Understand what overstimulation is
Overstimulation is characterized by an excessive response to stimulation of the senses. It can be caused by various things, including certain medical conditions, overstimulating environments, certain medications, and illegal drugs. While overstimulation can be unpleasant, it is important to understand that it is not dangerous and does not cause lasting damage. There are a few things that you can do to help deal with overstimulation.
Overstimulation is a feeling of overwhelming sensory input. This can happen when you are exposed to bright lights, loud noises, or strong smells. It can also happen when you are feeling anxious or stressed. This can be very unpleasant and make it hard to focus or concentrate.
Signs and symptoms of overstimulation
There are many signs and symptoms associated with overstimulation. They can be physical, emotional, behavioral, or a combination of all three.
Physical signs and symptoms of overstimulation may include:
- rapid heartbeat
- sweaty palms
- upset stomach
- chest pain
- shortness of breath
Emotional signs and symptoms of overstimulation may include:
- feeling anxious or nervous
- feeling irritable or on edge
- feeling overwhelmed or out of control
- having difficulty concentrating or making decisions.
Behavioral signs and symptoms of overstimulation may include:
- fidgeting or restlessness
- pacing or hand wringing
- avoidance of people or places
- Aggression or outbursts of anger.
- Causes of overstimulation
- Overstimulation comes from the Latin word “stimulus,” which means “to goad.” You’re bombarded with too much information that overloads your senses. This can happen when juggling too many tasks, in a place with too much sensory input, or too much information at once. Let’s take a look at some of the causes of overstimulation.
- Environmental factors
- Many environmental factors can contribute to overstimulation. For example, loud noises, bright lights, and strong smells can all overwhelm the senses. If you’re sensitive to these things, it’s important to create an environment that is peaceful and calming.
Other environmental factors that can contribute to overstimulation include:
- chaotic or cluttered surroundings
- lack of routine or structure
- lack of fresh air or too much stimulus in general
If you feel overwhelmed by your surroundings, taking a break in a quiet space or outside in nature may be helpful.
Many internal factors can contribute to a person feeling overstimulated. Some of these factors include:
-A person’s physical state: If a person is feeling tired or run down, they may be more susceptible to feeling overstimulated.
-A person’s mental state: If a person is feeling anxious or stressed, they may be more likely to feel overstimulated.
-A person’s emotional state: If a person feels sad or down, they may be more likely to experience overstimulation.
-A person’s environment: A person in a loud or chaotic environment may be more likely to feel overstimulated.
How to deal with overstimulation
Being overstimulated can feel like you’re too much of a good thing. Your mind races, you can’t focus, and everything feels too much. Although it can feel exhilarating, it can lead to burnout if it’s constant. So how can you deal with it?
The best way to deal with overstimulation is to avoid it altogether. However, this is often easier said than done. There are a few things you can do to make it easier to avoid overstimulation:
- Identify your triggers: What are the things that tend to overstimulate you? If you can avoid them, you’ll be less likely to become overstimulated.
- Create a calming environment: Make sure your home is a relaxing place where you can retreat when you need to. This may include dimming the lights, playing calming music, or using Essential oils.
- Schedule downtime: Make sure to schedule some time each day when you can relax and unwind. This will help your body and mind recover from any overstimulation.
The first step in dealing with overstimulation is to reduce the number of stimuli you’re exposed to. This cannot be easy, especially if you live in a busy city or work in a high-stress environment. However, there are a few things you can do to help reduce your exposure to stimuli:
- Take breaks during the day to step away from the noise and bustle. Find a quiet place where you can relax for a few minutes.
- -Limit your exposure to electronics and screen time. If possible, disconnect from technology for an hour or two each day.
- -Choose calming activities such as yoga, meditation, or nature walks. These activities can help center and ground you.
- -Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Overstimulation can lead to fatigue, so it’s important to ensure you’re well-rested.
Other options are available if reducing exposure to stimuli isn’t possible or doesn’t seem to be helping.
How much stimulation can you tolerate? We all have different levels of tolerance for stimulation, but what happens when we are constantly bombarded with stimulation and our tolerance is pushed to its limits? This can lead to overstimulation, harming our mental and physical health.
There are several ways to deal with overstimulation, but the most important thing is to be aware of the signs and symptoms to identify when you are starting to feel overwhelmed. Once you have identified that you are feeling overstimulated, there are several things you can do to reduce the amount of stimulation you are exposed to and help your body and mind recover.
Symptoms of overstimulation
The most common symptoms of overstimulation are:
-Feeling overwhelmed or out of control
-Increased heart rate
-Anxiety or panic attacks
-Nausea or dizziness
-Insomnia or disturbed sleep
-Irritability or short temper
-Muscle tension or headaches
If you start to experience any of these symptoms, it is important to take steps to reduce the amount of stimulation you are experiencing. There are several things you can do to reduce your exposure to stimulation:
-Take a break from technology: Turn off your phone, disconnect from the internet and give yourself some time away from screens. Spend time in nature, read a book or do something that doesn’t require constant mental effort.
-Reduce noise: Turn off the TV, music, and other noise sources that might increase your stress levels. If possible, find somewhere quiet where you can relax and de-stress.
-Reduce social contact: If being around other people adds to your stress levels, take some time out for yourself. Let people know you need some time alone, and stick to your boundaries.
These are just a few ideas for reducing your exposure to stimulation, but the most important thing is to listen to your body and mind and do what feels right for you.