highly sensitive fox
A Highly Sensitive Fox?

Photo Credit: Alex Andrews

Many Names

In my research and in-depth focus on high sensitivity, I’m beginning to see that highly sensitive physiology underpins many different experiences of life. Some of these are HSP, empaths, introverts, and gifted. I’m sure there are more.

Perhaps it’s fair to say that most people with high sensitivity have access to various kinds of inner strengths that are powerful, yet not outwardly apparent, or well recognized by the general culture. In many cases, through a lack of reflection and guidance, the experience of high sensitivity may end up being confusing and even painful for the person born this way. Perhaps this is by design at a spiritual level. I do not know.

However, In looking at search terms related to high sensitivity, there are a concerning number of searches for “highly sensitive person symptoms” (880/month), “how do I stop being an HSP?” (140/month).

Nature’s Design

My own path with high sensitivity has led me to deeply understand what it is, that it’s not a mistake, and that nature has selected for high sensitivity over great expanses of time and in multiple species.

In the same way that nature’s methodology for birthing has been interrupted by modern medicine (see Magical Child in the library), so too has the social/group function of highly sensitive physiology. The topic of what highly sensitive physiology is, and what it’s for, needs awareness, correction, and reframing at the societal level. My personal belief is that children born this way could benefit from an entire educational structure designed specifically for them (or at least augmented), and that young adults with high sensitivity require a process of individuation into adulthood that is significantly different from the rest of the population.

Regarding the term, “highly sensitive person” I’ve been thinking intently about this for many months now, and I’ve concluded that the term is somewhat confusing and problematic.


To put it in a nuthsell, many people associate the term “sensitive” with what happens to people with this physiology when they become overwhelmed. If the overwhelm is chronic, it can lead to a downward spiral of neurotransmitter insufficiency and a body, mind, and emotional system that is significantly overtaxed. Furthermore, this situation can then mistakenly be taken for a person’s “personality” resulting in a terrible loneliness. If not cared for, the person can end up believing that they are somehow broken. They may end up searching the internet for “hsp symptoms” and “how do I stop being an HSP?”

“Highly Sensitive Physiology”

After much consideration and some usage, I’m finding that the term “highly sensitive physiology” is a clearer one. It sidesteps the negative connotations that have come to be associated with the word “sensitive.” It makes the clear distinction that this is a certain kind of evolutionary wiring that a portion of the population has. This wiring is by nature’s design, and not merely an artifact of one’s personality.

Additionally, understanding the physiology of high sensitivity provides a grounded approach to achieving health, healing and vibrant living for people that have it.

Change Ahead

On the subject of high sensitivity, there is a reframing process becoming available, both for individuals, and for society. To this end, I’ve made the decision to setup a new site called highlysensitivephysiology.org, where I can work on the research and reframing aspects of the subject. And the plan is to rename the “connection with other HSPs” part of this project to hspconnection.com. (This is where people with high sensitivity can meet and get to know others who experience life in a smiler way, both near where they live and from around the world). The reason for these changes is that these new domain names make it easier create learning and experience funnels for people who are just discovering high sensitivity and are searching for terms like “highly sensitive” and “hsp.”

I’ve done a little work with the logo which you can see below.

Thank you for taking the time to read all this. If anything about this conversation jumps out at you, and you’d like to respond, here is the place to do it: Community Ideas, Suggestions & Feedback

I want to take a moment to say that getting to know some of you a little bit (or a lot), has been a true joy for me. We are certainly looking at a new horizon in human development and wellness, and the plain truth is that people with high sensitivity are generally wonderful, interesting, and gifted.

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