Everyone wants to be happy. And HSPs (Highly Sensitive Persons) aren’t any different. What could be different, though, is what HSPs need to be happy.
This is because we process information deeply, get easily overwhelmed, rank high on empathy, and take in more details than non-HSPs.
So the list of what HSPs need to be happy could be different from that of a non-HSP. And because, like everyone else, HSPs are individuals with other traits and interests, not everything on the list will work for all.
For instance, HSPs who are also High Sensation Seekers (HSS) may need new and exciting experiences to be happy. While HSPs who are non-HSS may prefer avoiding these new experiences altogether.
So if a suggestion appearing on this list of what HSPs need to be happy doesn’t apply to you, jump on to the next.
What HSPs Need to be Happy (Our Top 10 Picks)
- 1. Peace and Quiet
- 2. Understanding
- 3. Time to relax and recharge
- 4. A flexible work environment
- 5. Enough (or More) sleep
- 6. A slow-paced life
- 7. Deep and meaningful conversations
- 8. New and Positive Experiences
- 9. Nature
- 10. Coping Skills and Strategies
1. Peace and Quiet
The hustle and bustle of busy environments will overwhelm any HSP – even those of us that are high sensation seekers. In fact, even a normal workday at the office is enough to deplete an HSP’s energy.
And coming home to a busy and noisy household will only make things worse.
So a quiet and peaceful place to retreat will come in very handy.
If you’ve ever been misunderstood, and we believe everyone has at one time in their life, you know how bad it feels.
But for an HSP, this bad feeling hits home like a wrecking ball. It crushes us in so many ways that we can’t even begin to explain.
What HSPs need to be happy is an understanding of who we are as highly sensitive people. An understanding of the fact that:
- We’re highly sensitive
- We process information deeply
- We get easily overwhelmed
- We are highly emotional and empathic
- We take in a lot of details in our environment
And there’s nothing wrong with any of these facts.
It’s who we are and we’d like to be understood, not judged and shamed.
3. Time to relax and recharge
Because HSPs get easily overwhelmed, we need time to relax and recharge. This time could mean anything from 10-minute breaks–spread out throughout the day, to an entire day of rest and self-care.
And we’re not being needy or lazy by wanting this, our nervous system is always overworking and our minds and bodies can only handle so much at a time.
4. A flexible work environment
The coming of COVID-19 has made many people work from home. Some are having a hard time doing it, and others are realizing how refreshing it is to work from home. And for many HSPs, the latter is truer than the former.
A flexible work environment is what HSPs need to be happy. Flexible, not only with the option of working from home but also with the option of a flexible time schedule. Because if there’s something HSPs dislike, it’s feeling trapped.
5. Enough (or More) sleep
While many non-HSPs can function with only 2 hours of sleep, HSPs need at least the recommended minimum to get things done.
Little sleep, or lack thereof, can cause HSPs to be less effective in their daily lives. Be it at work, at home, in relationships, being a parent, and more so in decision-making.
And so an HSP is at their happiest when they’re able to sleep enough.
Speaking of Sleep, Here are 9 Apps to Help You Sleep Better
6. A slow-paced life
Going from event to event, meeting to meeting, town to town or task to task without time in-between for rest will almost always hurt an HSP. And this is not only physically, but also mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
HSPs aren’t wired for a fast-paced life, no matter how hard we try to look the part.
Of course, because we’re different, some HSPs may learn to cope by sneaking in some time for rest. But deep down we know how hard we try. How easier it would be if we didn’t have to rush. And how happy we would be if we moved through life at a slower pace.
7. Deep and meaningful conversations
Small talk can be very intolerable for an HSP. Because what an HSP needs to be happy is a sense of meaning and purpose in every aspect of life. We want to find meaning in our work, relationships, and even in our conversations.
And as Dr. Elaine Aron mentions in her book “Psychotherapy and the Highly Sensitive Person”, this is part of the reason HSPs are the majority of patients seeking therapy.
We have a strong need to know our purpose in life, and when we can’t figure it ourselves; so we seek the help of a professional.
8. New and Positive Experiences
Everyone’s love language is different. So this part could differ from one HSP to another. But what we’ve come to find is, as HSPs, we really do love being part of a new experience. Given, negative experiences would rock us so hard it would take a long time to get past them.
But new and beautiful experiences stay with us for the long haul. And if we’re not preempting anything, we believe HSPs would prefer a new experience as a gift over a physical purchase. If ever there was a choice to make.
There’s an Edgar Allan Poe quote we love. And it goes like this:
Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.
This couldn’t be truer for HSPs around the world.
Nature to an HSP is beauty. And so being around nature makes highly sensitive people very happy. This is why, you’ll come to find, many HSPs like to have plenty of plants in their homes. And if not on the inside (because bugs!!), at least a green yard, garden, or be in close proximity to lakes, parks, forests, etcetera.
10. Coping Skills and Strategies
Navigating this world we live in as an HSP is really difficult. There’s bad news on TV every single day. People are being insensitive all around us. And an HSP is always suffering or struggling just because they’re who they are.
What HSPs need to be happy in this world are coping skills and proven strategies. Because while we can’t change being highly sensitive, we can learn to navigate life being as “normal” as we possibly can.
And lucky for us all, those who’ve been there before us are hosting free masterclasses, writing books, hosting podcasts, creating online courses, and writing blogs to help other highly sensitive people.
In the End
What HSPs need to be happy is unique to each individual. But these 10 things make for a great start to what it would take to make an HSP happy.
And like with most lists here on the blog, this one is not finite. Feel free to add to the list in the comments below.