My #1 Highly Sensitive Person Trigger

Highly Sensitive People have an increased sensitivity of the central nervous system and a deeper cognitive processing of physical, social and emotional stimuli.
— Sofie Botergerg and Petra Warreyn

Before I reveal my #1 HSP trigger, let’s review some common signs that indicate you are a Highly Sensitive Person.

  • You absolutely abhor violence and cruelty of any kind.
  • You’re frequently emotionally exhausted from absorbing other people’s feelings.
  • Time pressure really rattles you.
  • You withdraw often.
  • You’re jumpy.
  • You think deeply.
  • You’re a seeker.
  • Sudden, loud noises startle you.
  • Your clothing matters.
  • Your pain tolerance is less.
  • Your inner world is alive and present.
  • Change is extremely upsetting.
  • Sometimes your environment is your enemy.
  • You get hangry easily.
  • You need stimulants
  • Conflict is your poison.
  • Criticism is a dagger.
  • You’re conscientious.
  • You are deeply moved by beauty.
  • You are perceptive.

Source: Jenn Granneman at Highly Sensitive Refuge

Triggers for a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) are anything that over-stimulates the central nervous system. This over-stimulation produces higher than normal levels of anxiety. Once we have become over-stimulated, we need to take a break (or escape) from the environment or cause of the over-stimulation. This “break” may be for a few minutes or it may be for hours depending on the level of anxiety (stress) we suffered.

The #1 trigger that produces a very high level of over-stimulation to me is chaos. It need not include noise or conflict. Just seeing chaos makes me become abnormally stressed. A few examples of this chaos are:

  • A crowd
  • Witnessing an argument (conflict)
  • A messy home or workspace
  • An unkept person
  • A messy interior of a car
  • An unplanned day
  • A live concert (crowd + noise)
  • An unexpected or unannounced visitor

To overcome this trigger, I attempt to control my environment and daily activity as much as possible. Even though I am retired, I maintain a To-Do List, a Calendar and maintain a certain routine for many activities. Structure brings me calm.

Once I become over-stimulated resulting in a very high level of anxiety, sleep is what acts as a reset button to me mentally, physically and emotionally.

I would like to know what triggers you have as a Highly Sensitive Person or Highly Sensitive Introvert. Please use the comment section to share your story. All HSPs can and will benefit from you sharing your experiences.

If you would like to contact me directly, please email me at

My Other Websites

Life Under Change
Quotes that inspire, motivate, challenge and comfort us.

Frugal Plan (Blog)
Spend Less | Save More

Published by W. M. Brown

I am a retired U.S. expat living in Ecuador. I was a business owner for 32 years before retiring in 2012.

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