Coping with Overstimulation

Coping with Overstimulation

Coping With Overstimulation

Overstimulation occurs when we experience an overwhelming amount of sensory input, often leading to feeling stressed or being unable to focus properly. Recognizing the signs of overstimulation and implementing coping strategies can help restore inner balance and wellbeing.

Signs of Overstimulation

Common signs of overstimulation include:

  • Feeling overwhelmed or irritable
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Experiencing sensory sensitivity, like sensitivity to sound or light
  • Being unable to shut off thoughts or the mind going “into overdrive”
  • Fatigue or problems sleeping

Potential Causes

There are many potential causes of overstimulation, such as:

  • Too much sensory input from sources like sound, light, smells, etc.
  • Emotional stressors
  • Physical discomfort or pain
  • Mental overload from tasks or responsibilities
  • Lack of physical activity

Coping Strategies

If you’re feeling overstimulated, here are some strategies that may help:

  • Minimize sensory input – Reduce noise, light, scents, etc.
  • Practice relaxation – Try deep breathing, meditation, yoga, etc.
  • Get some rest – Sleep or rest to give your mind and body a break.
  • Rejuvenate with nature – Spend time outside in a calming environment.
  • Nourish your body – Eat healthy meals and stay hydrated.
  • Set priorities – Identify the most essential tasks and focus energy there.
  • Create space – Give yourself some quiet alone time.
  • Move your body – Exercise releases endorphins and reduces tension.

Preventing Overstimulation

Strategies to help prevent overstimulation include:

  • Not overscheduling activities and commitments
  • Taking regular breaks during mentally or physically demanding tasks
  • Setting healthy work, social media, and technology boundaries
  • Making time for self-care activities like meditation, journaling, and creative hobbies
  • Slowing down and minimizing multitasking

When to Seek Help

If feelings of overstimulation are ongoing and significantly impacting daily life and ability to function, seeking professional support may be beneficial. A doctor, therapist, or counselor can help identify underlying causes and develop an effective treatment plan.


What are some signs of overstimulation?

Common signs include feeling overwhelmed or irritable, difficulty concentrating, sensory sensitivity, racing thoughts, fatigue, and sleep issues.

What causes overstimulation?

Causes can include too much sensory input, emotional stressors, physical pain/discomfort, mental overload, lack of physical activity, and more.

How can I prevent overstimulation?

Strategies to help prevent overstimulation include not overscheduling, taking regular breaks, setting healthy boundaries with work/tech, making time for self-care, slowing down, and minimizing multitasking.

How do I cope with overstimulation?

Helpful coping strategies include minimizing sensory input, practicing relaxation techniques, getting rest, spending time in nature, nourishing your body, setting priorities, taking space for yourself, exercising, and more.

When should I seek professional help for overstimulation?

If feelings of overstimulation significantly impact your daily functioning and ability to complete activities of daily living, seeking support from a doctor, therapist, or counselor may be beneficial.