Do you ever suddenly feel intensely tired? Do you suddenly not know what you want anymore? Do you often find life too intense? Then it may be that you are regularly overstimulated. This is quite normal but is often overlooked when guessing at the cause of the effects just mentioned. Highly sensitive people suffer from this slightly more often than non-highly sensitive people.
This article tells you about being overstimulated. What is overstimulation, when can it occur and what are the consequences? She concludes this article with six practical tips that help with overstimulation.
Overstimulation: prevention is better than cure
You receive stimuli through your senses. Man has five senses: hearing, sight, touch, smell, and taste. Research (Aron) has shown that the stimuli that are picked up by the senses in HSPs come in just a little harder and that you gain more impressions. It’s not that your senses are better, but you process the information that comes in through your senses more extensively. Overstimulation is very simply put: more stimuli come in than your brain can process.
To be able to deal with stimuli well, it is important that you know how your highly sensitive system works. I explain this, among other things, in the activity book ‘Live highly sensitive’‘. A brief overview:
- HSPs receive more stimuli. HSPs are more aware of details.
- You get to process external stimuli, but the internal stimuli also have to be processed by our brain.
- Do not forget that the stimuli that you all receive and experience also require a longer processing time. You may be familiar with the comments: ‘Do you still run with that now?’ or ‘Let go, it’s been two weeks already!’.
Awareness is always stepped 1. Are you aware at all of, for example, your energy level, of the signals from your body and mind, of how you feel? Or do the days fly by and consciousness only comes when it is too late? For example, keep an energy diary for two weeks. Find out what costs you energy, what gives you energy, and when you need recovery time.
When overstimulated, the most important rule is: Prevention is better than cure.
What are the consequences of overstimulation?
- You are talking about yourself
- You feel intensely tired
- Your motivation to do something is zero
- You feel like a bad partner, parent, or friend to the people around you
- Your thoughts are negative and sometimes you think you are going crazy
- You don’t know what you want anymore
- You don’t enjoy the people around you and actually, you think life is way too intense
When you are overstimulated, you often only want one thing, Rest!
What would it be like for you to be in control of your overstimulation yourself? So you know and feel when you need rest. What would it be like for you to feel and indicate your limits at all? So that you will avoid being overstimulated and can enjoy life. What would it be like for you to really take care of yourself instead of everyone around you? So that you feel that you can be there too!
Tips to deal with overstimulation
- Asking for help is okay. It’s not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. A sign that you want to take control again. Think of help from your family, relatives, or friends. It can also be very helpful to talk to an (HSP) coach.
- Take time to recover. Some women feel guilty about their families. When they come home from work and feel tired or exhausted, they cannot immediately give full attention to their family. Since she hasn’t seen her family all day, she won’t choose for herself at that time. Imagine that you simply explain to your partner and/or children that you will go upstairs for 15 minutes and that you can be there for them afterward.
Imagine that you take a shower upstairs, visualize that the water jet washes all heavy energy from you so that you can go back down refreshed afterward. Instead of being a tired and irritable parent, this way you can give 100% to your family. Give yourself (and your family) some time to let go of your work and recharge.
- Movement. Think of movement without performance. So don’t immediately want to run the 10 km within 45 minutes. But a quiet walk, with attention to nature. Or dance to dance all the tension out of your body.
- meditate. You can meditate in many different ways. Meditation may have a ‘floating’ image to some and some people balk at that. For me, a way of meditating is also sitting in the garden and watching the flowers that are now in bloom. Or breathe very consciously for a few minutes, feel how you breathe, how your chest and abdomen move, and nothing else for a while. Just pay attention to your breathing. If you want to get some inspiration, you can find many meditations on YouTube to choose from.
- Listening music. It’s so easy these days to create a playlist on Spotify. Make a list of music that you can relax to. Music with beautiful memories or music with beautiful sounds.
- Write. Give yourself some time to write down the thoughts that are running through your head. In this way, you literally get the thoughts out of your head and you create an overview for yourself. And with an overview, you achieve peace of mind. Writing also helps you with personal development. Thoughts can go in all directions in your head and you often jump from one thought to another. When you start writing, you give your thoughts words and they often make more sense. This way you gain more insight into yourself.