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Burpengary Psychologists

We are all unique in our sensitivity to the external world and to our internal world. For many highly sensitive people (HSPs), the world can seem overwhelming, as if they are bombarded by too many sounds, sights and colours, smells, strong tastes and strong foods, lots of movement, lights and lots of activity around you. Physically you might be aware that you are very sensitive to changes in temperature, perhaps you hate the cold, scratchy clothes, rough textures, hard surfaces; perhaps being in crowded noisy places is unsettling and draining. Emotionally you might feel buffeted by other’s emotions or your own, and spiritually you might feel you lose access to your own sense of yourself when others are overbearing or critical.

Are you a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)?
Have you often been told you were too sensitive, too weak, too scared, that nothing’s wrong, you must be wrong and similar dismissive statements, starting from when you were a child and continuing to this day?  Well, it could be that it is just that you are a highly sensitive person (HSP), about 20% of people are. There are now many books and websites about HSPs which can help you identify if you have these characteristics and can give you useful information. A pioneer with HSP is Elaine Aron, her website is  http://www.hsperson.com/ with much valuable information and many links and resources. You can take her self-test http://www.hsperson.com/pages/test.htm . She has written information-filled books about HSPs. Perhaps after learning more, you will start to value your sensitivities for the gifts and skills that they give you. There is a website for Australia and New Zealand http://www.hspnetwork.com.au/.

There are other possible explanations for having acute sensitivity to many of the triggers mentioned above, including anxiety, unresolved abuse or trauma, thought disorders, physical illnesses, etc. So it would be wise to do the checklists and read the websites or books and see if you identify yourself as an HSP. 

HSPs and Emotions
The most precious gift that HSP’s have is their finely tuned ability to be aware of both their own emotions and other people’s emotions. HSPs are good listeners who are empathic and often find people confide in them. The difficulty comes if you are having difficulty with experiencing, expressing or managing your own emotions, or you have unresolved trauma or emotional problems or perhaps have tried hard to disconnect yourself from experiencing them. See my page on Emotions for more information.

Being able to sense both your own and other’s emotions gives you valuable insight into what might be best to do or say. It can help you protect yourself from people who might be harmful physically, verbally or emotionally. It can help you be clear about what is important to you and help you make life decisions so that you can live in a way that is true to you.

HSPs and Food Intolerances
The physical sensitivity can show up with intolerance to foods and chemicals that we come into contact with by breathing, eating, drinking, or on our skin. If you do have this sensitivity you might experience a range of side-effects from headaches, irritation, digestive upsets, and fatigue but remembering that these symptoms can come from many other health problems so be sure to have medical practitioners check out your concerns.

However, if you have already tried many practitioners and other health options over the years, this might be a helpful option to investigate. I had tried many things to stop headaches, joint inflammation, upset digestion and IBS and am so very relieved to have found my answers. I researched many approaches to diet and health and tried them out to see the results. Now I eat whole foods, vegetables, fruit, nuts, lentils, chicken and fish; no pre-prepared foods or sauces or take-aways. I know that seems like a lot to give up but for me, a stable digestive system and no headaches or inflammation is worth it. I still make food errors occasionally and sometimes I need to eat what is available when I am out. I use non-toxic, sometimes labelled “sensitive”, products for household chemicals.

There are many ways to get tested, including going on food elimination diets and testing for intolerances. This needs to be done with care and with a practitioner skilled in this area. I found the fastest and most accurate way was to see a skilled kinesiologist who tested me for food intolerances and internal problems– I tested almost every food and spice! Another syndrome that causes many similar problems, is systemic candida which is an overgrowth of yeast in the digestion and other body systems. For information you can see Erica White’s website http://www.nutritionhelp.com/ or any of the large number of candida websites and books. Not all doctors agree that there is such a diagnosis.

Eating foods or loading your body with chemicals or environments that your body is intolerant to can cause many psychological symptoms, including symptoms of anxiety and depression and other psychological difficulties. That is why I have added this information to my website. Our emotions, thoughts and physical being are closely integrated, difficulties in one area can affect other areas.

I prepared a list of permitted foods for myself as I worked out my food intolerances. It is very comprehensive and IT IS ONLY SUITABLE FOR ME. Everyone is different, it is important that you eat as many foods as you can to get all the necessary nutrients. I have to take extras in supplements. So I have included it here as an example, or if you want to use it as your starting template. There are three columns: my OK foods, the foods I have not tested yet, and the ones that are not OK for me.

Download Permitted Foods and Cooking Methods List

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