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Anyone else feel "overstimulated"?


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So I have been diagnosed with GAD in the past. One of my big issues is with how quickly I get "overstimulated". Example: I am at my desk working. A friend comes by for a minute to chat. I get an instant message. My cell phone rings (even if I don't answer it...let's just say I know someone left a message and I am going to need to deal with it later). I get an email re: some info about the project I am on. I also I really need to get up and get some water. This happens all within a the span of a few minutes, and I am so OVERSTIMULATED. It is the equivalent of having someone throw balls at my head. Even if I deal with all of the stimuli and process them and they are properly dealt with...I still feel like I can't relax after that, and like I am waiting for the next 5 things to come at me. I just feel exposed and tense. :confused:

By the way, my job is generally low stress to no stress, so that is not really an applicable "excuse".

Just wondering if anyone else has this and how they deal. Thank you!


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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi dazed and confused...yep...all the time. I'm a nurse and have chosen to work nights to avoid the excess stimulation. Less phone calls, no other departments needing stuff, less staff around, etc. Home is the same way. I do shopping in the middle of the night to avoid traffic and busy stores. Online merchants and bill paying is a godsend. Some people seem to thrive on the hustle and bustle and excitement...others seem to turn in to basket cases.


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  • 3 months later...

I am the same way. I am in a VERY low key work environment, but once I am assigned a task... I can't seem to wind down and let go of some of the nerves until I have accomplished whatever is at hand.

I have also noticed, not only in the workplace, but really in every facet of my life... Anticipation creates the worst form of anxiety for me.

What are some ways of dealing with the horrific anticipation of doom feeling that takes over meee?!?! =/

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Taybkc88,

I do not believe we have met before but I am one of the administrators here in the community and am one of the professional writers for Mental Help.Net.

You ask an excellent question when you ask how to avoid anticipation of gloom and doom and its accompanying anxiety.

One suggestion I have for you and all of us is to learn and get into the practice of Meditation. You could begin by reading Jon Kabbat-Zinn's excellent book called, Where Ever You Go, There You Are. He explains meditation and its Buddist foundations, helps you to see its relevance in today's world and explains how to do it. It works and is now incorporated into many hospitals and psychotherapies. It helps to focus on and appreciate the present while relieving stress.

In addition, if you are in good physical health, regular aerobic exercise is wonderful in helping let go of just the type of tension you speak of.

In the end, if nothing else works or does not work well enough, there is psychotherapy.

What are your thoughts?


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Thank you for your response. I will definitely look into that book! I have dabbled in yoga and I find it to be extremely relaxing, it is just a matter of keeping up. I haven't tried meditation but that sounds like the next step. I look forward to learning to keep my mind in the present in an effort to cope with all of the thoughts and emotions that run hand in hand with anxiety.

I am seeing a therapist for the 1st time next Wednesday (I wrote a little post about it in the 'new member' forum).

Thank you for your support. I really like this site and the feeling of really being understood. =)

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  • 7 years later...

By the way, I'm really glad you posted about this (back in 2009, haha), because last night I was up part of the night feeling overstimulated, and it was the result of the stimulation I feel in the office (and after attending a very large, crowded gathering of strangers in the evening).

I have a meditation CD and am doing some of that and will continue, and I exercise daily, but I do think that I need some stronger aerobic exercise. In the past, barre/pilates has been helpful to me because it is fast-paced and involves stretches and weights, and I also love swimming.

Thank you all for being here!


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Hi Catherine A. :)

How do you experience being overstimulated? Is it a positive or negative experience for you?

It sounds as though you are using both calming and energizing methods to care for yourself. Do you enjoy listening to music as well? Maybe a routine at night could be helpful for restful sleep? I try to eliminate anything that stimulates my mind too much around an hour before bedtime. It can be challenging at times, but this seems to help me fall asleep and stay asleep longer.

Take care, Catherine.

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  • 1 year later...

Constantly. There are just way too many things happening constantly. The only thing I crave is silence but I can't get away from all the noise, all the distractions, all the music, horns, sirens, noises. Every email induces stress and every minute I'm left to myself I go into these panic fits where I almost send rash emails I'll regret. Overstimulation is totally a thing.

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