You know the drill. You have scores of things going on and you’re huffing and puffing to keep pace. And on top of it all, your mood and anxiety symptoms are spiking. All signs you’re overstimulated. Yikes!

Sure, it’s not a problem for many; however, just as many of us are wired differently and don’t do well with commotion.

Was talking with a friend a couple of weeks ago. 

We knew we shared certain mood and anxiety leanings, but out of nowhere came something else…

We’re easily overstimulated. And if we don’t manage it, life can become way harder than it has to be.

How ’bout you? Overstimulated?

What Is Overstimulation?

If you do a web search for overstimulation, you’ll likely see a lot of results related to babies and children.

That makes sense, doesn’t it?

Sure, every so often noise, goings on, sensations, and too many faces add up to more than the little guy or gal can handle. And, boom, on come all sorts of misery (for all parties involved).

The same with grown ups

And so it is with many grown ups…

Way too many visuals, sounds, smells, touches, flavors, vibes, thoughts, feelings, and opinions. And before we know it the beaker’s full – even overflowing.

Overstimulation – sensory overload – has arrived.

And if someone with a mood or anxiety disorder is in the midst of the tumult, the trouble threshold can present much faster and the fallout can be more brutal.

Are you a highly sensitive person?

Here’s an interesting tidbit. It’s believed that 15-20% of us are considered to be a “highly sensitive person” (HSP). The glitzy term is sensory processing sensitivity (SPS).

In short, a HSP is much more responsive to their environment. And that’s because their nervous system and mind allow more stimulation to enter without any sort of automatic or unconscious filter.

Also, a HSP cognitively processes their received stimulation in greater detail than others.

If you struggle with overstimulation, who knows, maybe you’re a HSP. I believe I am. I’ll give you a nice resource at the end.

12 signs you’re overstimulated

I'm tired of being depressed

“This is just silly. I mean, my mind is on full speed to nowhere. I’m done.”

We know that peacefully living with a mood or anxiety disorder only happens with well-considered and targeted management.

And so it is with overstimulation.

But how are you supposed to manage something if you don’t know what it looks like?

Well, I did some digging and found what I believe are 12 biggies to keep an eye out for. Go with your gut as well.

  1. Attention, concentration, and direction are compromised. You’re a spinning top.
  2. Distortions dominate your thinking and perception of reality.
  3. Your thoughts – mind – are on full speed to nowhere.
  4. It’s easy to get ticked off at anything, anyone, anytime.
  5. Your sleep can be barely there or dominate the day.
  6. You’re tired – emotionally, mentally, physically cashed.
  7. You feel overwhelmed, and tears may come out of nowhere.
  8. Your already troubling mood and anxiety symptoms are spiking.
  9. You physically hurt and ache.
  10. What little self-esteem you had hit the highway.
  11. More and more you prefer your own company.
  12. Hopelessness rules.

That’s how overstimulation looks. Now, no one’s saying you have to run the table. But if you’re experiencing your share of the 12, it’s time to self-assess and do something about it.


It’s so easy to fall into the trap of taking on way too much. And, of course, piling on is all sorts of environmental stimuli.

Sure, it’s not a problem for many; however, just as many of us are wired differently and don’t do well with commotion. Can we once and for all recognize and accept that?

Overstimulation is a force to be reckoned with. Connect those dots and take care of business.


If you’d like to learn more about the highly sensitive person, check out Dr. Elaine Aron’s website. Tons to offer.

And as long as you’re doing some reading, kick back and leisurely peruse the Chipur titles. Plenty of info and inspiration.

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