by A. Grano on May 3rd, 2012 at 9:12 am
Do you find that you’re highly sensitive to physical and/or emotional stimulation, becoming easily overwhelmed by things that others may just pass by? It’s possible that you suffer from hypersensitivity, not classified as a disorder, but rather a condition where the body has an exaggerated response to stimuli.
For example, allergens are an example of a type of stimulus that can cause discomfort and aggravate conditions like asthma in those with hypersensitivity. Statistics estimate that approximately 15 to 20 percent of the population is born with an elevated level of sensitivity. Experts say that people with ADHD are innately more sensitive, particularly in one or more of the five main sensory functions, and thus have a higher propensity to suffer from hypersensitivity. As distractibility is already a common symptom of ADHD, this trait can quickly compound the problem.
Learning how to block out stimuli that can lead to distraction takes time and practice. Some people can even be easily bothered by seemingly simple things, such as scratchy materials like wool or a clothing label tag, both of which can be quickly resolved by choosing cotton fabrics and label-free clothing instead.
It may also involve modifying even basic daily chores, such as only running one appliance at a time (e.g., only running the dishwasher and not also the vacuum and washing machine at the same time). If avoiding noisy environments isn’t an option, carry along earplugs or noise-blocking headphones for times when you need to focus. Planning for some quiet time can also help create peace within and reduce stress.
For those more sensitive to emotional stimuli, it’s important to prepare for events that can be very draining, such as a big presentation. Make sure to have a relaxing evening prior to the big day, doing some gentle exercise or other stress-relieving activity. Avoid overbooking yourself when possible and learn to say ‘no’. If you’ve had a long, taxing day, attending an obligatory party for an acquaintance later on in the evening may be too much and can snowball into emotional overload by the end of the week.
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