Life can be a bit too much. Especially for us, the highly sensitive people (HSPs).
Even daily life can feel like an unbearable struggle at times. We think too deeply. We feel too deeply. We care too deeply. As emotional flooding for HSPs, is very common, we can easily get overwhelmed by even the smallest things that other people might not even notice. What may be a minor issue for others, can make us stressed, panicked and upset.
Drowning In An Emotional Flood
The smallest stimulus can make most of us HSPs feel ‘emotionally flooded’. We can easily become mentally and emotionally overwhelmed to social, environmental and internal stimuli.
But why do we feel like this?
Our nervous system is biologically wired in a different way that makes us process different stimuli very deeply.
This means that HSPS are highly responsive to even small stimuli. Our brain is simply hardwired in a way that we are always prepared to respond immediately. And this is why emotional flooding for HSPs can feel very discomforting most of the times.
Are You a Highly Sensitive Person?
Being an HSP does not mean that you get offended by some negative remark from a co-worker or a friend or that you cry while watching chick flicks. A highly sensitive person is very susceptible and sensible which usually leads to emotional flooding for HSPs.
So how can you know if you are a highly sensitive person? Here’s how.
- Do loud noises and people make you want to run away?
- Do you notice even the slightest change in the temperature?
- Do bright lights feel blinding to you?
- Is chaos intolerable to you?
- Do art, music, poetry and stories make you feel emotional?
- Do you avoid loud parties and pubs?
- Can you easily sense the slightest change in tone when others talk to you?
- Do you know if something isn’t right, even though you can’t put your finger on it?
- Do you overreact to stressful situations and relationship problems?
- Can you sense when other people feel overwhelmed?
- Do you feel annoyed when you are hungry?
- Is multitasking a nightmare for you?
- Is it hard for you to make decisions?
- Do you prefer privacy and peace at work?
- Do you need some alone time to recharge at the end of a day?
No. You’re not crazy. You are not antisocial or weird or a buzzkill. In fact, a HSP can be a very adventurous, fun, amazing and a strong person, especially when they want to be.
You appreciate the little things in life that most people fail to notice.
You become isolated most of the time as you can’t tolerate or even enjoy certain things that most of your friends and colleagues have no problem with.
Emotional flooding for HSPs is a result of being hypersensitive to external stimuli coupled with deeper cognitive processing and emotional sensitivity. And you are not just emotionally sensitive, you can also be physically sensitive to certain stimuli as well. You just think and feel a little more deeply than the next person.
Do You Feel Emotionally Flooded?
Emotional flooding can be a very unique experience for each one of us. Here are some symptoms to help you identify emotional flooding-
· You feel it’s hard to focus as you try to process the experience and your brain feels overwhelmed.
· You feel stressed and anxious. You either shut down or withdraw as your brain heats up with activity.
· You have an internal war going on as you cope with the fight-or-flight response.
· You find it hard to recognize your emotions as you feel a rush of mixed feelings all at once.
· You feel light-headed, have tunnel vision and sweaty hands along with other physical symptoms.
Irrespective of the symptoms, emotional flooding for HSPs can be a devastating and uncomfortable experience that can last longer than we may want it to. Perhaps, this is why we need emotional regulation.
Dealing With Emotional Flooding For HSPs
Wondering how to deal with flooding? Relax. We’ve got you covered. Here are 7 effective strategies to help you decompress when you feel emotionally flooded.
#1 Excuse Yourself
If you feel overwhelmed or have a panic attack, calmly remove yourself from the scenario.
It is okay to excuse yourself for a few moments, collect your thoughts, calm yourself down and then go back, if and when you are ready. You can take a short break to the washroom, the cafeteria, the parking lot or any place you feel comfortable with. Take some time off. Call a family member or friend. Listen to some music. Do whatever that works for you. Understand that you have the option to leave, if you need to.