Today I suddenly realised why when we go out as a family I can get quite cross because no-one else is excited like me by simply being out. We drive along and I see the fields, the sheep, the hills, the sky . . . and I am excited! I start to chatter about them and no-one really responds. Today I got it . . . no-one else is really feeling excited like me. My son has a visual processing problem so he is really struggling with everything he sees at the moment. And my husband . . . well, he might need a little more going on in the environment to get excited! I mean he might get the same excitement that I get from seeing the sky, from seeing Victoria Falls. I, of course, in such an environment, would be completely over-stimulated!
It is one of the gifts of being highly sensitive . . . feeling so easily excited, and one that I think we tend to forget to enjoy. We are too busy calling everything ‘over-stimulation.’ I love the fact that I can feel happy so easily. Admittedly I can feel miserable pretty easily too but I can usually find my happy place again. I live on this sort of emotional swing.
Another place I went today was a supermarket – a nice supermarket – Waitrose! As soon as I step in there I am usually feeling for the temperature. Anther thing I find difficult to process is temperature change. I walk straight past the freezer aisles to the warm spot amongst the biscuits and the cereals and there I loiter. Today I thought ‘Oh, why didn’t I wait in the car?’ because we had already been out to a medical appointment and sat in a children’s centre consulting room cram-packed with every colour imaginable! But then I decided to embrace the situation. I jigged about a bit to keep warm and focused on the task in hand. I felt the bustle of a supermarket before Christmas – people and trolleys and loads and loads of stuff. And then I thought ‘To me, this is like a theme park. I could actually find it exciting!’ And my next thought was ‘I shouldn’t consider this a shopping trip – it is just an experience. I should just let myself be wowed by the colours and the activity. I shouldn’t worry how I look to others.” And at that point I relaxed and became warm. Even though I could feel hot and cold currents of air, I seemed to be able to integrate my experience of temperature.
As I find time and time again, as highly sensitive people, we experience the world the best when we can relax into the right side of our brain!