Take a look at your screen, how many tabs are open? How many programs are running?
Nowadays, juggling between different tasks at a time is like a badge of honor for your ability to navigate twenty or more tabs at once.
The truth is, it’s not beneficial. Overstimulation is not beneficial and it’s risky, in a big way.
What is overstimulation by the way? And how does it affect our lives? How do overcome it, most importantly?
Simply put it this way, overstimulation, by the term itself, is sensory overload both in physical and psychological means. Our senses are overburdened which affects both the mind and body.
When we are overstimulated, our body and brain are fed with more information than we can handle and process. It can come in a variety of forms as well.
It can be purely sensory like going to a rock concert and being dazzled with lights and sound. Or, it can be physical like being overburdened with work and spending too much time in front of the computer.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND OVERSTIMULATION
Relationship counselor, lecturer, and best-selling author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, John Gray has many great insights on this topic.
Looking at neuroscientific evidence of sensory overload, it’s not just a modern society problem but a disease most people are not aware of.
He explains that in the wake of the digital revolution, the world has become so immersed with technology that overstimulation is now a norm. This is bad since overstimulation is unhealthy.
Aside from constantly straining our senses, we are unconsciously becoming addicted to overstimulation and we are taking in its adverse effects.
Overstimulation paves the production of excess dopamines in our brains. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter associated with the reward and pleasure centers of our brain and having excess dopamine in our neural circuitry makes us feel pretty good.
The problem is, the more excess dopamines we have, the more we become immune to its level insomuch that our dopamine receptors become less responsive with the flow of hormones and so more stimuli are required to release the dopamine we want.
This is how addiction starts kicking in. The more we have, the more we demand. It’s a cycle- a vicious cycle that whacks out our entire system.
COMMON OVERSTIMULATION SYMPTOMS
To conquer overstimulation in our lives means to be aware of its symptoms. Here are some of those:
- Inability to sit still
- Racing thoughts
- Sugar cravings
- Digestive distress
- Heart palpitations
CAUSES OF OVERSTIMULATION
Overstimulation comes in a variety of forms, But the leading cause of overstimulation is actually in front of you- screens.
Any form of a screen can contribute to overstimulation: laptops, cellular phones, tablets, digital billboards, and many others.
Any digital screen can tax your senses and it pays to be aware of how much our bodies and minds are exposed to today’s technologies.
DRAMATIC RISE IN ADHD
1 in 20 are diagnosed with ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in the 1980s. However, the number has dramatically risen to 1 in 9.
Why the spike in numbers? Experts suggest several factors which include refined diagnostic tools for psychiatrists, decreased taboo around behavioral disorders, and a much greater patient advocacy.
However, the fact that kids these days are spending more time in front of screens than playing outside is something that cannot be ignored.
The neurochemical imbalance that affects adults is the same imbalance that affects children. The more kids rely on artificial stimulation, the less interested they are inorganic and personal human to human stimulation.
SOLUTION TO OVERSTIMULATION
Stay focused. That is how we overcome overstimulation. But how do we do it?
Staying conscious of the amount of time we spend in front of our screens is very important.
The more aware we are, the more able we are to overcome sensory overload.
Balancing schedules between “screen and no-screen time.” Intentionally unplugging the world around us is something we should put ourselves into.
Of course, this wouldn’t be an easy one but giving your senses some break is important for the mind and body.
MEDITATION FOR DEEP BRAIN RESET
Meditation -This can also serve as your ‘no screen’ time’ added up with a beneficial mind reset.
Meditation in repetition produces serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, alleviates anxiety, and helps battle depression. It’s something beneficial that we could actually make use of.
The good thing about an increased level of serotonin is that this mood-boosting chemical repairs and resets dopamine receptors in the brain. It’s like a reset button for an overworked computer. Serotonin can soothe agitated, overstimulated dopamine receptors which makes you decrease your dependence on external stimuli, which the dopamine provides.
Just a few minutes a day is needed to meditate. You can do this by standing up, sitting down, or while lying on the floor. Guided meditation can help you out if you are still new to it.
If you are looking for a great Meditation program, Check out my Meditation Mastery Program. It uses Binaural beats to help you reach deeper levels of meditation easily.
MINDFULNESS MEDITATION FOR OVERSTIMULATION
If you feel you are confident in meditation without guidance, try a mindful practice focused on the breath. Five minutes can do the job of shifting your awareness and increasing your ability to focus.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Find a position that you are comfortable to sit or lie down in.
- Set your timer for five minutes.
- Close your eyes and rest your hands by your side or on your knees.
- Breathe through your nose.
- Exhale through your mouth.
- Continue breathing and focus on how the air feels as it enters through your nose and exits through your mouth.
- Do not control your breath. Just observe the sensations that accompany it.
You see, simple mindfulness practice can sure do a lot in battling overstimulation.