7 Tips To Deal With Emotional Flooding For Highly Sensitive People

Emotional Flooding Highly Sensitive People

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.

Are Empaths Signs of a New Human Evolution?

Are Empaths Signs of a New Human Evolution

I knew all my life that I was “sensitive” and that I picked up on things that others did not. I also knew that my body didn’t handle sensory stimuli the same way other bodies did.  I could easily become overwhelmed by itchy clothes, too much noise or strange smells.  High emotion in a room could send me over the edge.

Sometimes if too much input came at me all at once, it would send me into a full blown panic attack. But it wasn’t until I became a therapist that I came to understand that being an “empath” isn’t just some woo-woo label that New-Agers made up to make themselves feel special. I learned that my nervous system is actually wired differently than most humans.  When I studied Sensory Processing Disorder, everything came together for me like a Big Bang.


Sensory Processing Disorder  

“SPD is a neurological “traffic jam”.  A person with SPD finds it difficult to process and act upon information received through the senses, which creates challenges in performing countless everyday tasks. Motor clumsiness, behavioral problems, anxiety, depression, school failure, and many other problems that may show up.”  ~ From the Start Institute for Sensory Processing Disorder


The Gifted Empath 

From here forth, I will refer to “Sensory Processing Disorder” as “Sensory Processing DIFFERENCE”.  In my professional view, it’s not a disorder; it’s a manifestation of human evolution.  Empaths, Sensitives and those with Sensory Processing Differences may well have abilities that regular people often marvel at, including the ability to sense subtle sound, light, and energy vibration, emotional subtlety and even mystical phenomena.

In recent years, we’ve seen a rapid increase in the numbers of children born with SPD.  In my opinion, this is a sign that the human race is progressing toward a superior state.  The ability to take in much larger amounts of sensory data is an evolutionary leap for our species.

Quick Checklist:  Are you an Empathic SPD Human?

(Note that symptoms can present as both over-sensitivity, or under-sensitivity)

1. Hyper-sensitive to touch: touch may be uncomfortable or ticklish, may avoid tactile stimulation

2.  Hypo-sensitive to touch: May crave touch or seek out strong sensory input

3. Difficulty with Self-Soothing: Has trouble calming self, requires lots of outside help to process life’s challenges, irritability, emotional roller coaster

4. Sensory-avoidant behaviors: afraid of heights, loses balance easily, avoids fast movements, avoids hugs and eye contact

5. Sensory-seeking behaviors: craves fast movement, spinning, thrill-seeking, chewing on pens, fingernails,

6.  Sensitive to negativity:  negative talk, scary stories, violence or cruelty on TV, news, etc…

7.  Social Avoidance: Overwhelmed by sensory input in crowds, likes to spend a lot of time alone

8. Hyper-sensitive to noise: Distracted by noise that others don’t notice, fearful of noise, shock at loud sounds

9. Hypo-sensitive to noise: Doesn’t respond when name is called, seeks loud music or TV, makes noise for fun

10. Hyper-sensitive to smell: Offended by body smells, bathroom smells, cooking smells, can smell odors others cannot

11. Hyper-sensitive to sights: Sensitive to bright light, enjoys dimly lit rooms, avoids eye contact

12. Allergies: Sensitivities to food, environment, medications

13. Immune Disorders: Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Lupus, etc…

14. Extra-sensory perception: of any kind

16. Mystical experiences: of any kind

17. Inner Conflict:  Deep sense of wanting a peaceful world but personally experiences internal turmoil – the two don’t seem to match and it may feel confusing.

If you have a handful of these traits, you are probably an Empathic Human who carries Sensory Processing Differences.


Self-Care for Highly Sensitive People

It’s not easy to live as a highly sensitive person. The empathic brain doesn’t filter unnecessary stimuli the way other people’s brains do.

Because of this, highly sensitive people tend to take in MORE movement, MORE voices, MORE flashes of color, MORE scents, MORE feelings, and MORE energy.  Empathic SPDs wear out fast.  Their brains use more battery power per minute than the next guy.  They tend to get sick more easily than others.  Being able to pick up so much sensory and energetic stimulation floods them with more information about the world than other people get – which is FUN!  But it can also be exhausting.