Neuroscience and Sensitivity – our superior colliculus and amygdala

Neuroscience and Sensitivity – posted on Highly Sensitive and Creative Nov. 7th, 2015

A news item by ScienceDaily reported on research that may explain more about the neuroscience that underlies high sensitivity. “Researchers have discovered that a primitive region of the brain responsible for sensorimotor control also has an important role in regulating emotional responses to threatening situations.

“This region appears to work in concert with another structure called the amygdala to regulate social and emotional behavior.”

The story continues, “Georgetown University Medical Center researchers have recently discovered that activation of a primitive brain region, the deep layers of superior colliculus (DLSC), elicits defensive behaviors such as an exaggerated startle, hypervigilance, cowering, and escape…. in addition to triggering defensive behaviors, the activation of DLSC leads to a decrease in affiliative social interactions.”

Like mainstream media – and probably psychiatry in general – this news story was framed in terms of dysfunction: “Researchers say it is possible that a prolonged activation of this defense system may lead to emotional disorders” including post traumatic stress disorder and other anxiety disorders.

[From Two Brain Structures Key To Emotional Balance Especially In Threatening Situations, ScienceDaily Oct. 23, 2009.]

As we know who have one, a highly sensitive nervous system is not a “disorder.”

But that does not mean there can be very real medical and mental health issues that may be increased with high sensitivity, such as anxiety, and PTSD – which can include very disruptive or disabling behaviors, emotions, and another kind of over-activation of the nervous system: hypervigilance.

That is something actor Ashley Judd experienced.

She had a “very unsafe” and disruptive childhood, and became what she calls a “hypervigilant child.”

Mensa and Introversion

Introverted Advantage – Mensa Education and Research Foundation

“While the general population is made up of approximately 75 percent extroverts and 25 percent introverts, the membership of Mensa is the nearly the reverse: approximately 65 percent introverts and 35 percent extroverts. This Conversation will help listeners both within and outside Mensa understand and appreciate the wonderful gifts that introverts have to offer and will help to to make sense of the frequently confusing and uneasy feelings that introverts experience.”

Heather Dominick: Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur

Heather Dominick is the founder and leader of the Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur® movement.

Her teachings demonstrate how highly sensitive traits when used as strengths, rather than shadows, can create effective entrepreneurial success. Her deep wisdom reaches close to 100,000 Highly Sensitive Entrepreneurs around the globe via her website and various social media channels.
Heather is creator of the 2014 Stevie Award winning virtual event A Course In Business Miracles™: 21-Day Discovery Series that attracted close to 6,000 official registrants from all around the world including: Iceland, Nigeria, Russia, Asia, South America, Australia, Europe and the U.S. She has appeared on Lifetime Television and has been published in numerous books including Stepping Stones to Success along side Deepak Chopra.
An exceptional facilitator and teacher at heart Heather is known for creating a safe, sacred community for true transformation whether she is teaching a Business Miracles Class, delivering training in one of her online or in-person Courses or mentoring clients in her Coaching Programs. Heather’s work is a unique combination of the “inner and outer.” She has helped thousands of her highly sensitive students and clients release life-long limiting beliefs, overcome fears and learn how to market and sell in their business in a way that actually feels so good they create solid, sustainable, high level financial success.
Before becoming an entrepreneur Heather earned her Masters Degree from New York University in 1996, where she received her first coach training. She also worked as a public high school drama teacher for 8 years which included a close collaboration with business partner, Bette Midler on projects including transforming a classroom into a black box theatre and costuming her inner city students for productions like The Wiz from Bette’s former tours.
Heather has been a student of A Course In Miracles™ for over 30 years and is herself a Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur who has been successfully self-employed for over a decade, including creating 7-figure success. She has also managed to joyfully live in Manhattan, NY for over 20 years (as a highly sensitive!) and is where she still lives with her sweetheart husband, Stephen.

“I have taken everything I’ve discovered and learned to create award-winning events, classes, courses and business coaching programs to support fellow HSEs in generating more income than they’ve ever imagined within their royal advisor role. I have also continued to generate my own 7-figure business success, but now I am much more at peace as I follow my own circadian rhythm and allow my HSE Strengths to lead the way for my productivity and creativity.” – Heather Dominik

The ‘HSS’: High Sensation Seeking HSP

The topic of High Sensation Seeking is extremely important for those of us who are entrepreneurs in the business world and highly sensitive. With approximately 20% of HSP’s showing traits of HSS, they often crave novelty/adventure/thrill seeking experiences, disinhibition and a willingness to step outside societal parameters to seek sensation and may experience boredom easily.

For more detailed explanations by the experts, the following articles listed below highlight the HSS/HSP personality in much greater detail, including a high sensation seeking test that you can take on Dr. Elaine Aron’s website.


Guest post by Dr. Tracy Cooper: The Sensation Seeking Highly Sensitive Person

Dr Elaine Aron, Phd on High Sensation Seekers




3 Reasons HSPs Make Better Leaders

Article written by: John Hughes, Recruiter of IT Leaders: CIO, IT VP, IT Director

3 Reasons HSPs Make Better Leaders

Sep 3, 2014

Carl Jung termed the trait “innate sensitiveness,” but it was Elaine Aron, Ph.D., who brought the term Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) to the forefront in 1996 with her groundbreaking book, The Highly Sensitive Person. Dr. Aron’s book has since sold over a million copies, and has been translated into 17 languages.

(Dr. Aron is currently working on a documentary of her work, called “Sensitive,” to broaden awareness of this trait. To learn more about HSP or to watch a trailer for the documentary, click here to jump to the movie’s site.)

I have been studying and “practicing” leadership for nearly 30 years. I’ve written a book on leadership (Haunting the CEO), provide leadership development as part of my Interim CIO practice, and help my clients hire the right IT leader for their organization. I understand leadership.

I’m also an HSP.

Okay, I suppose I should say, “Hi. My name is John, and I’m a Highly Sensitive Person.”

And, yes, it does mean what it seems to infer–that movies about baseball make John cry, as do sad songs about lost loves, and commercials about Hallmark cards and buying the world a Coke.

But there’s so much more to being an HSP than emotional sensitivity. The trait cuts much deeper. We feel a heavy connection to the world and people and events, regardless of who or what or when or where. We also carry the weight of a rich inner life within us. We observe deeply, and with feeling, and then take the time to process this information before taking action.

And we also carry a responsibility to do something with all that we create inside our minds and hearts–as if it’s not ours, but something we owe back to the world.

This emotional sensitivity, deep connectedness, and rich inner life feed an HSP’s ability to lead teams in a way that others simply can’t.

Wait! Put the tomatoes down! I didn’t say that only HSPs can lead teams, or that others can’t lead well. Not at all! What I am saying is that HSPs have inborn abilities that allow them to lead people in a uniquely richer and deeper way. (Okay, now let ‘em fly…)

Before we touch on some of those abilities, I want to clarify HSP a bit more.

We are not talking about shyness, which is a learned behavior. And while Dr. Aron’s research shows that 70% of HSPs are introverts, a full 30% are extroverts. So toss out the notion that extroverts are excluded from this special club of deep feelers. In fact, I think an extroverted HSP would pack a more powerful one-two leadership punch than an introverted one.

(I’m an introvert, proven by the fact that I’ve failed Myers-Briggs twice. I know the hang-ups I have as an introverted leader. And I know all too well how being drained by people has affected my career, versus how being energized by people has propelled others and allowed them to be more engaged in situations that I find difficult.)

So here we go. Here are three specific abilities that I believe enable HSPs to be uniquely effective as leaders:

1) The Subtleties
HSPs soak in everything happening around them, especially the subtleties that others tend to miss. HSPs live in a world of constant sensory bombardment. Words. Conversations. Non-verbal cues. Movement. Sounds. Smells. Emotions. It all gets taken in. Although we can easily become overwhelmed at times and feel forced to withdraw to the background or even leave a situation, taking in environmental subtleties is an invaluable leadership ability.

We filter and process this input, determining what is valuable and useful for that moment, and save the rest for later.

The leader that doesn’t miss much, especially the non-verbal and emotional state of a team, is better able to coach, make adjustments, and stress critical points in communication back out to the team.

HSPs are better equipped to lead because they are in-touch emotionally with their team.

2) Processing over action
HSPs naturally prefer to process input they’ve taken in versus taking action and speaking. We are more likely to fade to the background in meetings, preferring instead to listen, observe, and process, versus jumping into the mix early and often and unwittingly control a discussion or shut others down.

Team members feel more valued as they are allowed to speak and contribute freely, without the prospect of being shut down by an over-anxious leader eager to push their own ideas or move their agenda forward.

HSPs are better equipped to lead because they naturally fall to the background, allowing team members to freely speak and share and shine.

3) Resonance
Resonant leadership (from Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., in his book Primal Leadership) is simply the ability to soak in all that a team is communicating and feeling about a situation (some verbal, but most all is non-verbal and emotional), and then being able to lead from a position of understanding and empathy.

Resonant leaders seem to say and do the right thing at just the right time. This isn’t luck or magic, it’s their innate ability to feel deeply, process richly, and patiently consider the right words and actions for the moment.

HSPs do this. Naturally.

Lead on.

– John

Gifted, Creative, Sensitive and Not “Fitting In”

Being “gifted” often feels far from a good thing, when you’re the one living it. And yet the myth persists that “gifted” is an elitist and privileged label in education. That “those kids” will be fine without any extra programs or supports. After all, what’s the worst that can happen – they get bored? In reality, many of our most vulnerable learners are those “gifted” kids who know they just don’t “fit it.” In our rush to identify and label children for purposes of funding and organizing our educational services most efficiently, we’re missing the ground level, actionable and everyday needs of an entire grouping of needy kids. Our most gifted, sensitive and creative students are our canaries in the coal mine; they are more sensitive to the world around them and the reactions we see in them can teach us what our education system needs to be, believe, include and stop. As is often the case, what is necessary for some is beneficial to all.

Heidi approaches our education system from multiple perspectives. First and foremost, she is the mother of three amazing, gifted, creative and/or highly sensitive children! Heidi also spent almost six years as president of the City of Coquitlam‘s District Parent Advisory Council, attending countless advisory committees and working to build relationships between parents and teachers. And finally, she has worked with many passionate educators as an edtech consultant – participating in technology planning, facilitating dialogue and implementing technology to support student learning, communication and relationship building. She is an idealist, geek and deceptively social introvert.

Sensitive – The Untold Story

Published on Aug 17, 2014
“Sensitive–The Untold Story” is the first of the series and is based on Dr. Aron’s findings. In 1991 she made a breakthrough discovery: an innate trait of high sensitivity. Since then, her international bestseller “The Highly Sensitive Person” has been translated into 17 languages and her research is published in top-tier peer reviewed journals such as The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and Brain and Behavior, as well as replicated and extended by other scientists, who will be interviewed in the film. Dr. Aron found that not only 1 in 5 people are highly sensitive, but the trait occurs in the same percentage in over 100 other species.

“Sensitive–The Untold Story” is being produced by the Emmy award-winning hybrid transmedia agency The GlobalTouch Group, Inc. (GTG). GTG’s productions include Oprah’s Daytime Show, Clint Eastwood’s 40 Years of Monterey Jazz Festival and The Making of “Byrd” , VH-1’s Behind The Music featuring Lenny Kravitz, fundraising films for the National Museum of U.S. Army, 2006/2007 Trumpet Awards on TBS (featuring Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Susan G. Komen Foundation among others) and development deals with Disney, Universal/MCA and CBS. In 2005 GTG won International New York Film Festival in all major categories for their original production Behind The Artist. GTG’s most recent production “Pinot Noir, The Holy Grail of Wine” is currently on National PBS.

Being Self-Employed and the Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur

DailyOM’s Madisyn Taylor Reveals Her Highly Sensitive Temperament

“It is very common for highly sensitive people to be self employed. For a number of reasons. They don’t survive in negative work places, with negative co-workers or negative bosses. They get easily overstimulated. Oftentimes highly sensitive people are very creative, have a lot to offer and look for meaning in the job they perform. Oftentimes they choose to be on their own.
DailyOM’s Madisyn Taylor is a perfect example. In the beginning of her career she always worked for other people. She worked in an office and couldn’t take being be in an office. She couldn’t take the lighting. “I couldn’t stand being cooped up.” She was overstimulated by too many people. She was always told that she is “too sensitive’, when she was just being herself. After years of struggling she decided that she wanted to do something that would be a benefit to people and, in her own words, “would change the world”.
She and her husband founded DailyOM, an online publication about consciousness, awareness, ways to improve your life and meditation, which goes out to 1.3 million loyal followers daily. Madisyn’s story is featured in “Sensitive-The Untold Story”. In her interview, she beautifully explains how she turned her sensitivity “from a curse, to a blessing” and how it serves her creative writing: “It helps me be an antenna for the world through my writing, I know what’s going on in the universe and what people need to hear and then I can write about it”.

Blog Post Source: , Sept 10th 2015



BOUGHT – THE MOVIE : Click here to watch!

  • Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline plead guilty and agreed to pay a $3 billion fine for illegal marketing and withholding information about health hazards associated with several of its drugs, including Avandia and Paxil. This was the largest fine ever paid by a drug company.
  • Since the first National Vaccine Injury Compensation (VICP) claims were filed in 1989, 3,981 compensation awards have been made. More than $2.8 billion in compensation awards has been paid to petitioners.
  • Between 2012 and mid-2014, Monsanto and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) successfully blocked GMO labeling laws in over 30 states, at a price tag of more than $100 million.

Is It Worth It?

Source: Vaccine Injury, Disability and Death: Making Space for Difficult stories

Tens of millions of vaccines are injected into US children annually and around 30,000 reports are made each year to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System(VAERS). Of these, 10-15 percent are classified as “serious” – meaning 3,000 to 4,500 individuals suffer permanent disability, hospitalization, or death. Of course, the existence of a report doesn’t imply direct or even probably causation. Furthermore, not every parent or physician who suspects an adverse reaction files with VAERS — even though reporting is required by law.

Just this month, a new medical textbook, entitled “Vaccines and Autoimmunity” was published. Featuring the work of dozens of scientists and physicians, the text was edited by Yehuda Shoenfeld, founder of Israel’s Center for Autoimmune Diseases, Nancy Agmon-Levine, President of the Israel Association for Allergy and Clinical Immunology, and Lucija Tomljenovic, a senior post-doctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia.

In their introduction to “Vaccines and Autoimmunity,” the editors acknowledge that vaccines can trigger “severe and even fatal” reactions in certain individuals and that this is of particular concern as vaccines are “administered to healthy individuals.” The editors raise questions about the trace amounts of “residuals” — such as monkey kidney tissue, detergents, and preservatives — whose safety “has not been thoroughly investigated” and decry the naïve assumption that “all humans are alike” in their immunological reactions to vaccinations. They continue: “… the fact that vaccines are delivered to billions of people without preliminary screening for underlying susceptibilities is thus of concern.”

Our state governments are quickly introducing and approving legislation that overrides the rights of parents to determine if and when they expose their children to the risks entailed in vaccinations. At the same time, according to the World Health Organization, the global vaccine market will increase in value from $25 billion a year to $100 billion a year by 2025 “becoming an engine for the pharmaceutical industry.”

Given these legal and market-driven realities, we must make space for the stories of families who pay the price of our increasingly mandated utilitarian ethic.

Fragrance Sensitivities and the Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur

How to deal with fragrance sensitivities in the workplace 

For many highly sensitive entrepreneurs, public spaces and especially the common office environment can be torture to function in when chemical scents, cleaners and perfumes are permeating the office environment. For some, the only option is to leave the building before they succumb to the myriad of health issues that these chemicals inflict on them.

Below is a segment from “” from their blog post on “How to deal with fragrance sensitivities in the workplace” by Todd Meier:

“It’s hard to believe something as innocent as scented perfume could cause a person to have health issues, but fragrance sensitivity — an allergic reaction or irritation to chemicals in certain products — is very real and, depending on the severity, can become problematic in the workplace. In many of my stay-at-work and return-to-work cases, individuals have aversions to chemicals, fumes and other scents floating around in the work environment. Irritation with perfume and similar fragrances are the most prevalent.

So, what’s a manager to do if this situation arises?
It’s going to be difficult to pinpoint any one scent perpetrator since they can come from lotions, shampoos and other products. The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) offers this series of symptoms that can help you determine whether an employee has a vulnerability to fragrances:

Frequent headaches
Respiratory ailments
Itchy or burning eyes
Sneezing, runny nose or congestion
Difficulty with concentration

And in more severe cases, individuals may be afflicted with a skin allergy called contact dermatitis, which causes redness, itching and burning of the skin. Whether fragrance sensitivity becomes a medical condition is determined on a case-by-case basis.”

By Todd Meier
– See more at:

Protecting Our HSP Babies

Dear Highly Sensitive Persons,

As a highly sensitive parent, I was faced with a conflict when I started researching the ingredients of vaccines that were scheduled to be injected into my baby. I am severely reactive to chemical scents and chemical cleaners, as well as suffering from many common allergens and food sensitivities; so I wondered if my brand new baby would be a highly sensitive child and would my child react to the chemicals and allergens that would be injected straight into her bloodstream multiple times before she was 2 years of age.

What I discovered in this process would change my life forever!!

Below is a list of links to the most influential proof that I found in which vaccines are shown to be damaging thousands and thousands of children. However, what really blew me away was the first link that I posted below. It is a TED talk about Autism and the speaker is very excited that they can now detect autism in babies at a very young age so that they can get the help they need earlier rather than later. The most interesting part of this speech is a graph at 15 minutes into the 19 minute video showing two lines of babies being born…but the babies are different. The top red line in the graph depicts babies that have above average focus than babies who do not develop autistic behaviours. The red line of the above average focus babies starts plummeting as they regress into autism but the other line of babies stays functional and non-autistic.

I see a pretty clear coincidence that these babies are suddenly regressing into autism in the exact months of the vaccination schedule which includes toxic chemical injections of mercury, aluminum, formaldehyde, chicken egg embryos, monkey cells and MOST shocking of all…aborted human fetus’s to grow the virus’s in 24 current vaccines! Click on every link on this page to read exactly what I read!! Here is a Facebook page where parents are listing their child’s vaccine reactions: My Child’s Vaccine Reaction.

As an HSP who is highly reactive to regular chemicals in perfumes, soaps, dyes and cleaners, I can only imagine what the injection of highly toxic chemicals is doing to the highly sensitive children whose highly reactive nervous systems are being bombarded before they even had an immune system developed. If the HSP population is this sensitive to these toxins, we have a major HSP health crisis on our hands.

TED Talk on Autism –

“Bought” Movie Clip –

Mercury Links to ADHD –

CBS News: $1.5 million dollar vaccine/autism court settlement for family

Vaccines Toxicity Research –

Bought Movie Clips –

Autism Spectrum Disorder and Sensitivity –

My Child’s Vaccine Reaction – Facebook


Podcast Interview with Ane Axford @ The Introverted Entrepreneur

To listen to this podcast titled ” Beyond Thriving as an HSP with Ane Axford” please click on this link @: The Introverted Entrepreneur where they discuss the following HSP topics:

“There are those among us – especially among us introverts – for whom emotions, feelings, sensations and the environment play a profound role in how we relate to the world. We are the HSPs, or Highly Sensitive Persons.

This interview with Ane Axford, CEO and founder of sensitive + thriving, Inc., is not only interesting, but life changing … at least it was for me. Ane and I explore what it means to be an HSP, and specifically, an introverted HSP.

We also talk about:

How introversion and HSP characteristics can look the same (but by definition, aren’t)
Why finding a label to slap on yourself can be helpful
The physiological underpinnings of “analysis paralysis”
Turning Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs on its head (this blew my mind!)
Why it’s important for entrepreneurs to move from comparison to connection”

Check out the website and podcast.


If you are a highly sensitive entrepreneur and a parent, there is a greater chance that you have experienced raising a highly sensitive child or have been one yourself. The current numbers of highly sensitive children in our global population is roughly 15- 20% but there is another statistic that is on the rise pertaining to another group of sensitive children called ASD or Autism Spectrum Disorder which has gone from 1 in 30,000 over 50 years ago to an escalating 1 in 68 in 2014.

According to in a 2014 article by Miriam Falco:

“In 2000 and 2002, the autism estimate was about 1 in 150 children. Two years later 1 in 125 8-year-olds was believed to have autism. In 2006, the number grew to 1 in 110, and then the number went up to 1 in 88 based on 2008 data.”

Children with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) are different from HSC (Highly Sensitive Children) because of their levels of SENSITIVITY. The levels of sensitivity seem to skyrocket from HSC children to ASD children to the point where the ASD children are experiencing levels of Hypersensitivity.

What has changed in our society from 60 years ago that would cause such children to go into hypersensitivity and constant overwhelming stimulation?

The vaccination schedule of today is nothing like it was 60 years ago. You can’t inject Mercury, Aluminium, Formaldehyde, egg, monkey cells and human aborted fetus’s into a 2 month old baby and further injections at 4, 8, 10 and 12 months of age without a developed immune system. It is going to cause the nervous system to react and reject such foreign toxins in an extremely negative reaction….including overstimulation of the nervous system in highly sensitive babies.

I would argue that it is the highly sensitive babies who are to grow into highly sensitive children and adults that are not making it through the first years of childhood because at 2 months of age, they have had a bombardment of toxins injected into their bloodstream and they cannot handle the extra toxic stimulation without an immune system. Their system goes into overwhelm and sensory overload and they regress into ASD. Vaccinations have been shown with growing proof over and over again that they are damaging children but the highly sensitive children will most likely be the first to fall.

Vaccines and Spectrum Disorders (ADHD/Aspbergers/Autism)

Being a highly sensitive entrepreneur, there is a good chance that you may have children who also have the genetic traits of high sensitivity. Highly sensitive children are at a greater risk of reacting to toxins, chemicals and allergens being injected directly into their bloodstream before they have developed their full immunity. If you’re aware of the skyrocketing numbers of the spectrum disorder for ADHD, Aspbergers and Autism which Wikipedia states:

“A spectrum disorder is a mental disorder that includes a range of linked conditions, sometimes also extending to include singular symptoms and traits. The different elements of a spectrum either have a similar appearance or are thought to be caused by the same underlying mechanism. In either case, a spectrum approach is taken because there appears to be “not a unitary disorder but rather a syndrome composed of subgroups”. The spectrum may represent a range of severity, comprising relatively “severe” mental disorders through to relatively “mild and nonclinical deficits“.[1]

In some cases, a spectrum approach joins together conditions that were previously considered separately. A notable example of this trend is the autism spectrum, where conditions on this spectrum may now all be referred to as autism spectrum disorders.”

then the connection between ADHD , Asbergers Syndrome  and Autism which statistics in Wikipedia state”

“Globally, autism is estimated to affect 21.7 million people as of 2013.[13] As of 2010, the number of people affected is estimated at about 1–2 per 1,000 worldwide. It occurs four to five times more often in boys than girls. About 1.5% of children in the United States (one in 68) are diagnosed with ASD as of 2014[update], a 30% increase from one in 88 in 2012.[14][15][16] The rate of autism among adults aged 18 years and over in the United Kingdom is 1.1%.[17] The number of people diagnosed has been increasing dramatically since the 1980s..”

In every single description of these Autism Spectrum Disorders, the cause is ‘unknown.’

However, over $2.8 BILLION dollars has been spent by the US government in a separate vaccine court for families whose children were damaged immediately from vaccines in the United States. Children that regressed immediately into an autistic state after vaccination have received compensation of $70,000 US and $7 million dollars for a lifetime of long-term care. (These statistics from the “Bought” documentary)

How is the cause of ASD still unknown and baffling our medical community when family after family are being quietly compensated by the US government for vaccine damages to children immediately regressing into autism after their shots? 

The Perks of Being a Highly Sensitive Person

The Perks of Being a Highly Sensitive Person

I wanted to take my daughter to the mall.

That shouldn’t be so difficult, right?

I overheard her on the phone saying to a friend, “You’re so lucky that your mom likes to shop. My mom HATES the mall.”

It’s true. Malls, like carnivals and amusement parks, give me anxiety. They always have. When I was my daughter’s age (11), adults and peers thought there was something seriously wrong with me because I relaxed under a tree at Kings Island amusement park in Mason, Ohio, while my sisters and friends headed to The Beast, the tallest, fastest, and longest wooden roller coaster in the world when it was built in 1979.

I was managing my anxiety just fine at the mall until we hit the main drag when the kiosk people come at you like spider monkeys with their hair straighteners and phone cases and perfumes.

“Ma’am, here you go,” one says spraying a potent perfume in your face.

“Ma’am, take this!” another one says, right as you dodge the two in back of you.

By the time I got to Forever 21, I was having heart palpitations, my breath was shallow, and I was sweating all over.

My daughter rolls her eyes. Here we go again.

I am a highly sensitive person (HSP) as defined by Elaine Aron, PhD, in her bestseller The Highly Sensitive Person. I am among the 15 percent to 20 percent of the population that is easily overwhelmed by loud noises, crowds, smells, bright lights, and other stimulation. There is a lot going on inside my noggin at any given moment — HSPs have rich interior lives. I feel things very deeply and tend to absorb people’s emotions. I have a low tolerance for stress and don’t like to be rushed by deadlines. I am also aware of subtleties in many different situations that others miss.

Highly-sensitive persons need lots of sleep (eight hours or more) and time to decompress and chill out because they see, hear, feel, smell, and taste things more intensely than the average person. It’s a little bit like wearing a pair of 3D glasses through life. Processing all of the nuances of situations, feelings, colors, and sounds can be exhausting. I explain it more in this video.

As much as we HSPs curse our conditions when we are at the mall or a street festival or a work conference — and especially when perfume is sprayed in our faces — our oversensitivity benefits us in many ways. We are creative, spiritual, conscientious, loyal, kind, and compassionate. We have a fine-tuned sixth sense (our intuition), a strong sense of justice, and an enthusiasm for life. We appreciate beauty, art, and music. We can often sense potential danger before others. Because we feel so passionately about certain causes, we do the work that is involved to make the world a better place.

In his new book The Power of Sensitivity, Ted Zeff, PhD, collected 43 success stories from highly sensitive people in 10 different countries. Some of the stories are fascinating — the way that people have turned a so-called limitation into a strength in their careers, personal relationships, parenting style, and self-care.

For example, there was a story written by a Canadian intensive care unit nurse about a patient who came in with shortness of breath and had some distress right after a valve surgery. As the day progressed, the patient grew increasingly more uncomfortable, lying only on her right side. The nurse had recently read Dr. Aron’s book on HSP qualities, and she decided to trust her keen intuition that something was seriously wrong with this patient. She ordered a test without the approval of the surgeon (because he said it wasn’t needed) that validated the need for immediate surgery. A huge clot of blood was removed from her heart. She was, in fact, only minutes away from her heart stopping. If the nurse hadn’t performed the test and pursued the surgical team to help this woman, she would have died.

That inspiring story reminded me a recent study published by the National Institutes of Health and the National Center for Biotechnology about how individuals with social anxiety disorder are often gifted “empaths,” people whose right brains are advanced and can perceive or scan another person’s thoughts, feelings, intentions, and motivations. Brain researcher Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD, gives an amazing TED talk about the right brain and its surprising capabilities. The scientists in the NIH study found that persons with social anxiety “demonstrate a unique profile of social-cognitive abilities with elevated cognitive empathy tendencies and high accuracy in affective mental state attributions.”

I don’t have social anxiety. Not really. I’m just afraid of the mall and noise and too much commotion.

Apparently, I can’t shop without sweating and skipping a breath here and there.

However, with that so-called weakness comes the strength of being able to identify in a crowded room any persons who don’t want to be there, and oftentimes anyone who has a history of depression and anxiety.

Isn’t that more important?

Maybe not to a fifth-grader.

But she’ll come around.

Join “The Highly Sensitive Person” Group on, the new depression community.

This article originally appeared on The Perks of Being a Highly Sensitive Person

By Therese Borchard, Everyday Health columnist

Being inner-directed: the high sensitivity personality

Being inner-directed: the high sensitivity personality

“Sometimes because I am very shy, when I meet a director and they are shy too, we just sort of sit there.”

Ang Lee - Sigourney WeaverActor Sigourney Weaver continued in an interview, “I remember when I met Ang Lee and we were left alone — we were supposed to have tea with each other.. I was so shy and he was so shy neither of us said anything to each other for about 20 minutes.”

[From the page Introversion / shyness]

One of the reasons I first posted that quote [years ago] was because thinking of Weaver as shy seemed so discordant with her iconic role of E.T. monster slayer Ellen Ripley in Aliens (1986).

How do labels like shy – or introverted, highly sensitive etc – that we may be called, or call ourselves, impact how we view ourselves, and affect how we operate in the social world?

In his article The Highly Sensitive Person: An Introduction, Denmarkguy notes, “The immediate thing that comes to mind when people hear the term ‘sensitive’ is that someone gets their feelings hurt really easily. Whereas this kind of emotional sensitivity can certainly be a part of being an HSP, it is by no means what ‘defines’ the trait.

Sarah Dolliver, Founder of InnerVantage, is pioneering the behavioral term “inner-directed” that unites “those who focus inward to restore.”

She explains, “Why it matters that you know whether you are (or someone you know is) inner-directed is because it impacts how you deal with the world and the choices you make each day.

Avoid labels

“You don’t need psychological or social labels to define you, especially when they stop you from naturally being who you are.

“Labels, like introvert, sensitive, quiet, shy or withdrawn, attempt to describe how others experience you. They do not relate to who you are.

“They can limit you because the tendency is to live to the limits of the label and only go that far. In addition, there is the stigma that can accompany any label, which causes you to feel shame. Any way you look at it, labels confine all you truly are.

“What is important to realize is that there is so much more to you than any label can include. Inner-directed individuals are different and that is good.”

Continued in her article Are You Inner-Directed? And Why It Matters To Know.

Post author: Douglas Eby

Introverts Will Soon Rule the Business World

The Age of the Introvert Entrepreneur


 Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be an extrovert in order to be a successful entrepreneur.

ADD, Asbergers, Autism and The Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur

The Entrepreneur Mind – “You Are Odd, and It’s OK
Posted on June 7, 2015 by Kevin D. Johnson

Chances are that when you think of the most successful and wealthy entrepreneurs, you don’t think of a group of weird people. Instead, you probably think of well-respected and brilliant people who exhibit all the admirable qualities of well-rounded, well-adjusted leaders. Ironically, research shows just the opposite; entrepreneurs, especially those in technology, are indeed quite odd. In fact, the data show that being odd is the norm.

A recent survey of entrepreneurs conducted by Julie Login of Cass Business School found that 35 percent of those surveyed suffered from dyslexia, compared with 10 percent of the population as a whole. One reason for this trend posits that those with dyslexia, a learning disability affecting one’s reading and comprehension, tend to delegate tasks to manage their disability. Some of the most notable dyslexics of our time are founders Steve Jobs of Apple, John Chambers of Cisco, and Richard Branson of the Virgin Group.

In another study, attention-deficit disorder (ADD) is common among entrepreneurs. A recent article in The Economist mentioned that “people with ADD are six times more likely than average to end up running their own businesses.” Sufferers of ADD are known to be disorganized procrastinators who are unable to focus, all normally bad characteristics. But some entrepreneurs who have the disorder—like Paul Orfalea, founder of Kinko’s—interpret these characteristics as an advantage because people with ADD can be creative in ways that “normal” people would not.

Furthermore, many entrepreneurs display symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome, which, according to the Mayo Clinic, is a “developmental disorder that affects a person’s ability to socialize and communicate effectively with others.” Some refer to it as a mild form of autism. Asperger’s is perhaps the most prevalent among software developers like me who would prefer to send an e-mail or instant message to someone sitting next to them in the office rather than to talk to them face to face. We often appear robotic and detached. Mark Zuckerberg, the cofounder of Facebook, is a good example of an entrepreneur who exhibits these traits. In Silicon Valley, several entrepreneurs display the symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome. In fact, it’s cool to act this way. Most people would just call it being a geek. In the Valley, the social butterflies are considered offbeat.

In addition to these disabilities, disorders, and syndromes, entrepreneurs have habits that are just plain bizarre. Steve Jobs had perhaps the strangest habits, including use of acid and LSD. In fact, he attributed his creativity to his taking LSD. Other CEOs have been said to perform karaoke in drag, to have an obsession with guessing measurements, to ideate underwater, and to wear the same clothing every day.

In a strange turn of events, these so-called oddities that are common among prominent entrepreneurs are attracting investors. To use a term in computer science, pattern matching has become quite popular. For instance, if you are looking for the next Facebook and you have to choose between funding two CEOs of equally great tech companies, one who is jovial and the other who is introverted, you’ll probably go with the introvert. This may seem a bit ridiculous, but it happens more and more often.

So when it comes to being a successful entrepreneur, it pays to be odd. And besides, when you become wealthy and successful, people tend to forget how odd you might really be. Regardless, everyone wants to be your friend.

Skyrocketing ADHD and the Links to Mercury

This is an interesting article that was written for TIME magazine in 2012 discussing the issues of Mercury exposure harming the still developing fetuses and linking it to ADHD. Similar articles were also shared on CNN. The problem I have with this study is that the mercury source affecting the fetus is blamed on pregnant mothers eating fish and NOT from the vaccinations that these fetuses will be injected with starting at 2 months of age. Wouldn’t one wonder why ADHD is skyrocketing in America?

Not only is there Mercury in the vaccinations but the vaccinations where they have lowered the dosage of Mercury, the Mercury has been replaced with Aluminum…another extremely toxic substance that highly sensitive babies and children’s reactive nervous system would most likely become overwhelmed and overloaded from such exposure.

Mom’s Exposure to Mercury Linked to Kids’ ADHD Symptoms – Time Magazine Online

By Alice Park @aliceparkny   Oct. 09, 2012

“Aside from occupational exposure, most people are exposed to mercury by eating fish — yet eating fish is good for moms and babies. So, what are pregnant women to do?”

“The health risks of mercury exposure are well documented, and the harms for still-developing fetuses are particularly concerning. Now, the latest study finds that kids who were exposed to more mercury in the womb were more likely to show problems with attention and hyperactivity and other symptoms of ADHD at age 8.”

“So Dr. Susan Korrick and her colleagues at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston studied data on 788 infants born between 1993 and 1998 in the New Bedford, Mass., area. The researchers measured the mercury in the children’s mothers’ hair samples 10 days postpartum, and used a 59-item questionnaire to evaluate the children’s behavior at age 8.

The researchers found that higher mercury levels in the hair samples were associated with a greater risk of symptoms of ADHD, or attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder in children (the researchers did not confirm ADHD diagnosis, but only determined whether the children had symptoms that were typical of the disorder). Even after adjusting for potential factors that could influence the risk of ADHD symptoms, including the mother’s education or depression, or her diet while pregnant, the correlation with mercury remained.

Studies hint that mercury affects central nervous system development by disrupting levels of important neurochemicals such as dopamine.”


The Truth about Toxic Vaccines and Highly Sensitive Children

As highly sensitive individuals who are roughly 20% of the population, it has been well established by numerous PhD researchers as well as Harvard scientists that the highly reactive and sensitive nervous system will react to negative stimuli in their environment before it affects the non-sensitive population.

For more information, please take the time to watch this documentary on the truth about mass medications and toxic vaccines. Click here to: Watch the MOVIE!!!

To follow up on this documentary, below are four other shocking reports citing numerous studies and cases of children dying and healthy children suddenly becoming autistic after vaccinations as well as 24 vaccines made with human DNA from aborted fetus embryos which was NEVER disclosed to the public by manufacturers or the CDC. People have a right to know what ingredients they are injecting into their bodies and the bodies of their babies.

Vaccine Brain Damage Cover-up Implodes

Sugar Sensitivities and the Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur

Being a highly sensitive individual comes with the abilities of “heightened senses” which is a gift that feeds the creativity of so many talented entrepreneurs and artists. The body of a highly sensitive individual seems to react quicker to environmental stimuli than the average person because of these heightened senses in their nervous system. Something that can quickly trigger a reaction in the highly sensitive person is refined sugar. It’s especially difficult to maintain a diet suitable for the ‘NFP’ in today’s busy society, but the ones who must watch with a scrutinizing eye are the ones who can be ‘derailed’ physically and mentally by what they’re digesting.

Dr. Daniel G. Amen, M.D. is the N.Y. Times bestselling author and the creator of the book, “Change your Brain, Change you Body.” Dr. Amen saw a feature on ESPN about the sweet tooth of L.A. Lakers forward Lamar Odom who consumes up to eighty dollars worth of candy a week. This is what he says:

Odom freely confesses that he just can’t help himself when it comes to the sweet stuff and always keep a stash on hand of gummy bears, honey buns, lifesavers, hershey’s cookies and creme white chocolate bars, snickers bars, cookies and more. He eats the sugary snacks morning, noon and night, and even says he wakes up in the middle of the night, chows down on some treats, then falls back to sleep. This is bad news for the Lakers. I’ve been telling my patients for decades that sugar acts like a drug in the brain. It causes blood sugar levels to spike and then crash, leaving you feeling tired, irritable, foggy, and stupid. Eating too much sugar impairs cognitive function, which may explain why Odom doesn’t always make the smartest decisions on the court. Excessive sugar consumption also promotes inflammation, which can make your joints ache and delay healing from injuries, which is definitely a bad thing for a professional athlete. It is also linked to headaches, mood swings and weight gain. pg 81

Dr. Amen then goes on to describe the health effects of artificial sweeteners:

When I found it was essential to watch my weight, I was grateful for artificial sweeteners. No calories! How cool. Have as much as you want, I thought. Diet sodas became a regular companion for me and I drank a ton of them from age twenty-five to thirty-five. Then, at age thirty-five, right as we started our brain imaging work, I found that I had problems getting off the floor when I played with my young children, because my joints hurt. Being a writer, I became even more concerned when my fingers and hands started to hurt as well. Initially, I just wrote it off to old age. At thirty-five? Then, as I became much more interested in learning about brain health, I discovered that there was a large body of information reporting that artificial sweeteners like aspartame in diet sodas, may be associated with arthritis, gastrointestinal problems, headaches, memory problems, neurological problems, and a myriad of other maladies. I had a patient who told me her arthritis and headaches went away after stopped aspartame. Another patient told me her confusion went away as she got rid of artificial sweeteners, and yet another patient told me that if was only after she stopped diet sodas that he was able to lose weight.

So I stopped aspartame, and within four weeks, my arthritis went away.

Another terribly disturbing trend is the artificial sweeteners that are ending up in gum, candy, packaged foods, sauces, vitamins, medications, nutritional powders, nutritional bars, popcorn, toothpaste and water. The sweeter it is, these companies know, the more hooked you are likely to become. Fight back and do not collude with the food companies in your own demise. pg 97-98


In the #1 New York Times bestseller, “Skinny Bitch” by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, Masters Science degree in Holistic Nutrition, they elaborate further on the negative effects of refined and artificial sweeteners:

Refined sugar, a simple carbohydrate, has been linked to Hypoglycemia, yeast overgrowth, a weakened immune system, hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder, enlargement of the liver and kidneys, increase of uric acid in the blood, mental and emotional disorders, dental cavities and an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain. In addition, refined sugars make you fat. Excess amounts are stored in the liver as glycogen. But when the liver is too full, the excess amounts are returned to the bloodstream as fatty acids. The sugar industry is big business in America!

High fructose corn syrup is processed more than sugar and is even sweeter. Like refined sugar, it has a negative, dramatic effect on our blood-sugar levels. According to studies conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, diabetes and obesity are directly linked to eating refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup. pg 28

Aspartame (an ingredient commonly found in diet sodas and other sugar-free foods) has been blamed for a slew of scary maladies, like arthritis, birth defects, fibromyalgia, alzheimers, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes. When methyl alcohol, a component of aspartame, enters your body, it turns into formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is toxic and carcinogenic (cancer causing). Laboratory scientists use formaldehyde as a disinfectant or preservative. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received more complaints about Aspartame than any other ingredient to date. pg 14


A documentary titled “Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World” was created which is recommended viewing if you have further concerns about Aspartame and its detrimental effects:

“Sweet Misery – A Poisoned World – Aspartame is an artificial sweetener, an additive. And it’s a chemical. It’s not a natural product, it’s a chemical. The molecule is made up of three components. Two are amino acids, the so-called building blocks of protein.

One is called Phenylalanine, which is about 50% of the molecule and the other is Aspartic Acid, which is like 40%. And the other 10% is so-called Methyl Ester, which as soon as it’s swallowed becomes free methyl alcohol. Methanol. Wood alcohol, which is a poison. A real poison.
Excellent documentary showing how dangerous artificial sweetner Aspartame is. From its history, to its effects this video is enough to shock anyone into really looking at the food labels next time they shop. Aspartame is a toxic food that came into the world as an investment by Donald Rumsfeld, while ignoring the deadly effects the tests showed.”




Chemical Sensitivities and the Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur

These excerpts from “Slow Death by Rubber Duck” by authors Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie, discuss Brominated Fire Retardants (BFRs) that are currently within our homes, cars, offices, boats and planes. This is something the highly sensitive individual needs to be aware of since they are prone to experiencing and being affected by their environmental stimuli more aptly than their nonsensitive counterparts.

The tone was set in the first morning’s keynote address by Dr. Ake Bergman, an eminent professor from Stockholm University. A bespectacled and somewhat grandfatherly figure for the assembled, his presentation was vast in its sweep – he gave a retrospective on the BFR question since the 1970s – and very strong in its conclusions. He reminded everyone that warnings about the health effects of BFRs were first raised decades ago, BFR contamination is now widespread throughout the world and its finally time to ban some of the most commonly used of these compounds. pg 99

“Of the approximately 175 flame-retardant chemicals used at present, some of the most common and most controversial – are “brominated.” pg 98

“We have to get rid of the additive brominated compounds that are lipophilic (meaning those that accumulate in our fat tissues).”

The story of Tris (2,3 – dibromopropyl phosphate) or Tris-BP highlights the tight relationship between the rise of BFRs and increasingly stringent flammability regulations that governments began to adopt in the 1970s.

In 1973, for the first time, the US department of commerce set mandatory fire-resistance standards for children’s nighties and pyjamas. Up to that point kids pjs had mostly been made of soft cotton. “Dollops of Tris-BP totalling 5 percent of fabric weight were layered onto the pyjamas of about 50 million U.S. children between 1973 and 1977. pg 102

In February 1977, the EDF (Environmental Defense Fund) obtained yet more evidence from National Cancer Institute testing that it claimed Tris-BP was a “potent” cause of cancer (one hundred times more powerful than the carcinogens in cigarette smoke) and that the chemical could be absorbed by children through he skin or by “mouthing” Tris-Bp treated children’s clothing.

Not a moment too soon: A study published shortly afterwards in the journal Science actually found the chemical in the urine of children who were wearing or had worn Tris-BP-treated sleepwear. pg 102

PCBs, mentioned a few times already in this book, are familiar to many people, and with good reason. Short for Polychlorinated Biphenyls, PCBs along with the pesticide DDT, are perhaps the most infamous of environmental contaminants. Manufactured for industrial applications including plasticizers, fluids in electric capacitors an hydraulic oils, PCBs were first detected in the environment in 1996 – in the bodies of white-tailed sea eagles. Soon scientists were measuring PCB levels in unlikely places all over the world, and this family of chemicals very quickly began to exhibit, in the words of the understated Dr. Ake Bergman, “very obvious toxic effects. pg 107

PCBs remain the only chemical specifically banned by a vote of the U.S. congress (in an amendment to the U.S. toxic substances control act). PCBs are a member of a family of chemicals called Polyhalogenated POPS. Translation: They are persistent organic pollutants (POPs) containing many halogen (chlorine, bromine, fluorine or iodine) atoms. These chemicals have long half-lives in the environment and in the bodies of animals – about ten years. Other members of this chemical family include various chlorinated and brominated compounds such as PBBs (of Michigan cow fame, now phased out around the world) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) – currently among the most common flame retardants.

Persistent organic pollutants have three chemical characteristics that make them intrinsically hazardous: they are stable (persistent), they are stored in fat tissue for long periods of time (that is, they are “lipophilic”) and they have the potential to act as endocrine (or hormone) disruptors. The stability and lipohilic nature of POPs causes them to “biomagnify” up the food chain. pg 108

In short, PBDEs and PCBs are so similar that some scientists are increasingly referring to the former as “the new PCBs” but as we shall see, unlike the case with PCBs, the challenge of global PBDE contamination is a long, long way from being solved.” pg 110

In a prominent 1977 Science article about the Tris-BP controversy, Arlene Blum and Bruce Ames actually warned of the possibilty of more widespread global pollution by flame retardants. This last sentence of their article encapsulates both their impatience and the growing challenge in dealing with an avalanche of synthetic chemicals: “While waiting for the effects of the large-scale human exposure to the halogenated carcinogens – polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), vinyl chloride, storable-toxaphene, aldrin-dieldrin, DDT, trichloroethylene, dibromochloropropane, chloroform, ethylene dibromide, ketone-mirex, heptachlor-chlordane, pentachloronitrobenzene, and so forth – we might think about the avoidance of a similar situation with flame retardants. pg 111

It turns out that PBDEs leach out of the products they are put into: the squishy foam in a sofa, the padding in a mattress and the back of a TV set. They waft into the air in our houses and offices and cars and sailboats and settle to the ground as dust. pg 114

Ake Bergman presented the results of a brand new study in which eight Swedish travellers showed significantly increased PBDE levels after taking long haul flights overseas and returning home a number of days later. Aircraft, with all their upholstery and foam insulation and closed air systems, are extremely high in PBDE contamination, so perhaps under other specific conditions like this, PBDE levels can be affected relatively quickly. pg 116

Fast forward to Europe in the late 1990s in the wake of the Swedish breastmilk study. While protesting all the while that their products were safe, BSEF members started to soften their public line defending “penta” one of the three commonly used PBDEs but they retrenched around defending the other two PBDEs, “octa” and “deca.” When the European Union and California proceeded to ban penta and octa in 2003, Great Lakes Chemical announced it would voluntarily phase out these two chemicals by 2005 but ramped up its defines of deca and newer products like Firemaster 550.

Tris-BP and PBBs in the 1970s, Ethylene dibromide in the 1980s. Penta and Octa in the 1990s. Dec today. pg 121

After doing a bit of research on what these CPSC guidelines are, I discovered that most polyester in sleepwear is now infused with a few different kinds of flame retardants. It’s not painted on the surface as Tris-BP was (the CPSC calls the “treated”) but rather bonded right into the fabric. Chemicals used in this way include halogenated hydrocarbons (chlorine and bromine), inorganic flame retardants (antimony oxides) and phosphate-based compounds. pg 128

Toxicity and the Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur

Part of being busy in the corporate environment is our tendency to rely on convenience.

It is now well documented that the highly sensitive individual is able to detect and react to environmental stimuli at much quicker levels than the average person. This is great when it comes to wonderful tastes, sounds, feelings and sights, however, there is a dark side to this gift. The highly sensitive individual will also detect and react to toxic environmental stimuli quicker than the average person. Chemicals in the environment of the highly sensitive individual will show up as negative reactions, headaches, allergies, arthritis, anxiety and stress. In “Slow Death by Rubber Duck: How the Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Life Affects our Health,” by authors Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie, the research is clear to them. “Studies have shown that significant levels of toxic substances can leach out of commonplace items in our homes and workplaces.” They also go on to say that, “PFCs are part of the modern-living movement, where cost trumps quality and convenience trumps all.”

An astonishing chapter of their book titled, “The World’s Slipperiest Substance,” they discuss Teflon and its chemical relatives called PFCs or Perfluorinated Compounds (PFOA and PFOS).

These are synthetic chemicals that line our popcorn bags and are sprayed on our rugs and clothes to keep them stain free. They’re used to put out fires, and of course, most famously, they line frying pans to prevent food from sticking. In addition to prevalence in our kitchens, PFCs are also common in our bedroom closets.

In centuries past, canaries were lowered into coal mines, and if they died, miners knew that the air below ground could be toxic to them as well. Perhaps we should heed the modern-day equivalent: non-stick coatings literally kill canaries in kitchens. It seems that the delicate respiratory systems of the birds cannot tolerate the fumes from non-stick pans when they are heated to high temperatures. Their little aviator lungs hemorrhage, becoming filled with fluid and causing them to drown. This rapid and deadly syndrome has been known for 35 years and even has a name: Teflon Toxicosis. Non-stick frying pans, toaster ovens, cookie sheets and pizza pans have all been implicated in pet bird deaths. And the bird killings are not restricted to cooking devices. Irons, space heaters, carpet glues and new sofas have all destroyed the sensitive lungs of pet birds, causing them to suffocate. More than one incident of mass bird deaths has been reported in the vicinity of non-stick coating manufacturing plants in Canada and Great Britain. And there are also reports of birds dying from self-cleaning ovens, heat lamps and oven interiors with non-stick coatings.

Although birds appear to be the most sensitive species, they are not the only ones affected by heated non-stick coatings. In more than one experiment, non-stick pans heated to 800 degrees F killed a group of rats in 4 to 8 hours. In several cases of bird deaths after exposure to fumes from Teflon, the bird owners were also hospitalized with what is known as “Polymer Fume Fever” which causes flu-like symptoms, including difficulty breathing, accelerated heart rate, chills and body aches. pg 85


  1. Phthalates
  2. PFCs – Perflurochemicals
  3. PBDEs – Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers
  4. Mercury
  5. Triclosan
  6. Pesticides
  7. Bisphenol A (BPA)


Allergies and the Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur

Due to the highly sensitive entrepreneur’s ability to detect subtle nuances in their environment, their highly reactive nervous system is much more susceptible to common allergens than the average person. As children, they were most likely highly prone to childhood allergies, food and chemical sensitivities.

Food allergies can cause ear, eye, and nose symptoms, hives, digestive problems, asthma or eczema. A food allergy might start with itching and possibly swelling around the mouth and lips. If there is no reaction until later, nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea may occur as a strong reaction, milder reactions might include cramps, pain, loose stool or hives.” says Judy Lee Bachman, Ph.D

In her book, “Keys to Dealing with Childhood Allergies,” she discusses these triggers for allergy symptoms in chapter 13:

There are several categories of allergens, including inhalants, ingestants, injectants, contactants, and infectants. Inhalants are the most common sources for allergy symptoms.

Inhalant – Particles that we breathe, such as dust, vapours, animal danders, feathers, or inhaled medications, can cause allergy.

Ingestants – Another category is ingest ants, anything we eat or drink, including beverages, medicines, an vitamins.

Injectants – Injectants can enter the body in one of two ways. One is through an insect sting. The other is through needle injection that would include a medication.

Contactants – Allergic skin reactions can occur when some substance comes into contact with the skin. Some clothing, metals, leather, and other items can cause a contact allergy. Contact with pollen grains or grass while playing can cause a hive, which is an IgE antibody reaction. The hive is, in effect, a mini skin test.

Infectants – Some organisms have an allergic effect on the body whether or not there is an infection. These might include bacteria, fungi (mold), or parasites. This book covers only common allergies related to the IgE antibody. Sometimes, IgE antibody reactions are referred to as immediate hypersensitivity.

Also classified with these environmental are air pollutants. Chemicals in the air are irritants rather than allergens. They trigger allergy symptoms and upset the balance in the control of allergies. Other triggers for allergy include your child’s lifestyle and emotions.”

According to Eric Gershwin, M.D, and Edwin Klingelhofer, Ph.D:

Almost everyone has at one time or another had a reaction that they chose to call a food allergy. This near-universal claim needs to be scrutinized more closely. Take the word “food.” Food is actually not only the name of whatever is eaten, but all of the materials used to prepare, preserve, and color it, plus residue from packaging or storage materials, and contaminants like pesticides, herbicides, and insect or rodent leavings and remains. Identifying and then dealing with food allergies or intolerances are one of the more complex and difficult areas in the whole field of allergy. pg 51

Food (or whatever else food contains) can affect almost any organ or system of the body, and the symptoms can take an astonishing variety of forms, some of them bearing what seems like little or no rational connection to their actual cause. pg 52

Food is such a complex mix of materials and undergoes so many chemical changes during its production, preservation, storage, preparation, and digestion that tens of thousands of combinations of what represents the substance to be tested are possible. Thus, the skin test, the dependable mainstay for identifying respiratory allergens, is not especially effective when it comes to identifying food allergens. pg 54

A general elimination diet and specific diets free of old, tyramine, salicylate, sulphate, cereals, and milk are given…pg 55

Nonfood Substances Causing Hypersensitivity Reactions and Where They are Found:

1. Mold: Found in cheeses, fermented meats, fermented beverages like beer, dried fruits, yogurt

2. Antibiotics (bacitracin, penicillin, tetracycline): Found in meats, poultry, milk

3. Insect residue: Found in spices

4. Herbicides, pesticides: Found in fruits, vegetables

5. Preservatives (sulfiting agents, nitrates and nitroids): Found in dried foods, preserved meats

6. Sodium benzoate and benzoic acid: Found in ketchup, pickles

7. Sodium proprionate: Found in stored meats and fish, many breads

8. BHA and BHT: Found in many dried foods such as dry cereals

9. Food coloring (tartrazine, yellow food dye #5): Found in taco, potato, or other chips, dry cereals, some medications

10. MSG (monosodium glutamate)

* This table is an excerpt from “Taking Charge of Your Child’s Allergies,” by Eric Gershwin, M.D, and Edwin Klingelhofer, Ph.D, pg 60.

Cortisol and the Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur

Highly sensitive individuals have been found to have increased levels of cortisol in their system traced all the way back to when they were infants and small children. Cortisol is a stress response that if kept elevated in the body for extended periods of time can have detrimental effects to the highly sensitive individual.

Here are a few excerpts from Wikipedia on Cortisol:

Cortisol is a steroid hormone, in the glucocorticoid class of hormones, and is produced in humans by the zona fasciculata of the adrenal cortex within the adrenal gland.[1] It is released in response to stress and low blood glucose. It functions to increase blood sugar through gluconeogenesis, to suppress the immune system, and to aid in the metabolism of fat, protein, and carbohydrate.[2] It also decreases bone formation.[3]

Memory – Cortisol works with epinephrine (adrenaline) to create memories of short-term emotional events; this is the proposed mechanism for storage of flash bulb memories, and may originate as a means to remember what to avoid in the future.[34] However, long-term exposure to cortisol damages cells in the hippocampus;[35] this damage results in impaired learning. Furthermore, it has been shown that cortisol inhibits memory retrieval of already stored information.[36][37]

Sleep, stress, and depression – Diurnal cycles of cortisol levels are found in humans.[6] In humans, the amount of cortisol present in the blood undergoes diurnal variation; the level peaks in the early morning (approximately 8 a.m.) and reaches its lowest level at about midnight-4 a.m., or three to five hours after the onset of sleep. Information about the light/dark cycle is transmitted from the retina to the paired suprachiasmatic nuclei in the hypothalamus. This pattern is not present at birth; estimates of when it begins vary from two weeks to nine months of age.[38]

Changed patterns of serum cortisol levels have been observed in connection with abnormal ACTH levels, clinical depression, psychological stress, and physiological stressors such as hypoglycemia, illness, fever, trauma, surgery, fear, pain, physical exertion, or temperature extremes. Cortisol levels may also differ for individuals with autism or Asperger’s syndrome.[39] There is also significant individual variation, although a given person tends to have consistent rhythms.[40]

Glucose – Cortisol counteracts insulin, contributes to hyperglycemia-causing hepatic gluconeogenesis[17] and inhibits the peripheral utilization of glucose (insulin resistance)[17] by decreasing the translocation of glucose transporters (especially GLUT4) to the cell membrane.[18] However, cortisol increases glycogen synthesis (glycogenesis) in the liver.[19] The permissive effect of cortisol on insulin action in liver glycogenesis is observed in hepatocyte culture in the laboratory, although the mechanism for this is unknown.

Bone and Collagen – Cortisol reduces bone formation,[3] favoring long-term development of osteoporosis (progressive bone disease). It transports potassium out of cells in exchange for an equal number of sodium ions (see above).[20] This can trigger the hyperkalemia of metabolic shock from surgery. Cortisol also reduces calcium absorption in the intestine.[21]

Collagen is an important component of connective tissue. It is vital for structural support and is found in muscles, tendons, and joints, as well as throughout the entire body. Cortisol down regulates the synthesis of collagen.[22]

Amino acid – Cortisol raises the free amino acids in the serum. It does this by inhibiting collagen formation, decreasing amino acid uptake by muscle, and inhibiting protein synthesis.[23] Cortisol (as opticortinol) may inversely inhibit IgA precursor cells in the intestines of calves.[24] Cortisol also inhibits IgA in serum, as it does IgM; however, it is not shown to inhibit IgE.[25]

Wound healing – Cortisol and the stress response have known deleterious effects on the immune system. High levels of perceived stress and increases in cortisol have been found to lengthen wound healing time in healthy, male adults. Those who had the lowest levels of cortisol the day following a 4 mm punch biopsy had the fastest healing time.[26] In dental students, wounds from punch biopsies took an average of 40% longer to heal when performed three days before an examination as opposed to biopsies performed on the same students during summer vacation.[27]

Immune response – Cortisol prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation. It is used to treat conditions resulting from over activity of the B-cell-mediated antibody response. Examples include inflammatory and rheumatoid diseases, as well as allergies. Low-potency hydrocortisone, available as a non-prescription medicine in some countries, is used to treat skin problems such as rashes, and eczema.

It inhibits production of interleukin (IL)-12, interferon (IFN)-gamma, IFN-alpha and tumor-necrosis-factor (TNF)-alpha by antigen-presenting cells (APCs) and T helper (Th)1 cells, but upregulates IL-4, IL-10, and IL-13 by Th2 cells. This results in a shift toward a Th2 immune response rather than general immunosuppression. The activation of the stress system (and resulting increase in cortisol and Th2 shift) seen during an infection is believed to be a protective mechanism which prevents an over activation of the inflammatory response.[10]

Cortisol can weaken the activity of the immune system. Cortisol prevents proliferation of T-cells by rendering the interleukin-2 producer T-cells unresponsive to interleukin-1 (IL-1), and unable to produce the T-cell growth factor (IL-2).[11] Cortisol also has a negative-feedback effect on interleukin-1.[12]

Wired Differently and the Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur

In a section of her national bestseller “The Highly Sensitive Person,” Elaine Aron Ph.D discusses why ‘HSP’s’ are a distinct group, separate from the nonsensitive.

You Are Truly a Different Breed (pg 27)

“Jerome Kagan, a psychologist at Harvard, has devoted much of his career to study this trait. For him it is as observable a difference as hair and eye color. Of course, he calls it other names – inhibitedness, shyness, or timidity in children – and I cannot agree with his terms. But I understand that from the outside, and especially in a laboratory setting, the children he studies do seem mainly inhibited, shy, or timid. Just remember as I discuss Kagan that sensitivity is the real trait and that a child standing still and observing others may be quite uninhibited inside his or her processing of all the nuances of what is being seen.

Kagan has been following the development of twenty-two children with the trait. He is also studying nineteen who seemed to be very “uninhibited.” According to their parents, as infants the “inhibited” children had had more allergies, insomnia, colic, and constipation that the average child. As young children, seen in the laboratory for the first time, their heartbeat rates are generally higher and under stress show less change. (Heart rate can’t change much if it is already high.) Also when under stress, their pupils dilate sooner, and their vocal cords are more tense, making their voice change to a higher pitch. (Many HSP’s are relieved to know why their voice can become so strange sounding when they are aroused.)

The body fluids (blood, urine, saliva) of sensitive children show indications of high levels of norepinephrine present in their brains, especially after the children were exposed to various forms of stress in the laboratory. Norepinephrine is associated with arousal; in fact, it is the brain’s version of adrenaline. Sensitive children’s body fluids contain more cortisol, both when under stress and when at home. Cortisol is the hormone present when one is in a more or less constant state of arousal or wariness. Remember cortisol; it comes up again.

Kagan then studied infants to see which ones would grow into “inhibited” children. He found that about 20 percent of all babies are “highly reactive” when exposed to various stimuli: They pump and flex their limbs vigorously, arch their backs as if irritated and trying to get away, and frequently cry. A year later, two-thirds of the study’s reactive babies were “inhibited” children and showed high levels of fear in new situations. Only 10 percent showed low levels. So the trait is roughly observable from birth, as was the case with Rob.

All of this suggests what I have already said- that sensitive children come with a built-in tendency to react more strongly to external stimuli. But Kagan and others are discovering the details that make that so. For example, Kagan found that babies who later showed this trait also had cooler foreheads on the right side of their head, which indicates greater activity on the right side of the brain. (The blood is drawn away from the surface toward the activity.) Other studies have also found that many HSP’s have more activity in the right hemisphere of the brain, especially in those who stay sensitive from birth into childhood – that is, were clearly born that way.

Kagan’s conclusion is that persons with the trait of sensitivity or inhibitedness are a special breed. They are genetically quite different, although still utterly human,…”

Empathy and the Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur

Empathy is the ability to identify what another person is experiencing and to know what that must be like; to “get into another’s shoes.” The research and body of literature on Emotional Intelligence have exploded since the mid 1990’s and continue to grow and be refined. Considerable discussion and debate have taken place about the scope of competencies, skills, or traits that make up Emotional Intelligence. Research and learning from applications are deepening our knowledge and giving the field greater focus. Three primary constructs have emerged in the literature and assessment tools are based upon each with considerable overlaps. These include:*

  • Personality trait model (Daniel Goleman)
  • Ability or cognitive model (Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso) and
  • Development model (Saarni)

Several other well-developed and researched disciplines inform and validate the construct of Emotional Intelligence. Some of these include Social Competence, Alexithymia, Social Intelligence, Resilience, Psychological Mindedness, and Levels of Emotional Awareness.*

* The Handbook of Emotional Intelligence, Reuven Bar-On editor, 2000, Jossey-Bass

Empathy at an optimal fitness level in the workplace sounds like this:

You have a highly-developed ability to understand what others are experiencing even when they are either challenging you or requesting something from you that may seem excessive. Even though you may feel uncomfortable with either the challenge or the request, you seem to be able to understand and feel compassion for what the other person is thinking, wanting, and feeling. You are able to put yourself in their shoes and experience what that must be like.

The advantage of being able to retain a high level of empathy in the face of challenge, threats, and demands in the work environment, and especially as the leader, is that you most likely have the ability to listen to others even when you are under stress and not necessarily feeling comfortable yourself. You can manage your own feelings sufficiently to “lean-in” and genuinely listen to the other. Highly-developed empathy understanding helps you stay in contact with others even when the waters are rough and the interactions are stressful. Others most likely experience you as sensitive and supportive. This skill is essential for creating positive work relationships, for effective leadership, and for mentoring others. It can have a powerful leavening effect in reducing anxiety of the other, a group, and/or an entire organization.

-This article was cited from the “EQ In-Action Profile” by Learning in Action Technologies, INC.

Ada Lovelace and the Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur

An example of an early highly sensitive entrepreneur was one of the digital revolution pioneers, Ada Lovelace. Walter Isaacson writes of Lovelace in his book titled “The Innovators” that she ‘would sow the seeds for a digital age that would blossom a hundred years later.’  She was the only legitimate child of the poet Lord Byron in the British royal court. The following excerpts are cited from chapter one – ‘Ada, Countess of Lovelace’ from Isaacson’s book and describes many traits of a highly creative and sensitive individual.

“Ada inherited her poetic and insubordinate temperament from her father…Lady Byron wanted to make sure that Ada did not turn out like her father, and part of her strategy was to have the girl study math, as if it were an antidote to poetic imagination. When Ada, at age five, showed a preference for geography, Lady Byron ordered that the subject be replaced by additional arithmetic lessons, and her governess soon proudly reported, “She adds up sums of five or six rows of figures with accuracy.” Despite these efforts, Ada developed some of her father’s propensities. She had an affair as a young teenager with one of her tutors, and when they were caught and the tutor banished, she tried to run away from home to be with him. In addition, she had mood swings that took her from feelings of grandiosity to despair,…”

“For this purpose there is no subject to be compared to Mathematics.” He prescribed Euclidean geometry, followed by a dose of trigonometry and algebra. That should cure anyone, they both thought, from having too many artistic or romantic passions.”

“William King was socially prominent, financially secure, quietly intelligent, and as taciturn as Ada was excitable. He proposed marriage within a few weeks of meeting Ada, and she accepted. “Gracious God, who has so mercifully given you an opportunity of turning aside your dangerous paths, has given you a friend and guardian, ” Lady Byron wrote her daughter, adding that she should use this opportunity to “bid adieu” to all her “peculiarities, caprices, and self-seeking. For William, it meant having a fascinating, eccentric wife from a wealthy and famous family.”

“She declared that she could relate to her father’s defiance of authority.  Referring to his “misused genius,” she wrote to her mother, “If he has transmitted to me any portion of that genius, I would use it to bring out great truths and principles.”

“Ada was never the great mathematician that her canonizers claim, but she was an eager pupil, able to grasp most of the basic concepts of calculus, and with her artistic sensibility she liked to visualize the changing curves and trajectories that the equations were describing. De Morgan encouraged her to focus on the rules for working through the equations, but she was more eager to discuss the underlying concepts. Likewise with geometry, she often asked for visual ways to picture problems, …Ada’s ability to appreciate the beauty of mathematics is a gift that eludes many people, including some who think of themselves as intellectual. She realized that math was a lovely language, one that describes the harmonies of the universe and can be poetic at times. Despite her mother’s efforts, she remained her father’s daughter, with a poetic sensibility that allowed her to view an equation as a brushstroke that painted an aspect of nature’s physical splendor, just as she could visualize the “wine-dark sea” or a woman who “walks in beauty, like the night.” But math’s appeal went even deeper; it was spiritual. Math “constitutes the language through which alone we can adequately express the great facts of the natural world,” she said, and it allows us to portray the “changes of mutual relationship” that unfold in creation.”

“By then Ada believed she possessed special, even supernatural abilities, what she called “an intuitive perception of hidden things.”


Overstimulation and the Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur

A major challenge for the highly sensitive entrepreneur is overstimulation. Overstimulation leads to overwhelm, especially for the ‘NFP’ temperament who doesn’t have boundaries. Boundaries are essential for the health and well being of the highly sensitive individual and can even save a life. For most highly sensitive entrepreneurs, overstimulation was a childhood occurrence and they may also be the parent of a child who gets easily overstimulated and overwhelmed. Bestselling author Elaine N Aron, Ph. D writes in her book, “The Highly Sensitive Child: Helping our Children Thrive When the World Overwhelms Them” a chapter regarding toddlers and preschoolers adapting to change and dealing with overstimulation. This chapter is important because it gives insight into what it was like to be a highly sensitive child, especially back in the days when these sensitivities were viewed as being major weaknesses and difficulties by a nonsensitive parent or guardian. Here are a few excerpts from her book:

“Sensitive souls take in everything and ponder. Part of pondering an experience is having an emotional reaction to it. The more you ponder, the stronger the reaction, and also the more complex.”

“Your child is not alone or abnormal. Every change involves new stimulation and because HSCs pick up on more, they pick up on more that is new. A new food is not just a new food, but full of odd flavours, scents and textures.”

“HSCs, again, will experience more intensely the feelings resulting from fear that “this is forever.”

“Often the problem of overstimulation is being augmented by a sense of being powerless. “This is being done without my permission and I cannot stop it.” To feel powerless is never comfortable for a preschooler’s budding self, so eager to feel effective. In addition, the HSC may also feel, “I will be out of control because this is going to overwhelm me.”

“Remember, transitions involve complicated sensory input for a young HSC – things are the same each time but also different. It is dinnertime but maybe the smells from the kitchen are unfamiliar, meanwhile, the game that has to be abandoned was particularly compelling, drawing your reflective and creative HSC into a deep state of involvement.”

“Overstimulation, can arise from change, but also from a long or exciting day or too much noise or too many things to see. Think of your child as starting the day with a full gas tank – probably the neurotransmitter serotonin – and every experience processed, like every mile driven, draws a little.”

On page 185, in a section titled ‘ Dealing with Overstimulation,’ she gives five helpful suggestions for dealing with overstimulation:

  1. Learn to recognize quickly the first signs of overstimulation. These will differ from child to child, but usually involve overexcitement, irritability, eye rubbing, balking, whining, or refusing to eat when he ought to be hungry.
  2. Pace yourselves. Often your child can recover and go on if given a break, but without a break she cannot.
  3.  Reduce unnecessary stimulation, especially when your child will be exposed to more later – for example, on days you will take him on errands later or he will be preschool. Also, use the ideas in the previous chapter for reducing stimulation for infants.
  4.  Provide buffers whenever you can. Bug repellant for out in the country, earplugs for fireworks, dry clothes for a trip to the beach, or a playdate in the snow.
  5.  Ask others to help by keeping in mind your child’s stimulus load for the total day, especially if you are leaving your child in another’s care. Otherwise, when the two of you are reunited, you will be the one dealing with a child running on empty while you still need to take her to the dentist. And when you ask what your child has been doing, think about how much energy will be left.


The ‘NFP’ and the Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur

The ‘N’ refers to Intuition and how individuals prefer to take in information. People who prefer Intuition like to take in information by seeing the big picture, focusing on the relationships and connections between facts. They want to grasp patterns and are especially attuned to seeing new possibilities. Characteristics associated with people who prefer Intuition:

  • Oriented to future possibilities
  • Imaginative and verbally creative
  • Focus on the patterns and meanings of data
  • Remember specifics when they relate to a pattern
  • Move quickly to conclusions, follow hunches
  • Want to clarify ideas and theories before putting them into practice
  • Trust inspiration

The ‘F’ refers to Feeling and describes how decisions are made. People who prefer to use Feeling in decision making like to consider what is important to them and others involved. They mentally place themselves into the situation to identify with everyone so they can make decisions based on their values about honoring people. They are energized by appreciating and supporting others and look for qualities to praise. Their goal is to create harmony and treat each person as a unique individual. Characteristics associated with people who prefer Feeling:

  • Empathic
  • Guided by personal values
  • Assess impacts of decisions on people
  • Strive for harmony and positive interactions
  • Compassionate
  • May appear “tenderhearted”
  • Fair – want everyone treated as an individual

The ‘P’ stands for Perceiving and how one deals with the outer world. People who prefer Perceiving process in the outer world like to live in a flexible, spontaneous way, seeking to experience and understand life, rather than control it. Detailed plans and final decisions feel confining to them; they prefer to stay open to new information and last-minute options. They are energized by their resourcefulness in adapting to the demands of the moment. Characteristics associated with people who prefer Perceiving:

  • Spontaneous
  • Flexible
  • Casual
  • Open-ended
  • Adapt, change course
  • Like things loose and open to change
  • Feel energized by last-minute pressures

The individuals prefer to focus their attention and get their energy depends on either an Introverted or Extroverted focus. People who prefer Introversion like to focus on their own inner world of ideas and experiences. They direct their energy and attention inward and receive energy from reflecting on their thoughts, memories, and feelings. Characteristics associated with people who prefer Introversion:

  • Drawn to their inner world
  • Prefer to communicate in writing
  • Work out ideas by reflecting on them
  • Learn best by reflection, mental “practice”
  • Focus in depth on their interests
  • Private and contained
  • Take initiative when the situation or issue is very important to them

People who prefer Extraversion like to focus on the outer world of people and activity. They direct their energy and attention outward and receive energy from interacting with people and from taking action. Characteristics associated with people who prefer Extraversion:

  • Attuned to the external environment
  • Prefer to communicate by talking
  • Work out ideas by talking them through
  • Learn best through doing or discussing
  • Have broad interests
  • Sociable and expressive
  • Readily take initiative in work and relationships

Sourced from “Introduction to Type” workbook by Isabel Briggs Myers

Right Brain and the Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur

The right-brain characteristics that depict the Creative Class are the same creative characteristics found in highly sensitive individuals.

In “My Stroke of Insight” by brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D, Dr. Taylor experienced a massive stroke when a blood vessel exploded in the left side of her brain and she was able to single out the experience of using only the right hemisphere of the brain. These were a few of her comments:

“My right mind character is adventurous, celebrative of abundance, and socially adept. It is sensitive to nonverbal communication, empathic and accurately decodes emotion. My right mind is open to new possibilities and thinks outside the box. It is not limited by rules and relationships established by my left mind that created the box. Consequently, my right mind is highly creative in its willingness to try something new. It appreciates that chaos is the first step in the creative process. It is tuned in to the subtle messages my cells communicate via gut feelings, and it learns through touch and experience.” (pg 140,141)

As you can see, the abilities of being intuitive via gut feelings, sensitive to nonverbal communication, empathic and accurately decoding emotion are all right-brained characteristics describing creative types such as entrepreneurs and artists and many highly sensitive individuals.

Highly Sensitive People and Depression

Psychologist Susan Meindl writes: Highly sensitive people…have nervous systems and minds which permit more stimulation to enter without automatically and unconsciously shutting it out, and further, that they then cognitively process the stimulation that they receive in more detail than others do. Stimulation comes in on all sensory channels: sights, sounds, smells, vibrations, touch. HSP’s […]

Source: Highly Sensitive People and Depression

Jacquelyn Strickland on empowering yourself as an HSP

Hear this audio interview with Jacquelyn Strickland – a Licensed Professional Counselor, Coach and workshop leader. She says, “The idea of acting versus reacting is so important for highly sensitive people, because we do take in so much from our environment. I like to use the idea of mindfulness… “Be aware of ways in which […]

Source: Jacquelyn Strickland on empowering yourself as an HSP

Your Brain on Nature

Eva M. Selhub, MD, is a Clinical Associate of the Benson Henry Institute for Mind/Body Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital and an instructor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School and Alan Logan, ND, is a naturopathic doctor, scientist, and an independent researcher focusing on nutritional medicine. Together they combined authorship of the book, “Your Brain on Nature” to provide a unique and comprehensive perspective of the healing power of nature.

They open their book by saying:

” Less contact with nature, particularly in one’s younger years, appears to remove a layer of protection against psychological stress and opportunity for cognitive rejuvenation. Japanese research suggests also that nature deprivation may have wide-ranging effects on the immune system.” pg 3

“We present research showing that exposure to nature-based environments is associated with lower blood pressure and reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol (and other objective markers of stress).” pg 3