Understimulation: an underestimated source of stress

Understimulation: an underestimated source of stress
It is high time to agree on under-stimulation instead of overstimulation, life has become one big repetition. As a result, mental and emotional under-stimulation. In short: stress!” Especially the highly sensitive High Sensation Seekers (HSS) among us crave positive incentives.

Irritability, fatigue, depression, meaninglessness… all signs of a chronic lack of nourishing stimuli.

Chronic boredom

I notice a kind of deadlock in myself and many other people. There is more restlessness in myself, I worry more often, I feel little motivated and sometimes even aimless, I hardly get any satisfaction from anything and the emotions flare up every now and then. “What’s the matter with me?” I sometimes wondered out loud lately.

And then I read about under-stimulation. What you can think of as a state of malnutrition of your nervous system, caused by chronic boredom. Something that highly sensitive sensation seekers ( High Sensation Seekers, HSS) appear to be very sensitive to. Irritability, listlessness, fatigue, withdrawal, depression, indifference, meaninglessness… these are all signs of a chronic lack of nourishing and positive stimuli. Incentives that we haven’t received for months. As a result, mental and emotional under-stimulation. In short: stress!

Understimulation: an underestimated source of stress

Causes of under-stimulation

In this article, I explain why we feel massively understimulated and why I am concerned about this.

1. Lack of variety and spontaneity

We currently live in very predictable circumstances. For many people, life has become one big repetition. We only see a limited number and mostly the same peopleAlways work at the same location. Go for a walk in the same park again. We miss the nourishing stimuli that new people, environments, and activities bring us!

We can no longer break our daily routines with a nice concert, a surprising team-building activity, a new sport, a relaxing sauna visit, an evening on the dance floor… In short, with the things that give our brain a positive boost and the feeling of routine Make disappear.

In addition, spontaneity has also disappeared from our lives and many ‘musts’ have taken their place. Many people currently feel that they have to live against their own values ​​and put a brake on their own nature. They no longer feel true to themselves, which creates inner conflicts.

2. Too few positive incentives

Understimulation: an underestimated source of stress

Not only do we currently receive too many routines and too few qualitative stimuli, we are also bombarded with almost exclusively negative messages. Day in and day out we are inundated with disturbing messages. The effect of this supersaturation is that we become numb and more and more disconnected: both with ourselves and with others. As a result, the polarization increases. There seems to be less and less tolerance for other opinions and visions, while we need togetherness more than ever. Because whether we like it or not: we are in this together.

3. Lack of perspective

Where we were still happily ‘skyperitif’ around this time last year, in the naive assumption that we would be able to do our normal thing again after a few months at the most, we now seem massively sobered and disillusioned. ‘Will we ever go back to normal life? Can we ever travel normally again, go to festivals, cuddle our friends?’ These kinds of questions keep us busy. The essential theme behind these questions, however, is meaning.

A lot of people are in some sort of waiting mode. Passive waiting is like a car that doesn’t know which direction to go and therefore just keeps driving in circles on a roundabout. At first, this seems harmless. But what we forget is that in the meantime the engine continues to run continuously, that a car is not made to continuously rev in a low gear and that you as a driver can get dizzy from all that spinning. Passive waiting makes you unconsciously lose all your energy, focus, and inner strength.

Bore out and Depression

I am concerned, concerned about the number of bore-outs and depressive complaints that many people unconsciously slumber. Not by overstimulation, but by under-stimulation. A very underestimated source of stress. I will not conclude with tips and advice, simply because this situation is also unprecedented for me. I will conclude with a warm appeal: take extra good care of yourself and each other!


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