A discussion of the trait of the Highly Sensitive Person as a Guest Expert for Dr. Rick Hanson's wonderful Foundation of Well-Being Program.


Podcast Interviews

Mom and Mind Podcast - Episode 138: Highly Sensitive Babies

You’re probably familiar with the term HSP, a designation for a highly sensitive person. You may have heard this trait discussed on some of our previous shows. We know many mothers are HSP’s, but can an infant be a highly sensitive person? Is it even possible? If you’re a highly sensitive person, then this topic may resonate deeply with you, as it does personally for me. Join us for today’s discussion.


Join us for this episode as we delve into the world of Highly Sensitive Persons (HSP) and how to best support a highly sensitive child. This can go hand-in-hand with dyslexia, so it may be a topic that resonates with a specific group of our Dyslexia Quest audience. Julie specializes in the trait of high sensitivity and has helped thousands of highly sensitive people around the world.

Mindful Mama Podcast - Episode 148: What Do Kids Need? Part 2 - Expert Roundtable

At minute 35.20 you can listen to Julie's interview where they ask her three questions about what sensitive kids need.

Mindful Mama Podcast - Episode 135: Highly Sensitive Persons with Julie Bjelland

Hunter talks to Julie Bjelland about Highly Sensitive Persons.

Some big takeaways from this episode include:

1. Many of us walk around with masks on.

2. Ways to reduce anxiety and stress.

3. How we parent makes a HUGE difference for highly sensitive children.

Mom & Mind Podcast - Episode 115: The Highly Sensitive Mother

Show Highlights:

  • High sensitivity is a trait and not a disorder--and it’s NOT the same as introversion (30% of HSP’s are extroverts and 70% are introverts)

  • From Elaine Aron’s work on HSP’s: Depth of Processing, Overstimulation, Emotionally responsive, and Sensitivity to subtle stimuli (DOES)

  • The judgment around being sensitive and its connection to weakness

  • How scientific research shows real brain differences in HSP’s

  • On the positive side, HSP’s are more empathetic, more aware, and more compassionate

  • Common for the HSP mother is to put themselves at the bottom of the priority list and take care of others first

  • Trained HSP vs. untrained HSP

  • Self-care---a conscious action you take to lower your stress and bring you to a balanced state

  • A key for HSP’s is getting enough sleep in order to understand and meet specific needs

  • An HSP mom’s default setting is to be hard on themselves and focus on everyone else’s needs

  • Certain parts of the brain in HSP moms will be overactive, like merging into everyone else’s moods and experiences

  • Many people who seek treatment for anxiety will also have the HSP trait

  • How HSP contributes to overall perinatal depression and anxiety, since everything changes in mind, body, and spirit

  • Why HSP’s need creative ways to get two hours of alone time each day

  • The tendency to measure everything in ourselves and others against the standard of perfection

  • Self-talk, with low levels of self-compassion and criticism of themselves

  • Common characteristics of HSP’s: perfectionism, sleep-deprived, overstimulated, and misunderstood

  • Steps to help HSP’s:

    • Develop self-compassion (Kristin Neff outlines 3 steps)

    • Take breaks when needed

    • Practice mindfulness

  • 50% of clients in therapy are HSP’s

  • Supporting moms and dads better in pregnancy and the postpartum period could impact parenting differently and offer more support

  • Using the right tools for support in children can prevent many problems and help them gain confidence and have an easier time accepting who they are

Soulfilled Sisterhood Ep 29: Brain Training for HSPs

In this episode:

  • Julie discusses parenting a highly sensitive child in episode 10

  • How sensitivities are a gift to the world vs hiding them

  • Julie discusses her online program on managing overwhelm through brain training

  • D.O.E.S. acronym

  • Limbic part of the brain is like a supercomputer

  • More activity in the insula part of the brain

  • Untrained HSP and Trained HSP regarding supporting our minds and body

  • Describing brain with two parts

  • Importance of body awareness

  • Being more centered means you can be less impacted by stimulations

  • Self-care continues to be key as preventative

  • Taking stress levels down from 7 to 8 to 2 to 3 on daily basis

  • Cycle of shame or guilt and its impact on our self-esteem

  • Changing the default of care-taking everyone else before taking care of self first

  • Pausing when you hear “should” in your mind

  • Taking breaks increase focus

  • How multitasking impacts the brain

  • Unlearning habits of stress

  • Two questions to ask yourself

  • Exploring what are your triggers

  • Being mindful of our self-talk and bringing in self-compassion and self-love

  • Perfectionist measuring stick

  • “We can only be loved as much as we love ourselves”-Julie

  • When we raise the bar for ourselves we raise the level of relationships we are in

  • supervisors rating HSPs higher in work yet stress is higher

  • Steps in taking sensory breaks to have energy left at end of a work day

  • Transitions

  • Stating your needs as a positive need request

  • Raising children who have sensitivities and are supportive are less likely to develop anxiety and depression later in life

Soulfilled Sisterhood Ep 10: Parenting a Highly Sensitive Child

In this episode:

  • About 50% of people in therapy are HSPs (or sensory processing sensitivity)

  • Highly Sensitive Person-about 20% of populations

  • Greater sensitivity and responsiveness to the environment and social stimuli

  • Elaine Aron’s-DOES (episode 9)

  • Not the same as introversion

  • Trait in over 100 different species

  • Signs your child might be HSP-texture of clothing, feeling overwhelmed in crowds, more meltdowns,

  • Julie shares differences in the physical category, emotional, social

  • How parents can support HSP children

  • HSPs want to “get it right the first time”-learn to accept this is real and being more self-compassion with self

  • Role modeling self-care as an adult HSP-quiet time together

  • Using your creative powers to manage self-care

  • Research showing sensitive children supported by parents having less depression and anxiety

  • Top 5 Ways to Support your HSP-ness per Elaine AronPh.D.D work

  • Being in nature is “medicine for the HSPs” -Julie

  • Need 2 to 3 hours per day of quiet time

  • Recommend a day off per week

  • Sleep schedules and amount of sleep

  • Sleep impacts-mood, focusing, memory, physically, immune systems

  • Do same 5 things each night prior to bed helps your brain and system relax

  • HSPs do better with a slower morning routine

  • Taking mini-breaks throughout the day-mindfulness breaks

  • Practicing mindfulness-increases self-awareness (what do you say to yourself and how often do you judge yourself) and developing self-love

  • Are you using a perfectionistic stick to measure your life?

  • Julie shares her journey of taking off her mask and being more of herself

  • Rick Hansen’s visual he shared with Julie when dealing with an aggressive person

Women In-Depth Episode 63: Gifts & Challenges of the HSP

I was a featured guest several times on the Women in Depth Podcast with Dr. Lourdes Viado discussing the trait of the highly sensitive person. 


  • What compelled Julie to write her new book Brain Training for the Highly Sensitive Person: Techniques to Reduce Anxiety and Overwhelming Emotions.

  • The definition of high sensitivity.

  • Unique challenges of HSPs and the correlation between high sensitivity and health issues.

  • The importance of self-care for highly sensitive persons.

  • The neuroscience/research on high sensitivity

  • Techniques that HSPs can use to manage their high sensitivity.

Women In-Depth Episode 88: Parenting the Highly Sensitive Child

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • What is the D.O.E.S acronym and how does it pertain to high sensitivity?

  • The difference between a high-sensitivity trait and a sensory-processing disorder

  • What is the “super-computer brain” and how do we teach our children to manage it?

  • How learning your body’s sensations can give you control over your high sensitivity.

  • How and when to discipline a highly-sensitive child

Women In-Depth Episode 84: The Highly Sensitive Mother


  • What is the trait of high sensitivity?

  • How highly sensitive people process things differently than a non-sensitive person.

  • Why prioritizing finding time for self-care is so important for highly sensitive mothers.

  • The things HSP moms can do to re-energize throughout their day.

  • How a positive, supportive environment is essential when both mother and child are highly sensitive.

  • The ways an HSP mom can approach raising a non-sensitive child.

Practice of Being Seen: The Evolution of Sensitivity

At Practice Of Being Seen we discuss character traits that are common among HSPs, such as anxiety, low self-esteem, negative self-beliefs, and a sense of obligation to take care of others’ needs over their own. And we also explore the research which shows specific differences in the HSP’s brain. Julie shares why she feels sensitive people have always been needed among the human species for survival, evolutionarily speaking. Hosted by Rebecca Wong.