Creativity coach Lisa A. Riley comments, “I have encountered a connection between highly sensitive people and their own creative impulses.”
From my post Being Highly Sensitive and Creative.
According to research by Elaine Aron and others, people with the personality trait of high sensitivity – or sensory processing sensitivity – make up about 20% of the population, and have qualities that can help make them more creative, including a greater awareness of subtleties of emotions and sensory detail.
Even if you are not working in an obviously “creative” job or career, if you are highly sensitive you can benefit emotionally and spiritually from engaging with and making use of your creative abilities.
That is, of course, also true for the other 80 percent of people who may not have the trait, but especially for those of us who do.
[see Dr. Aron’s self-tests]
In her post “How The Creative Process Helps Highly Sensitive People” [on her Sensitive Evolution site], Maria Hill writes about some of the reasons why.
“Highly sensitive people often have difficulty maintaining control over their own lives, because they have different priorities from non-HSPs which means that they often have little say over work and social agendas because highly sensitive people are usually outnumbered.
“Therefore in work and social situations we often get preempted which is very uncomfortable.”
“However, HSPs are often creative. In embracing the creative process we can start to regain control over our agenda. The creative process is about setting your own agenda and following it through to completion.
“When you take back your life using the creative process you start to create freedom for yourself not only by choosing what you want but by becoming so in tune with what is needed to make your goals happen that you start to use that skill in all areas of your life.”
Learn about her Sensitive Evolution Self-Study Courses
In his post “Highly Sensitive People: Why don’t you satisfy your creative urges?” (previously on his site) Cliff Harwin writes:
“Highly sensitive people are naturally very creative.
“Why is it that many of us don’t take the time to utilize and enjoy this natural resource?
“Perhaps irrational inhibitions stifle our creativity. Maybe we don’t have confidence with our numerous creative attributes.
“How will you know what you’re capable of unless you try?”
He notes one reason many people may stop themselves from expressing themselves creatively:
“Being afraid of being judged is a major concern for all of us. I understand that I open myself to criticism when I put my writing out there with my books, blog posts, articles, newsletter, and Facebook and Twitter posts.
“I’ve made peace with myself that I’m not perfect and that everyone isn’t going to love what I write about. I do the best I can and whatever happens, happens.”
Cliff Harwin is an author, life coach, and founder of The Highly Sensitive Publishing Company.
In his book, Making Sense of Your High Sensitivity he writes about many aspects of his life related to being highly sensitive.
He comments about the importance of work and career, and honoring your need to be creative.
“The right time to make a career change is when your current situation is not serving you and when the need arises. My fear of change stopped me from pursuing my writing aspirations. This was a mistake. I put off something that made me very happy.
“You are going to be forced to make different changes in your lifetime. face them directly and don’t postpone joy in your life.”
In the Foreword to his book, Elaine Aron writes, “Cliff shares his experiences, insights, and suggestions to fellow HSPs in a gentle and thoughtful way…It was very helpful how he shared his personal experiences, then highlighting what HSPs could learn from it.”
Another writer who has shared her life experiences as a highly sensitive person is Jenna Forrest.
In her memoir Help Is On Its Way: A True Story, she comments:
“As an adult I came to realize how little is truly known about the day-to-day thoughts and feelings of sensitive kids. So, I began to write Help Is On Its Way from my personal experience.
“As I wrote however, I realized that the story was developing a voice of its own.
“It reminded me that this wasn’t just about my life. We’re all in this together, connected, living lives full of comedy and tragedy, failure and success, loss and hope.
“If we’re lucky along the way, we might somehow find a way to mold, recast, and refine our unhappy histories for our own sake — to let ourselves see our pasts differently… to start creating a brand new life.
“The hero, the artist, rises in us victorious.”
Read more quotes by her in my Highly Sensitive site post Jenna Forrest on having a sensitive childhood.
As highly sensitive people, we may experience many positive aspects of the personality trait, such as being more creative. But we can also be more reactive and vulnerable to stress and anxiety.
There are many varieties of stress, fatigue, worry, trauma, unhealthy self-regard and other anxiety-related experiences that can impact our lives and creative expression.
Taking steps for self-care is important for anyone, but especially when you are highly sensitive or creative.
Below are a variety of perspectives and resources from psychologists, coaches and authors that can help you support healthy levels of energy and deal better with stress and anxiety, and perhaps other emotional health challenges.
See more in the article
How to Relieve Stress and Anxiety When You’re Creative and Highly Sensitive
[Photo at top: “Splash” By Alice Popkorn – her caption: “Let your own creative urges make a great splash in this world…” Ganga Fondan. Also used on my Facebook/Highly Sensitive site.]