Exploring Hypersensitivity - Guest Blog by Rylan Lybecker

What is it like to be hypersensitive?  I would like to first explain what being hypersensitive means.  It is being able to notice what is happening in one’s own body and self in which others are unable to pick up on.  This includes professionals including coaches and therapists who are trained and supposed to know how to pick up on these things.

Someone who experiences hypersensitivity can sense everything that they are experiencing both internally and externally.  This is because they “process all forms of stimulation deeply due to a biological difference in their nervous systems; this includes what they see, touch, taste think, and experience” (Granneman). These experiences are hidden deep inside and others cannot see them as easily.  They are aware of all that is in their environment including family members, pets, sounds, smells, and touch. 

When one can watch certain shows or movies, it allows for the mind to experience having a release of emotions.  They may not understand or even have an awareness of why they are watching the shows, or why the emotions are coming, as they are implicit.  However, these shows or movies allow the energy that has been trapped to be slightly released.

One thing that can happen for those with hypersensitivity is that they experience something that they would describe as experiencing internal combustion.  It is like having a mountain of assignments or responsibilities that keep piling up until it feels so overwhelming and almost impossible to complete, and one just wants to give up.  One might feel as one could buckle underneath all of the pressure and stress.  And, when the pressure gets built up to this extreme, an explosion can happen where the individual can become so angry and so distraught.  It is almost unbearable to even experience. This is because someone with hypersensitivity “notices things that others don’t, feel emotions very strongly, and are processing so much information all of the time (Granneman).  In fact, they take in and notice everything in their environments.

Those with hypersensitivity develop strategies to support themselves for self-regulation.  For example, multitasking is one way that is used to distract oneself.  In fact, Beitel revealed in his Blog that “Studies have shown that listening to music helps lessen depression and anxiety” (Beitel). For those with hypersensitivity, one strategy could be to listen to music while reading a book.  Another way might be playing a video game, watching a You Tube video on another device, and talking with friends. It could also be talking with friends while doing another activity.  Still another way might be watching a movie while playing a game on a mobile device.  What this does is provide some freedom so that one’s mind is kept busy and does not wander to the overwhelming extent of being overly stimulated. 

It is also something to note so that others have a better understanding around those who experience hypersensitivity is that hypersensitivity cannot simply be turned off.  It is with the individual constantly.  In addition those who experience hypersensitivity may want to seclude themselves so that they do not get overstimulated by others.  This does not always mean that they want to be left alone.  Checking in with others is important to see if they are wanting connection. 

Hypersensitivity is something that some people have to constantly deal with.  It is important for others to be aware of this and to understand that it is not something that can be turned off.  It is how they experience their everyday life.  However, through strategies and having understanding by others, one can feel a bit more understood. 


Granneman, Jenn. “13 Problems Only Highly Sensitive People Will Understand”. Highly Sensitive Refuge. 18 December 2019. https://highlysensitiverefuge.com/highly-sensitive-people-problems/. Accessed 6 February 2020. 

Beitel Alexander William “Listening to Music While Doing Homework/Studying Lead To Better Results?”. SiOWfa15: Science in Our World: Certainty and Controversy. 23 October 2015. https://sites.psu.edu/siowfa15/2015/10/23/listening-to-music-while-doing-homeworkstudying-lead-to-better-results/. Accessed 6 February 2020.


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