Highly sensitive people (HSPs) make up approximately 15-20% of the population. They possess a heightened awareness of their surroundings and are more in tune with their feelings and emotions. While this heightened sensitivity can be a gift, it also means that HSPs are more susceptible to being triggered by seemingly insignificant things that might not bother others.

With that in mind, it’s worth exploring some of the “minor” things that often trigger highly-sensitive people and discussing ways to cope with these triggers.

1. When There Are Too Many People Around

Crowded environments can be a significant trigger for HSPs as they tend to absorb the energy and emotions of those around them. This can lead to feelings of overwhelm and anxiety, making it difficult for them to focus and concentrate. 

Highly-sensitive people may find it helpful to plan their activities during less busy times of the day, or to seek out quieter spaces where they can regain their sense of calm and balance.

2. Certain Noises—Even Something as Slight as Someone Chewing Loudly

HSPs often have a heightened sense of hearing and are more sensitive to certain sounds. Noises such as loud chewing, tapping, or even a ticking clock can be triggering for them, causing irritation and discomfort. 

To manage this sensitivity, HSPs can invest in noise-canceling headphones or earplugs, or create a peaceful and quiet environment in their home or workspace.

3. Shallow Conversations

Highly-sensitive people are often deep thinkers who crave meaningful connections and conversations. Small talk and shallow conversations can be draining and unfulfilling for HSPs, making them feel disconnected from others. 

To cope with this trigger, HSPs can seek out like-minded individuals who share their interests and values or join groups and clubs where deeper conversations are encouraged.

4. Little Sleep

HSPs often require more sleep than the average person due to their heightened sensitivity and the emotional processing they do throughout the day. When they don’t get enough rest, they can become more irritable, stressed, and prone to emotional overwhelm.

It’s essential for highly-sensitive people to prioritize their sleep and create a calming bedtime routine to ensure they get the rest they need.

5. Physical and Emotional Exhaustion

Because HSPs experience the world with such intensity, they can be more susceptible to physical and emotional burnout. Constant exposure to high levels of stimulation and emotional processing can take its toll, leading to fatigue and exhaustion. 

To prevent burnout, HSPs should prioritize self-care, set healthy boundaries, and engage in regular stress-reducing activities such as meditation, yoga, or spending some much-needed time enjoying nature.

6. The Cycle of Overthinking

Highly-sensitive people tend to be introspective and have a natural tendency to overanalyze and ruminate on their thoughts and feelings. This can lead to a cycle of overthinking, where they become trapped in their thoughts and struggle to move forward. 

To break this cycle, HSPs can practice mindfulness techniques, journal their thoughts, or seek the support of a therapist or counselor to help them process their emotions and develop healthy coping strategies.

The Bottom Line

Understanding the unique triggers that affect highly-sensitive people can help both HSPs and those around them create more comfortable and supportive environments. By being mindful of these seemingly minor stimuli, HSPs can better navigate their surroundings and develop strategies to cope with their heightened sensitivity. 

Additionally, friends, family, and colleagues of highly-sensitive people can gain a deeper understanding of their experiences and offer support when needed.

Whether you’re looking for confirmation that you’re an HSP or want to better understand your sensitivity levels, the highly sensitive person test can help. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Riverbend Life Strategies to learn more and see how we can help provide all the support you need to move forward!