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I have been trying to bolster my intake of bene’s the past few weeks, especially the ones that have fallen away from practice, like kefir, so wonderfully tangy, and replacing cheddar cheese with beneficial ones, like farmer’s and mozzarella.
But I always hit an impasse when I try to add green tea to my diet. I have tried regular green tea, organic green tea, decaf, steeping longer, steeping shorter... all with the same result: I feel jittery and have shakiness in my legs which is very similar to what I experience with dental anesthesia/anesthetics.
Now I can only guess as to why this is true but I bet it is something to do with being an HSP, which is an acronym for Highly Sensitive Person. I am not talking here about emotional sensitivity but neurological sensitivity.
I realized very early in life that I was wired differently than most people I knew. Things that other people found enjoyable or stimulating were, and are, very stressful for me; things like roller coasters, horror movies, violence in any way, shape, or form, large crowds, video games and other highly visual stimuli, loud sounds, city noise, etc. Airports drive me insane. So do hotel ballrooms with large, busy patterns on the carpeting and walls. These are all common stressful experiences to us HSPer’s.
HSP is an inherited trait. About 15 to 20% of the population possess this trait and it is seen at those numbers in other animal species as well. HSPer’s have a nervous system that is more sensitive to subtleties; their brains process information and reflect on it more deeply than non-HSPs. Highly Sensitive People are often mislabeled as introverted or shy, and I know many people viewed me through those lenses when I was younger. I have since learned to cope with being a different type of minority in the society of human species.
A very common experience with HSP’s is a difference in sleep patterns. We are the classic “light” sleeper, but also have difficulty sleeping when stressed and over-stimulated. I take great care to not let myself get too exhausted or else I will not sleep well, sometimes it can take several restless nights before I unwind enough for a decent sleep. We can, however, get adequate rest by lying down with eyes closed whether we are officially sleeping or not. It’s the break from visual processing that is rejuvenating.
What is the point of all this? Something in green tea over-stimulates my sensitive nervous system. It could be the caffeine although I react the same way to decaffeinated green tea and I can drink decaf black tea. But the real point is that although my blood type is B, I am also an individual and choose to make choices not only based on the principles of the blood type diet, but also how my body responds to those choices. Even though green tea is a beneficial for B’s, I have tried it enough times through the years to know it is not beneficial for me. Perhaps you have similar experiences with a beneficial as well.
As for the blood type connection with HSP, alas, there is none...yet. I would like to think of it as more of a B type trait. But that could just be wishful thinking. I bet there are many A’s who fit the bill; maybe there’s a cortisol connection. Hmmm....
To find out more about HSP, go to www.hsperson.com. Dr. Elaine Aron, herself an HSP, has a very informative site on this unique trait where much of the info for this blog came from. You can even take a little test to see if you're HSP too!
The more, the merrier... well, I’ll be happy with quieter and peaceful.
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