A continuous feeling of nervousness, anxiety, worry or guilt
Trembling or shaking of the body, hands or lips
Frequent allergy attacks
Tinnitus (ringing, popping, buzzing in the ear)
Cold or sweaty hands and feet
Blushing, sweating and hot flashes
Dry mouth and difficulty swallowing
Clenched jaw and grinding teeth
Frequently sighing (taking deep breaths) or difficulty breathing
Light-headedness, dizziness, faintness or a feeling of being off balance
Panic attacks when danger is absent
Common Signs & Symptoms of Behavioral Stress
Procrastinating and/or avoiding responsibilities
Eating too much or too little
Obsessive or compulsive behaviors, such as repeatedly washing hands or excessive shopping or gambling
Using or increasing the use of stimulants or sedatives to copes, such as alcohol, cigarettes or drugs
Reduced productivity or activity
Engaging in nervous behaviors, such as fidgeting, pacing, biting the inner mouth, nail biting, picking at the scalp, twirling or pulling out hair, and cutting
Letting appearance go
Social withdrawal and isolation
The Steps Leading to Overwhelm (Hypersensitivity)
Too much internal or external stimuli, including boredom. Over-stimulation, whether positive or negative, leads to stress.
The hormone, Cortisol, is released as part of the stress response and is continually released over several hours after a bout of stress.
Over time, ongoing Cortisol release causes your hormonal system to fatigue. Eventually, Cortisol release begins to decrease (run out). At this point your cells can no longer regulate or use glucose (sugar) for energy. I want to stop here for a moment and mention a product on the market called Relora. It can help to stabilize your cortisone levels by promoting muscle and nerve relaxation. I suggest the brand, Natural Sources.
Once your cells can no longer properly use glucose for energy your muscles and joints fatigue and inflammation develops inside your body.
Next, your Potassium levels drop, you feel physically exhausted, and your immune support diminishes. Meaning, more susceptibility to viruses and longer healing times for injuries.
Stressful symptoms and syndromes begin to appear (irritable bowel, chronic pain, fatigue, irritability, sadness, panic attacks, etc.).
Now, you might attempt to avoid over-stimulation and stop engaging in certain activities or being around certain situations or people that cause you stress. but avoidance can cause emotional symptoms to develop, such as depression or agoraphobia.
You might take drugs (prescription or otherwise) to 'feel better' or numb your senses.
When they don't really help, avoidance behaviors and addictions become a normal way of life, which causes more anxiety. This can become a vicious cycle.
Ongoing anxiety causes overwhelm, which is a state of hypersensitivity and discomfort (see below under Common Causes of Overwhelm). In fact, it is, both, the cause and result of over-stimulation, which causes stress, and you are right back to where you started.
Note: When you begin to use avoidance behaviors you are, basically, trying to avoid your senses, which is not only impossible, but is going against your very nature. To avoid your senses is simply to avoid living. If you have arrived at this point of not living and merely surviving the good news is that you can decide to relieve stress and its host of symptoms with natural remedies and sense-based activities.
Artwork: The Temptation of Percival by Arthur Hacker
Common Causes of Overwhelm (Hypersensitivity)
Overwhelm is a state of dis-ease (discomfort), which is why when we are overwhelmed we need to be comforted.
Overwhelm is a hypersensitive condition where you feel you no longer have the ability to cope with thoughts, feelings or circumstances, much less come up with clear answers or solutions to problems. It causes the continuation of negative emotions. Many of my clients are in this state of discomfort when they request a TCL Holistic Tarot Consultation. Things have become too much to handle. Some amount of reassurance or insight is in order, which brings comfort.
Overwhelm triggers chemical and electrical responses in the body that lead to symptoms and syndromes, such as Irritable Bowel, Sleep Disorder, and Chronic Pain. If you are a Highly Sensitive Person or have been overwhelmed for a very long time or experienced some sort of trauma or abuse, these symptoms are almost to be expected.
Common External Causes of Overwhelm) Hypersensitivity
Major changes in Life (divorce, deaths, pregnancy issues, relocating, health concerns, etc.)
Being Too Busy
Work or School
Negative People (especially living with a negative person)
Common Internal Causes of Overwhelm (Hypersensitivity)
Worry/"What if?" Thinking
Negative Inner Critic/Negative Self-Talk
Rigid 'All or Nothing' Attitude
The Effects of Chronic Stress
Chronic stress causes you to become more sensitive to internal and external stimuli. Things will bother you more. Without doubt, you'll become fatigued, irritable, sad and hypersensitive, which I refer to as FISH.
Serious health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, irregular heart rhythms, eating disorders, irritable bowel, sexual dysfunction in, both, men and women and obesity (including Normal Weight Obesity) can be the result of cause chronic stress and vice versa
Outward, physical symptoms of chronic stress may also include skin conditions, such as acne, eczema and psoriasis, hives, itchiness, “goose-bumps”, and hair loss.
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