In Western cultures, lay perceptions and norms around wellbeing tend to emphasize being socially outgoing and high-arousal positive emotions, but not all people experience wellbeing in this way.
This study explores what highly sensitive people do to maintain their wellbeing.
Well being and high sensory intelligence people, aka, highly sensitive people, is a perennial topic of interest, since many people with the innate trait Sensory Processing Sensitivity struggle with the realization of a sustainable sense of well being.
This particular study is quite limited due to only one participant being male, common for all studies and events, because men are culturally conditioned, through extreme familial and peer pressures to conform to societal norms of the masculine role. Sensitivity is still, sadly, a ‘hard sell’ to many men, thus, one male participant who will admit he is sensitive, even anonymously!
The cultivation of well being follows a similar track for men, but much depends on the early childhood environment, and I would add the overall environment beyond childhood since negative, traumatic, or unsupportive environments are especially bad for sensitives throughout life. If a sensitive man, or woman, accumulated those adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), well being may look very different as a concept, and in practice, with safety concerns and fear of change occupying prominent positions in terms of what well being represents and coloring many life choices.
That aside, we know from sociology that the experience of gender is the single largest dividing line between how we may differ in perceptions and eventual choices like well being. In my work advocating for raising consciousness in high sensory intelligence people, well being and self-care have always been a focus that has been necessary to revisit time and again. Well being, in practice, depending on who one is speaking to, can seem like an optional practice they get around to once in awhile but struggle with in life due to no serious or dedicated efforts to realign one’s life with one’s needs.
Well being for sensitives, must be cultivated through a strong and sustainable self-care practice that holistically addresses boundaries, anger and emotions, diet, exercise, AND sleep, relationships, career, spiritual development, and moving well beyond simply maintaining to one of flourishing and, as our friend Scott Barry Kaufman describes, transcendence.