Spring flowers, 2016
My education in myself continues. I am reading two very interesting books about introversion and high sensitivity.
Introvert Power is an excellent book if you’re an introvert, as studies have shown almost half of us are. It discusses the ways that introverts are viewed with negativity in our society and why this is wrong. I really like the chapter on retreating, and how to take time from your stressful, busy life. It has inspired me to take my own mini-retreat to work on my art this coming week. I hope to chronicle the outcome here.
Of particular interest to me is a book I found when I visited Toronto at New Year’s. Highly Sensitive People in an Insensitive World has given me so much insight into myself. I wish I had read it years ago. I always knew I was a highly sensitive person, but I never really understood what that meant for me. Suddenly I am seeing my life in a whole new way. The pieces are falling into place and I make so much more sense now. If you are an HSP, you have a rich inner life filled with daydreams. You are also much more prone to depression, anxiety and mental health issues. This was a huge lightbulb moment for me in terms of viewing what happened to me last year.
Thinking back on so much of my life, being highly sensitive explains my personality and experiences perfectly. We take in more of the world, which is why our memories and dreams are so much clearer and vivid than others’. We get overstimulated easily by things that other people wouldn’t notice. It actually causes our stress hormones to skyrocket, making us upset and angry. This explains why a sudden, loud noise makes me cranky, why when I was little uncomfortable socks would make me cry, why music I don’t like being played in public spaces makes me moody. This book goes a long way in explaining why we feel the way we do, and how it’s actually perfectly normal given how our nervous systems are built. More than just giving insight, it also offers some good suggestions for how to cope. Not surprisingly, expressing yourself artistically is high at the top of the list. HSPs are particularly artistic, given how quiet, thoughtful and observant we are.
Reading these books helps me to not be quite so frustrated with myself, which leads to depression. It helps me see that I am who I am, and I need to take care of myself to flourish.