Highly Sensitive People Who Are Also High Sensation Seekers

Highly sensitive beings suffer more but they also love harder, dream wider, and experience deeper horizons and bliss. When you’re sensitive, you’re alive in every sense of the word in this wildly beautiful world. Sensitivity is your strength. Keep soaking in the light, and spreading it to others.

Victoria Erickson

A Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) is someone whose nervous system is very fine-tuned and easily overstimulated. When you have an averagely sensitive person and an HSP being stimulated with the exact same stimulus, you often find through a brain fMRI that the brain of the HSP lights up much more and in a greater variety of areas than the brain of the averagely sensitive person. That’s why the HSP usually needs more time to recover or recharge at the end of the day. They spend a great amount of energy navigating through simple daily events (e.g. meetings, busy places) and when relating to others.

The subjective experience of an HSP becomes a bit more complex when he or she is a high sensation seeker. Not all HSPs have this characteristic but it can occur, even among introvert HSPs. High sensation seekers are often driven by a sense of thrill and adventure. They look out for new experiences and they may get bored easily. They are also not afraid of going against societal norms. I personally am an introvert highly sensitive person who is also a high sensation seeker. I must say it’s difficult to find a balance as living with such inner complexity can be pretty overwhelming.

For instance, I love engaging with people but I can’t do it for long periods of time in a social context. I sometimes can get bored with repetitive talk or if we only talk about the weather and what the next-door neighbor did yesterday. If I do the same tasks every single day, over and over again, I’m likely to start to malfunction at some point. That’s why I have a very unique approach to managing my time and day. You won’t find me doing the exact same tasks every day, at the same hour and minute, unless it is something very important I have to prepare for. I like to work with blocks of time and types of tasks. Learning this about myself has helped me a lot.

To counteract this huge need for creativity, variety, and change, as an HSP I sometimes need to make an extra effort to simply slow down and rest. This is usually referred to as one foot on the gas, one foot on the brake. If you mess it up, your car will burn out. It takes mastery, but as HSPs we must set the intention to protect ourselves from unhealthy behavioral patterns. Because we can have a hard time managing this dual-energy, we often find ourselves overwhelmed. We get burned out, and we might look for quick restorative fixes such as drugs and food. In my case, I indulge in food to seek relief from over-stimulation. Quick fixes, however, never do the job right. They make everything worse.

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Concluding Thoughts

If you are a Highly Sensitive Person and you often find yourself with one foot on the gas, and another on the brake, make sure you find the right balance for you between engaging in stimulating activities and resting. Also, incorporate as many sources of positivity as possible into your daily life as it helps to buffer stress and overwhelm. Take it as an act of self-care and make it a priority. These are healthier ways of getting and recovering from that thrill you seek without harming yourself.

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