Anyone can feel overwhelmed for any reason, but for ‘highly sensitive people’ (HSP), overstimulation can quickly lead to overwhelm.
As an HSP your nervous system is more attuned to the environment than other people. This means you will have a stronger sensitivity to loud noises and smells, you will probably be deeply moved by art and poetry and find that you process events deeply. Aron (2016), estimates that 15-20% of the population is a HSP. Being a HSP is no better or worse than not being a HSP, they are just different.
HSPs have a more sensitive nervous system then 80% of the population. It takes less for them to become overwhelmed and need to go somewhere quiet. It could be a trip that goes on for too long, a party that never seems to finish or having to pass intense road works. It happens when we leave the comfortable range for OUR particular nervous system.
Remember, if we are having to process much more information much more deeply than everyone else, it makes sense it will take up more energy and there is more likely to be a shutdown of some kind.
HSPs also feel other people’s emotions and moods deeply and they can find it draining to be around people who are emotionally stressed for long periods of time. For all of these reasons it is important that HSPs learn to self-care when feeling overstimulated.
I hope you all find the ideas in the tile useful.
Reference: Aron, E. N. (2016). The Highly Sensitive Person. NY, New York; Random House.