The Handbook for Highly Sensitive People by Mel Collins is an important book for navigating today’s environmental and emotional pressures – whether you live with High Sensitivity or not! We review it here ahead of our live Q&A with author Mel, Thursday 28 November, 19:30 GMT. Visit our homepage to reserve your online seat.

‘One in five people are born with the trait of high sensitivity. That’s approximately 1.4 billion people globally.’

Everyone feels sensitive at times. But a person classed as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) may feel entirely overwhelmed, and furthermore quite unwell, in a multitude of situations. Meeting deadlines, public speaking, coping with crowds or changes in temperature may all trigger an HSP to develop negative responses. Subsequently, an HSP could often feel drained or exhausted with every day living.

‘Emotions are hardwired in our brains and felt in the body. They can therefore cause physical reactions.’

Allergies, intolerances, insomnia, even chronic fatigue take their toll. Building upon research that eastern philosophies have understood for centuries, Mel demonstrates a link between physical and emotional wellbeing. As a result of answering the 22 questions at the front of her book, you swiftly identify if you fall into the HSP bracket. Rest assured, though, with Mel’s advice, you can live with as little impact on your body and mind as possible.

‘An ash tree will never be an oak tree – but it is still a beautiful and valuable tree!’

With 20% of the population living with high sensitivity it is perhaps more of a gift than you might imagine. In fact, Mel states that HSPs contribute huge value to society. Of particular interest, people with the trait may show a high degree of creativity. They be drawn to the arts in some way. Enjoying silence, problem-solving and seeing the bigger picture are useful qualities. In addition, HSPs pick up on subtleties that others don’t notice. Hang on… we recognise these skills in terms of character development and plotting…

Hello writers everywhere!

When writing a book, having strengths like these is crucial because getting it published is no mean feat. Very few people write a couple of drafts, get a deal and see their book raking in royalties within a year. Commitment, courage and a very thick skin are required to put your ideas out there and cope with rejection, time and again. And once it’s published, there’s the matter of promoting it. Travelling and changes in noise, smells, lighting and temperature can leave their mark. Yet book tours and public speaking events may play a vital role in book sales. Offering easy-to-apply solutions, Mel’s Handbook for Highly Sensitive People can assist. With well-researched techniques, sensitivity stress can be minimised.

“I try to pamper myself as much as I can – meditation, baths, music, dance, friends’ support.”

Knowing high sensitivity will likely affect so many people – someone you know, possibly even you – author Mel took plenty of time on this book. A beautiful balance of parables and quotes from people living with high sensitivity combined with clinical evidence, pioneering research and personal experience make the book an essential guide that can be picked up whenever needed.

“The key is to understand yourself. Thank you Mel for writing about it.”
Jeremy Vine, broadcaster and journalist

As presenter Jeremy Vine (who wrote the foreword) suggests, more than anything this book allows us to understand ourselves better. Putting a name to our ‘current mood’ is one benefit but The Handbook for Highly Sensitive People also offers practical advice to protect each and every one of us. Being dragged down by the energy of others and the world around us can truly become a thing of the past.

An illuminating and highly useful read! Reserve your seat at our live interview with Mel Thursday 28 November 19:30 GMT.