The Pain of Digital Overstimulation
In the Information Age, we are completely overwhelmed with the sheer volume of data we are asked to process every day.
Hundreds of emails, texts, Facebook posts — trying to keep up is impossible.
One of the greatest strengths of highly sensitive people is our depth of processing or in other words, how deeply we think about any given subject. In our culture of instant gratification, we are losing our ability to slow down, process and provide a thoughtful response.
I suppose that is part of the reason I began blogging although ironically, I am also adding to the digital traffic jam. Sometimes a blog post takes me all day to write or even several days as I allow the words to flow out in their own time.
Highly sensitive people are also very susceptible to overstimulation, it requires constant vigilance of our environment to ensure we are planning the downtime we need to be healthy.
Digital overstimulation can be a real challenge, especially when we feel pressure to be constantly ‘on’.
I’ve reads tens of articles about how to manage digital overstimulation and tried quite a few things, with varied results:
- Turned off cable about four years ago, I can’t remember the last time I even turned on my television. I decided to go out and create my own life vs. watching someone else’s virtual life. And saved a lot of money in the process!
- Went back to reading books instead of so many online articles, I love the feel of slowly turning the pages, the book smell, and the physicality.
- I recently tried turning off notifications on all of my phone’s apps. I had two blissful days with no pings or beeps. I could breathe without the pressure of that little red number calling out — look and see! However, when I did finally sneak a peek, I had 96 unread emails, which I found way more stressful than checking them a few at a time.
- I’m in the processing of unsubscribing from any enewsletter that I don’t read. Easy process of sorting what is essential and what is not as they come in. If I can just quit signing up for new ones…
- I stopped following the news some years ago: politics, local and national news, it’s simply too much focus on drama and fear. If something important is going on, people will be talking about it and I can quickly catch up.
- Every week, I take time out to walk in nature and gasp, I leave my cell phone in my car! Sensitive people have a strong connection with the natural world, I am instantly renewed by being at one with the natural rhythms of life. It’s now my weekly reset, I have a goal to make nature my daily reset.
Some people say, if I ever became independently wealthy I would buy such and such or travel here or there. My fantasy revolves around living in a small cabin in the woods where I am not required to be wired in unless I choose…
I am a very strong advocate for highly sensitive people to create a self- care plan that supports your unique needs. This is one of the exercises we cover in the Three Thresholds to Authenticity program. A group coaching experience, a small group of HSPs embark together on a seven week journey where you gain clarity about the age-old question: Who am I and how do I want to show up in the world?