Ode to the highly sensitive thrill seeker (Maybe you are one)

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Ode to the highly sensitive thrill seeker (Maybe you are one)

 Many of us are High Sensation Seekerswithout even knowing it. “You are allergic to routine, regularity, and repetition. Boredom is an important but underestimated source of stress for highly sensitive thrill-seekers.”

On the one hand you have a nervous system that quickly becomes overstimulated, on the other hand you have a dopamine system that is quickly understimulated.

Feelings of meaninglessness

In addition to being highly sensitive, six percent of the population is also ‘highly sensation seeking’. The highly sensitive High Sensation Seekers (HSS) are often the creatives, multipotentials, innovators, and entrepreneurs of our society. But many of them are not aware of this, so they often struggle with feelings of meaninglessness. Thanks to Saskia Klaaysen’s book ‘Incentives don’t bite, a lot of puzzle pieces fell into place for me. That is why I would like to share my insights with you.

Live intensely & immerse yourself at the moment

Being a High Sensation Seeker doesn’t mean you live from one thrill to the next, nor do you necessarily enjoy risk, recklessness, or daring. You do have a natural urge for activities and experiences that make you feel alive. Call it peak experiences or optimal feeling states such as flow. Flow is a state where you are so involved in what you are doing that you forget everything around you and enter a kind of timeless consciousness.

High Sensation Seekers

Like the feeling of becoming one with the perfect wave while surfing, being completely absorbed in the flow of inspiration while writing, the amazement you feel when a dolphin suddenly appears next to you while snorkeling, letting you dance to the rhythm of the music, the open and curious look with which you explore an unknown environment, the effervescent energy you feel when a new idea or insight bubbles up…

In the literature on HSS, disinhibition is also discussed. Disinhibition means that the brakes on yourself work less well, and you become more absorbed at the moment. What do you sometimes regret afterward, for example when you have a hangover or made an impulse purchase. Compared to the people around you, you live much more with peaks and troughs. You are not just enthusiastic, but mega enthusiastic! In short: you experience life much more intensely. As Eleanor Roosevelt said:

‘ The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience. 

Freedom, challenge and self-development

The values ​​that are invariably number one for a highly sensitive sensation-seeker are freedom, autonomy, and self-development. They are people with many and varied interests (which can also change quickly), a great hunger for learning, and a strong urge to create. They need variety, challenge, innovation, and change. They want to discover and understand themselves as well as the people and the world around them. As a result, there is seldom peace of mind.

High Sensation Seekers

There is a great reflectivity present. Most High Sensation Seekers have a lot of self-insight and adjust themselves naturally. They have a rich emotional and experiential world in which conflicts are regularly fought out that often have to do with their (sometimes destructive) tendency to self-judgment.

Allergic to routine, regularity, and routine

Being allergic to routine, regularity, repetition, habit, and routine is the main characteristic of the High Sensation Seeker. It is also the main difference between an HSS and a High Sensitive Person (HSP). Boredom is an important but underestimated source of stress for the highly sensitive sensation seeker. This is partly due to their sensitive dopamine metabolism. Boredom leads to a (sometimes chronic) sense of meaninglessness and can even turn into depression if a new challenge, interest, drive or goal is not found in time to get the person moving.

The balance between overstimulation and under stimulation

High Sensation Seekers

The life of an HSS can feel like one big field of tension. On the one hand, you have a nervous system that quickly becomes overstimulated, on the other hand, you have a dopamine system that is quickly understimulated. When you experience symptoms of stress, it is therefore important to investigate the source of your stress: overstimulation or understimulation? The quest for balance should be central to your life. The balance between action and rest, between time for yourself and time for others. You need social and positive incentives just as much as recovery and processing time.

Writing your own life manual

The reason why I’ve been delving into HSP and HSS lately is not to pigeonhole myself. But to get to know and understand me even better, so that I can fine-tune my own life manual even better. For years I have tried to live according to the norms and expectations of society, and now I understand why this way of living was not satisfying at all. Give yourself permission to live your life in a way that really suits you, only then can your life potential unfold to its fullest. And that only makes the world a better place!

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