By definition, stress is considered any event, action, or thought that requires that you change or adapt. All intense or ongoing emotional stress affects your immune system and has the potential to create dis-ease in your body. It's what emotions do. And, HighlySensitive People feel emotions more intensely, so they are particularly sensitive to stress.
Stress can be caused by mental, physical or environmental factors. However, whether you are highly sensitive or not, 50% of all stress is physical or environmental. Meaning, once your bodily and environmental needs are met you are already half way to feeling calmer, healthier and happier.
Some stress is healthy. It helps you to stay focused, learn who you are as an individual, helps push you to make wiser decisions, to take action or not, to keep testing deeper waters and to grow, so to speak.
All stress leads to thoughts. Thoughts lead to feelings, which cause emotions. Emotions are physical molecules of energy that can change your body chemistry, your mood and your level of energy and wellness at the cellular level.
Physical & Environmental Causes of Sensitivity to Stress
Addictions to drugs, alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, sex, gambling, spending, etc.
Energy blockages (interference in your own electromagnetic energy field)
Nutritional deficiencies, leaky gut and malnutrition
Poor pH balance
Mytrovalve Prolapse (a minor heart condition where one of the heart valves don’t close properly)
Inner ear problems
Genetic factors (including over-reactive or damaged amygdalae)
Neck and spinal misalignment, abnormality, or injuries
Food and chemical sensitivities
Prescription anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications
Medication and drug withdrawal
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Digestive enzyme deficiency
Common Stress Syndromes HSPs Often Face
When a symptom or group of symptoms have no apparent cause, they are called a syndrome. Medically speaking, your symptoms or conditions are considered idiopathic, meaning the condition arose from an unknown cause. Of course, there's a cause! Usually, it can be traced back to some type of stress.
Below, are a list of symptoms and syndromes that people who are stressed often share. Most, if not all of these syndromes began with symptoms of fatigue, irritability, sadness and/or hypersensitivity (FISH).
Adrenal Burnout ~ Overwhelm, inability to cope, easily startled (jumpiness), irritability, brain fog, fatigue, pain, and sleep problems.
Anxiety & Depression ~ Anxiety, nervousness, depression, constant worry. Also see Panic Attacks & Agoraphobia.
Burning Mouth ~ A burning or stinging sensation of the nerves of the tongue, gums, or upper throat.
Crohn's Dis-Ease ~ A particularly painful dis-ease of the gut characterized by parts of the intestines not working to metabolize foods or to move foods through the digestive tract.
Chronic Fatigue ~ Tiredness and exhaustion keep you from activities, more so than pain.
Chronic Pain & Headache ~ (including Myofascial Pain Syndrome and Tension Myositis Syndrome) ~ Headaches, neck or back pain, muscle ache, joint pain, arthritis, stomach pain, or roaming aches and pains.
Dry Mouth~ Having dry mouth on a regular or recurring basis.
Fibromyalgia ~ Widespread pain in the muscles, joints and tissues that limit your activities more so than fatigue.
Food Sensitivity~ Food sensitivity can be, both, the cause or the result of stressful symptoms and stress syndromes.
Herpes Simplex Virus ~ While not a syndrome and, certainly, not something all Highly Sensitive People have in common, cold sores, shingles and genital herpes can be extremely difficult to cope with when you are also highly sensitive.
Hypothyroidism~ Thyroid disorder, just for starters, can cause a wide assortment of symptoms, such as anxiety disorders, chronic fatigue and pain. It can also mimic menopausal symptoms.
Menopause ~ While menopause is not a stress syndrome, many Highly Sensitive Women have more symptoms than others do, such as hot flashes, mood swings, trouble sleeping, heart palpitations, vaginal complaints, sagging or dry skin, or problems with hair falling out.
Panic Attacks & Agoraphobia ~ Experiencing more severe forms of anxiety and/or having a fear of leaving home (being outdoors or in public) or of being in certain social situations.
Sleep Disorder ~ (including Sleep Apnea, Seasonal Affective Disorder and Restless Leg Syndrome) ~ Disrupted sleep from cessation of breathing, snoring, jerky movements, insomnia or wakefulness, nightmares, or restless legs.
Tinnitus & Meniere's ~ Distressed by fullness, ringing, buzzing, pulsating, or whirring noises in your ear(s), or loss of hearing, dizziness, loss of equilibrium, walking unsteadily.
Vaginal Complaints ~ Bacterial vaginosis, vaginitis (yeast Infection), vaginal itching, pain, discharge, odor, irritation, rawness, or pain during intercourse.
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