Overstimulation vs a Calm State in the Body

Overstimulation vs a Calm State in the Body

Each human has a unique mechanism to deal with certain stimuli – you either react or respond to such stimuli. Though both actions seem alike, they are different. When you react to some situation that is emotionally charged or stressful, you are then being instinctual. While responding to these stimuli rather well, you are being more thoughtful. In this case, you take a pause, analyze the situation, and then respond accordingly. The responses also fluctuate from being in a relaxed state to intense anxiety. But the objective is always to shift your focus from overstimulation to a much calmer state of body and mind.

When faced with a difficult situation your body goes in either three of these modes – fight, flight, or freeze. However, in their heightened conditions, these states are rather threatening. While overstimulation affects your preceptory functions, a calm state in the body can make you feel relaxed and interfere with your natural response. You become extra sensitive to sensory input, which is called hypersensitivity, or conversely, you don’t react at all in the case of hyposensitivity.

What is overstimulation?

Overstimulation is also known as sensory overload or hypersensitivity. It is the state when your brain receives more than enough share from the five senses (light, sound, taste, touch, and smell). Your brain is suddenly overwhelmed and can’t sort and process through input. Anything can trigger sensory overload like too many people talking in a room, sudden flashing of overhead lights, loud party, sharp smell of something, etc. Your brain gets confused and triggers itself into the fight, flight, or freeze mode.

What is overstimulation?

A calm state of body and mind in this context means relaxation response. Your parasympathetic nervous system controls your body’s function. It regulates the work of your glands and organs while you feel relaxed. Your relaxation response kicks in when your mind and body feel safe. The best part is that it blocks effects from the body’s response to stress. But it also has an adverse effect, your body goes into a state of inactivity. This state is called hyposensitivity.

Let us now explore some effects of overstimulation and the calm state of the body:

Over Stimulation (Hypersensitivity)

Hypervision: Hypervision occurs when you have an acute vision. In this overstimulated state, you can even notice the tiniest particles on a carpet. You can complain about air particles flying around you. You start to dislike bright lights and get frightened by sharp flashes of light.

Hyperhearing: In this state, you get frightened by unpredictable sounds such as that of a baby crying, sudden burst of crackers, or a telephone ringing. You start disliking crowds, thunderstorm and even get terrified by a haircut.

Olfactory hypersensitivities: Individuals suffering from Olfactory hypersensitivity cannot tolerate the smell of any person or object. They run away from smells. For them, the smell of food is too strong, and they can reject any food even if they are starving.

Hypertactile: People suffering from hypertactile are too sensitive toward touch. They tend to recoil if you touch them even when you don’t want to harm them. The slightest touch can induce a panic attack in the affected person. They are terrified to wear certain clothes as they cannot tolerate the texture on their skin.

Vestibular hypersensitivity: If you have vestibular hypersensitivity, you feel extremely difficult to maneuver directions. You also have trouble walking or crawling on uneven surfaces. Persons with this difficulty are perennially poor in sports. They often feel extreme disorientation after jumping, running, or spinning.

Calm state (Hyposensitivity)

Hypovision: A person with hypovision has difficulty figuring out the placement of objects. He can only see outlines. If you have hypovioion, you are attracted toward the light and tend to stare at a bright light or the sun. If you enter an unfamiliar room, you may have trouble getting adjusted to it. You need to walk around touching everything before you settle down.

Hypohearing: You start seeking sound by leaning your ear against electric equipment. The favorite palaces in your home are the noisiest spots in your home such as the kitchen and bathroom. You tend to make sounds to stimulate hearing such as tapping things, banging doors, crumbling paper, etc.

Hypotaste/Hyposmell: In this state, you can smell and chew anything even if it is gross. You tend to mouth and lick objects and eat mixed food with a sweet and sour taste. You even have a tendency to play with feces.

Hypotactility: You don’t feel pain or temperature in this state. In the state of hypotactility, you may not feel the pain caused by a sharp cut on your skin or even broken bones. You are prone to self-injury and can bang your head on the wall just to feel alive. They like pressure, tight hugs, clothes, etc.

Vestibular hyposensitivity: With this difficulty, you tend to rock forth and back and move in circles while rocking the body. You can endlessly spin or swing without filling nauseated or dizzy.

Often children with Autism suffer from acute sensitivity and relaxed responses. Normal people also feel the effect of overstimulation and a calm state in the body to a certain degree in their day-to-day life. When faced with these problems always be aware of the potential of plunging into an extreme state, which becomes a medical emergency.