fosters the opposite idea.  We hear the silent chant – do more, be more, never stop – leading us to believe we can do everything if we just “try hard enough” or have “better time management.”

As a Highly Sensitive Person or empath, this message is especially troublesome.  You have to be even more mindful about where your time and energy goes due to your ability to get overwhelmed easily and absorb the sensations (i.e. emotions, energy, etc) around you.  You have much to contribute and give to this world, but if you are not clear about where your greatest gifts lie, or your point of highest contribution, you will spend your days feeling both overwhelmed and dissatisfied with life.   Continue reading “What Are Your Top 5? A Critical Question For Highly Sensitive People (HSPs)”

Self-Help Book Review: The Empath’s Survival Guide by Dr. Judith Orloff

“Empaths must become warriors of light. Don’t let the dark scare you.” – Judith Orloff, MD

Editor’s note: No compensation was received for this review.  It comes purely from a desire to help HSPs wade through the literature about their trait.  And, let’s be honest, to justify reading more self-help books.

As you know from my previous book review, I am a self-help book junkie.  I love reading about psychology, personal development, and social issues. Given I work primarily with Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) and empaths in my private practice, it made sense to tackle a review of this book and see if it was worth a read for HSPs and empaths. Continue reading “Self-Help Book Review: The Empath’s Survival Guide by Dr. Judith Orloff”

5 Types of Overwhelm You May Experience as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)

If you aren’t familiar with the term “Highly Sensitive Person” or “HSP” it refers to about 20% of the population which possess a unique sensory processing trait which allows them to pick up more on subtleties in the environment, resulting in deeper processing and often being easily overwhelmed with stimuli. Most people exist on a spectrum of sensitivity. Learn more here

Whether you have recently discovered you are a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), or you have known it for years, chances are that managing overwhelming situations is a key component of your wellness and–let’s face it–your survival as a sensitive person.

You get overwhelmed and overstimulated more easily than others.  It’s just a fact about your nervous system.  Planning for, setting boundaries around, or responding to overwhelming situations may be a focal part of your life.  If you are a sensation-seeking HSP, life is often about balancing your desire for exciting or novel experiences, but not letting them completely wreck your delicate nerves. Continue reading “5 Types of Overwhelm You May Experience as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)”

Have A Better Winter: Therapy Group for Highly Sensitive People (HSPs)

Are you ready to dive deep?

HSP Therapy Group

How do you handle winter?

Winter can be especially hard for highly sensitive people (HSPs).  It’s colder, darker, and the holidays and associated travel can add stress, no matter how well you get along with your family. Continue reading “Have A Better Winter: Therapy Group for Highly Sensitive People (HSPs)”

Finding and Refining Your Values: Taking Recovery to the Next Level

This is a guest post by Olivia Knieff, sharing her real-life experience navigating recovery from an eating disorder.


Do you know what in life is important to you?  The things that initially come to mind probably include family and friends, pets (or in my case, furbabies), maybe even a prized possession or social cause.  But why are those things important?  Are they meeting a need that lines up with your values?  Maybe you value justice, and volunteer with a group that promotes equality in your community.  Perhaps taking risks is important to you, so you continually push the bounds of your comfort zone.  Our values serve us by acting as a compass for our behavior. It is important to know what our core values are in order live the lives we want. Continue reading “Finding and Refining Your Values: Taking Recovery to the Next Level”

So You Have an Eating Disorder, Now What? A Practical Guide to Finding an ED-Savvy Dietician

This is a guest post by Olivia Knieff, sharing her real-life experience navigating recovery from an eating disorder.  

When I was diagnosed with an eating disorder in the spring of 2014, my medical practitioner gave me two recommendations:

  1. Find a psychologist who specializes in eating disorder treatment.
  2. Find a dietician who specializes in intuitive eating.  (If you’re thinking, “intuitive what?!” you can find more information here).  

My head was spinning, but I kept these suggestions in mind and began my search with the help of my dear friend, Google.

Starting the Search

Finding a psychologist whose areas of expertise fit my needs was relatively easy because of reputable sites like Psychology Today.  However, I quickly got lost in a sea of self-proclaimed “health coaches” and “wellness experts” when I searched for a dietician. From the work I’d already begun doing with my psychologist, I was learning that “diet mentality” (those big promises of a better life with just a few less pounds and inches) was something I needed to avoid in order to progress in recovery. Continue reading “So You Have an Eating Disorder, Now What? A Practical Guide to Finding an ED-Savvy Dietician”