What is overstimulation?
Overstimulation, sometimes called “sensory overload,” is when your brain has too much stimuli, making it hard to process any new information. Typically, this is seen in highly sensitive people (HSP), autistic folks, folks with anxiety, and folks with ADHD.
Essentially, your brain feels trapped by the high volumes of input it’s picking up on. Your body begins to panic in a bid to try to protect you from overwhelming stimuli.
What are the signs of overstimulation?
There are many signs of overstimulation, but just a few are:
- Being overwhelmed by things like bright lights, loud noises, strong smells, coarse fabric
- A loss of focus
- Feeling irritable
- Difficulty sleeping
- Digestive stress, heart palpitations, or headaches
How to manage it
- Limit your screen time
- Find your safe space (a quiet, dark room)
- Set boundaries with others and take time away/time alone
- Speak with a professional
- Buy earplugs
Find out which type of earplugs are right for you HERE.
The next time you experience this type of anxiety, mental or physical fatigue, decreased concentration, ask yourself if this could be from overstimulation. When challenges like this arise, setting boundaries, prioritizing self-care, mindfulness, and physical exercise can help in the long run.
Although overstimulation can leave us feeling drained and helpless, there are many ways for you to get back into a calmer state.