Mindfulness for High Sensitivity
In this 8-session course you will develop essential skills for enjoying your High Sensitivity.
High Sensitivity can sometimes feel like a burden.
Let’s dive shortly into two real life examples.
Imagine a conversation at work with your manager. Just when he is about to give you feedback on your work, his gaze freezes for a couple of seconds. Someone else would not have noticed this, but you did. Your mind starts analysing what this could mean while you become slightly nervous.
Or imagine you’re seeing a friend in a cafe. You hear people talking nearby. In the background you hear music. The door of the cafe keeps opening and closing. You just can’t keep your focus on the conversation with your friend.
Does this sound familiar to you?
Just the story doesn’t end here.
Because you notice much more (and because your stress system is much more sensitive), you get more easily and more often stressed than non-HSPs. High stress causes strong emotions. Being accustomed to not bother others with ‘difficult’ needs, many HSPs bottle up these emotions. This causes a lot of frustration, which causes even more stress.
The frequent/prolonged stress can lead to sleep problems, tiredness, anxiety, depression and health problems.
Probably you’ve learned strategies to deal with your sensitivity and stress. In psychological terms these strategies are called coping mechanisms. Some of these strategies sometimes become a problem themselves, like for example:
– isolating oneself
– not feeling own needs
– not stating boundaries/saying no
This may sound quite dramatic. But important to realise is that High Sensitivity is not a dysfunction. As Van Hoof (a Belgian researcher specialised in High Sensitivity) puts it; the difference between High Sensitivity as a talent and High Sensitivity as an impairment is the level of self-regulation.
So the good news is that you can regard High Sensitivity as a talent. Just there is work to do. You need to strengthen your self-regulation skills. Mindfulness can help you with that.
Using mindfulness, you can:
- learn what makes you stressed and what you need in these circumstances
- connect to yourself and the present moment (“grounding”)
- tune in to your body more so you detect stress sooner
- recognise which strategies you use to deal with stress are less helpful & learn new strategies
- tune in to your feelings more so you can give yourself the emotional and also practical care you need
- recognise when you are over-aroused/overwhelmed and give yourself what you need right then
- give yourself kindness and understanding (= self-compassion)
- use your sensitivity to thoroughly enjoy moments
For whom is this course?
This course is suited for anyone who feels (sometimes) challenged by his/her High Sensitivity. Common HSP-challenges are:
- feeling overwhelmed easily by sounds/smells/people/situations/…
- problems with making personal boundaries clear to other people
More challenges you can find here.
You don’t need any prior experience with meditating.
You don’t need to have the label ‘HSP’, more important is that you recognise (some of) the challenges. If you’re unsure whether your challenges are connected with High Sensitivity, then this information about High Sensitivity might be useful. Feel also free to contact me to ask any question(s).
- Language: English
- Price: 350 euro including VAT (280 euro reduced price, 450 excluding VAT if paid by employer/UWV)
- Early bird price: 25 euro reduction if you register before April 25th
- Location: Granaatstraat 38, Amsterdam
- Number of sessions: 8
- Time: 19.00-21.30
- Dates: 9, 16, 23, 30 May, 6, 13, 20, 27 June
- Maximum group size: 7
- Trainer: Francisco Beisterveld
“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.”
What you will learn
At the end of this course:
- you have gained many insights in your own sensitivity, patterns, pitfalls and strengths
- you can recognise HSP-challenges and know how to deal with them
- you have learned how to meditate & you have built a steady practise
- you have learned how to respond differently to challenging situations and you have tried some of these alternatives
- you can better recognise stress
- you will be more open to yourself and others while knowing what to do not to lose yourself
- you know how to use your High Sensitivity to find more joy
- you can take care better of yourself from day to day
What we will do
During the sessions
There are 8 weekly sessions of 2,5 hours. A typical session includes:
- a guided meditation
- reflection on the meditation
- some theory about High Sensitivity or mindfulness
- an opportunity to share personal experiences of the past week & ask questions
- discussion of home exercises
Between the sessions
There are about 30-45 minutes of daily home exercises. Meditation is always a part of this.
It’s always your personal decision if and to what extent you like to do home exercises.
Structure of the course
- session 1: automatic pilot, High Sensitivity
- session 2: being in our head, recognising your own High Sensitivity
- session 3: bringing our mind to one point, investigating challenging situations
- session 4: recognising adversity, setting up an experiment for self-loving actions*
- session 5: allowing, experimenting with self-loving actions
- session 6: thoughts are not facts, continuing experimenting with self-loving actions
- session 7: optimal self-care, evaluating the personal experiments with self-loving actions
- session 8: retaining what was learned in this course & extending it in future
*A self-loving action is an action you choose consciously and which you feel serves you given the present conditions you are in. Examples are: removing yourself from a situation which is too intense or letting go of negative self-talk.
Frequently asked questions
>> What’s the difference between this course and a regular mindfulness course?
This course includes the complete MBCT mindfulness course which you can find elsewhere. Added to that is the part in which you learn about High Sensitivity, investigate (for HSPs) challenging situations, set up & carry out an experiment with self-loving actions. Here you can read about more differences, like the fact that you are in a group with just HSPs.
>> Do I have to be a Highly Sensitive Person if I want to take part in this course?
Joining this course makes sense if you recognise (some) typical High Sensitivity challenges as these will also be the focus of the course.
>> I’m not sure whether I’m Highly Sensitive or not
It’s not so much relevant whether you are officially HSP or not. There are two reasons for that. One is that there’s no scientifically validated test that can tell whether one is HSP or not. The second reason is that many HSPs during their lifetime develop ways of dealing with difficult situations (so-called coping mechanisms). These coping mechanisms can mask the High Sensitive trait which is below the surface.
I never experienced this type of learning about personal development. It was a great experience.
– S. H. (34)
Francisco’s way of explaining, feedback and interaction is very pleasant, clear and comforting.
– Behzad Sanati (35)