How to Avoid Being Psychologically Destroyed by Your Newsfeed

A woman sits at a table in front of her laptop with her head in hands, which cover her face Here’s a blog post by parenting columnist Ann Douglas that will speak to a lot of us in these distressing times. She draws a very useful distinction between staying informed and feeling obliged to be immersed in disturbing news, which is especially apropos for HSPs. I would even go so far as to say we may need to actively avoid news, when exposure to it becomes immobilizing. It’s not like we are in any danger of becoming indifferent to the plight of others. We aren’t built that way.

Her article also mentions the therapeutic value of moderate political action. I underscore moderation because it is not a strong suit for HSPs. The sense of urgency when people are suffering is a terrible taskmaster. But it is far more effective to be moderately active over time than to fling oneself full throttle into activism, only to crash and burn in short order and need a lengthy recovery. There’s a long haul ahead – we have to pace ourselves.


OMG, I thought I was the only one who had a hard time parting with the colored paper clips!

This is a lovely little video that every HSP will want to bookmark for those days when there is just too much of everything going on, and you catch yourself wondering wistfully how the other 80% lives.

To see more of my favorite videos on sensitivity, visit my YouTube HSP Playlist.

Take a Pebble

A stone hits the surface of a pond and sends out a circle of ripplesSensitive: The Untold Story is making waves. Gentle waves, in keeping with our subtle sensibilities, but discernible (to us, at least) nonetheless. How can I tell? Articles about sensory processing sensitivity are not only becoming more frequent, they are becoming more accurate.

Here’s one from Huff Post. The article is just a brief summary – the real content is in the video, which is a nice blend of first-hand account from an HSP, the scientific perspective, and then there’s the co-producer of the film, who isn’t identified as such, but she’s wearing the movie t-shirt.

Perhaps the distaste for being watched is more a trait of introverts than HSPs – I can’t really tell, being both. But other than that, there is not much to quibble at in the Huff Post video, which is rare and refreshing.

Cover of Kelly O'Laughlin's book, A highly Sensitive Person's LifeI’m not sure I’ve heard of Kelly O’Laughlin – the HSP in the video – before. Her memoir, A Highly Sensitive Person’s Life, came out earlier this year, and she’s raking in the positive reviews on Amazon. One reviewer noted that the book content is mostly from her blog,

I love that her most recent post is a self-described rant about a recent article on HSPS that also irritated the heck out of me. I never quite feel like I ought to be ranting, not that that ever stopped me. Thank you, Kelly, for modeling that it is OK for HSPs to rant, and feel good about it :)

BTW, Diana Hereld, the researcher featured in the video, is a grad student in music psychology. Check out her research page (scroll down for papers). HSP, right?

A drawing of a T-shirt with the words Sensitive, The T-shirt on the frontBefore I forget, I received an updated link to stream ($4.99) or buy ($9.99) Sensitive: The Movie. I just want to say again how much I appreciate that it is affordable.

If figuring out how to make a living is not your life issue, as it so inexorably is mine – first of all, take a moment to be seriously grateful about that! Then, ripple on over to the Sensitive movie merchandise page, and pick up a hat, mug, t-shirt or candle to support the Foundation for the Study of Highly Sensitive Persons in continued research and education.

The title of this post is also the title of an Emerson, Lake and Palmer song, which you can hear here. Kick back and take a meditative journey through the golden age of folk-rock. The video of which it is the soundtrack, though entirely unrelated, is an interesting journey too.