I have a confession to make. I sometimes suffer from sensory overload. There are times it can be a common thing in a household full of indigos and crystals, and even for those who aren’t. Not such a horrible thing to confess in my opinion. However, it has lately come to my attention that others view this matter very seriously and too harshly.
Sensory overload happens when we aren’t caring for ourselves properly – when life hits a higher stress level, when our diets aren’t properly maintained and our body’s usual cues are ignored, dismissed or go unrecognized. When we continue to ignore these cues, it starts to affect us in various ways, one of which may be sensory overload.
Sensory overload is different for different people, but those I personally know, who from time to time have episodes, find it mostly centered in their ears. When it builds to high levels they snap, unable to handle one more thing in their energy field. Some may believe it is an anger or stress situation, but this is not true. What really is being observed is the individual not being aware of what is happening to them, and needing tools on how recognize and defuse a possible overload well before it happens.
My little family has been able to recognize that often we experience sensory overload when we’re tired. We need to step away from what we are engaged in, and then take a deep breath. We are always honest about what is happening and we excuse ourselves from the room.
“I’m having a bit of a sensory overload, I’m going to go take some time to myself.”
Everyone honors that honesty, and it also allows us to be aware of what is happening so that we can be respectful and honor that individual.
What do we do after we’ve excused ourselves? Sometimes we lie down, other times we just enjoy sitting quietly looking out at nature, or actually sitting out in nature. Some times we are active in nature, such as walking through grass in our bare feet, or we get our pet labrador and take him for a walk for at least 30 minutes. It doesn’t matter what the weather, the connection with fresh air, nature and an ease on the eyes is essential. I’ve even sat outside on rainy days under an umbrella, the smell of rain soothing me and melting away tension.
Other times I may sit, plant my feet to the ground and imagine roots descending into the earth. A brilliant white light shines down into my head, I pull that light through my center, down my body, through my aura until my core is like a pillar. I breathe in to the count of 4, and exhale to 8 ten times. This never fails to help me feel more grounded, provide more oxygen and make me feel better.
The most important thing is that we choose to do something that brings us back to center and allows our senses to reset and generally our mood is better for it, too. For me, nature is always the best option as I know being out in nature always sustains me; it is what I must do daily to feel whole and real.
What makes you feel whole, real? What feeds your soul like nothing else can? This is what you need to incorporate daily into your routine so sensory overload is more manageable. What gives you passion daily? What is essential to your being? Identify those things, incorporate them into your day every day, for those things feed your soul and help to sustain you. When you feel the noises getting to you – instead of snapping, realize it’s because your body needs you to take a deep breath, take a break and reset.
Once you feel better, take some time to identify what might have led to the overload. Examine your diet. Have you not been eating enough fruits and vegetables? Are you eating more processed food than normal or perhaps eating something that aggravates an allergy or sensitivity? Are you getting enough exercise? Are you taking enough time daily engaging in what is essential to you?
Once you’ve examined what may have happened, and noted what you need to do, be kind to yourself. Sensory overload happens to everyone. Teach these tools to your children with patience, compassion and love. In time, they’ll be able to recognize what is necessary for themselves so that they, too, can manage their bodily needs, and avoid sensory overload.
ISIC is a non-for-profit group for professional holistic practitioners providing information on subtle energy. Visit ISIC’s website to learn more about our group, our monthly meetings, quarterly public workshops and to view a listing of holistic practitioners in our area.