Elaine Aaron, in her talk on High Sensitivity, confirms that being very observant takes energy. What does this mean for highly sensitive people and/or gifted individuals?
First, it’s important to realize that there are two evolutionary strategies present with multiple species, including humans:
Pay careful attention to everything
Not to bother
These differing strategies have been studied in over one hundred species. Each has its advantage and one is not better than the other.
There is a physiological cost of being a highly sensitive person. Paying careful attention to everything requires more energy.
Since highly sensitive people are taking in more information on multiple levels, and processing and integrating that information more deeply, they are using more brain power, literally burning more energy. For this reason, highly sensitive and gifted children have a predilection for refined sugar and carbohydrates to try and keep up with the physical demand that their brains place on the digestive system.
Over time, consumption of refined sugar and carbohydrates places stress on the body, creates insulin resistance, and leads to health problems such as weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
Refined sugar also creates emotional problems such as emotional instability and mood swings.
Something else that can occur is that the body uses adrenal energy to attempt to make up the difference between the amount of energy that the digestive system can produce and what the brain is requiring. Over time, this process can place strain on the adrenal glands and kidneys.
A Finely Tuned Instrument
The physiology of highly sensitive and gifted people is very powerful and very valuable. Think of the difference between someone looking into space in their backyard using a $500 telescope (non-HSP) versus the Hubble telescope or the new James Webb telescope (HSP/Gifted).
Or consider the scientific observation that highly sensitive monkeys raised by skillful mothers went on to become leaders of the tribe.
As with a very valuable musical instrument for example, highly sensitive people and gifted individuals need to recognize the evolutionary strategy present within their bodies, and how to effectively care for and manage the requirements of that strategy. Doing so allows helps them to realize their potential as well as remaining physically strong and healthy.