I feel others feelings, I'm easily over stimulated and I like a lot of alone time. I also easily read others, don't like bright lights and can be bothered by noise. I am a highly sensitive person. I'm also an empath. Do you relate to some of this?
Empaths have the ability to perceive the physical, emotional or mental state of other people and animals. This is different to having empathy which means imagining what it might be like for someone else. (which is a great trait to develop!) Empaths literally feel what the other is experiencing. They can also perceive the energy of the natural world.
All empaths are highly sensitive, however, not all HSPs are empaths. Elaine Aaron, author of The Highly Sensitive person says that 20 % of people are highly sensitive. Here's some traits of HSPs and empaths.
Have high sensory awareness.
Feel emotions deeply.
Tend to take things personally.
Notice subtleties and details.
Are sensitive to noise, light and other stimuli.
Can be anxious socially.
Have a sensitive nervous system.
Become over stimulated easily.
Can easily become overwhelmed.
Tend to avoid violent movies.
May feel time pressures keenly.
Need lots of alone time.
Pause before acting.
Tend towards being intellectually gifted.
Are attuned to subtle energy.
70% are introverts.
Feel the pain of others.
Pick up on other's feelings.
Feel calm on their own.
Can't concentrate when others are around.
Can "read" people's energy.
Have trouble watching shows that are disturbing.
Astrologically often have water signs in sensitive placements.
Can be challenged to separate themselves from other people’s emotions.
Have trouble recognising their own feelings.
Can be targets for energy vampires.
Are exhausted by negativity.
Are highly sensitive.
Tend towards introversion.
Are highly intuitive.
Feel revived by nature.
Are sensitive to noise, smells and too much talking.
Can absorb stressful feelings triggering panic attacks, addictions, depression and fatigue.
Here's some tips for how to care for yourself.
Sensitivity is a blessing when it's used in loving service. When you learn about your inherent nature and honour your needs you will find your life is easier and you will feel calmer and happier.
wishing you loving kindness
Judith Orloff. The Empath's Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People
Elaine Aaron. The Highly Sensitive Person.