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The Tactile Sensory Overload of HSPs. How to Find Relief from Tactile Sensory Overload as a Highly Sensitive Person
The itch of your shirt's label, bright lights, loud noises, chaotic environments or simply the feeling of a sticky fabric on your skin. If you’re a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), then you’re no stranger to the stress of sensory overload. Sensory Processing Sensitivity (SPS) is a trait that is found in 1 in 5 people. External stimuli tend to add up and can quickly become overwhelming, leading to feelings of discomfort, fear and exhaustion. In this fast-paced evolving world, we are constantly bombarded with stimuli. It is estimated that the average person is exposed to more than 5.000 ads and 10.000 pieces of information every day.
But next to information, noise and visual overstimulation, HSPs can also experience tactile sensory overload. In this blog post, you’ll learn what tactile sensory overload is, how to recognize it and strategies for dealing with it. You’ll also discover how to prevent it, identify and avoid triggers, and find helpful tools and resources for managing it. Finally, you’ll find helpful coping mechanisms to manage tactile sensory overload and advice on when to seek professional help.
What is tactile sensory overload?
Tactile sensory overload is when a person is exposed to too much stimulation through touch. It can be caused by a variety of tactile input, such as physical contact, temperature, texture and fabrics. Highly sensitive people are prone to tactile sensory overload, as their nervous systems are easily overwhelmed by sensory input. This can lead to feelings of stress, discomfort, anxiety, and even panic.
How to recognize tactile sensory overload
Do you sometimes experience feelings of overwhelm or agitation? Do you often feel anxious or on edge? Easily overwhelmed, dysregulated or exhausted? Do you have trouble focusing or sleeping? Even physical symptoms may indicate that you are experiencing tactile sensory overload. Think of signs such as headaches, dizziness and difficulty breathing. These are all signs and symptoms to look out for that may indicate you are experiencing tactile sensory overload.
How to prevent tactile sensory overload
The best way to prevent tactile sensory overload is to take steps to reduce exposure to stimuli. Just like you would block out unwanted noise with earplugs. For example, it may be helpful to limit physical contact, avoid certain textures, fabrics or temperatures, or take breaks from activities that involve a lot of tactile stimulation. But one thing you have a lot of control over, is your clothing. It’s the sensory impulse that is always on your skin and is often overlooked.
Identifying and avoiding triggers of tactile sensory overload
Start with identifying and avoiding triggers of tactile sensitivity. For example, if you know that certain fabrics or textures cause you discomfort, it’s best to avoid them. Or if you feel agitated by labels or seams, that is something you want to pay attention to when shopping.
This is our mission at SAM sensory & more: to create and offer sensory friendly clothing that makes you feel good in your skin. This means no itchy labels, hard seams or uncomfortable fabrics and designs. SAM offers thoughtful design solutions dedicated towards helping high-sensitivity individuals manage their tactile stimulation environment with greater ease. Our products are made from natural fabrics that remain soft over time, perfect for those who like smooth textures against their skin. Wearing the right clothing does make all the difference when it comes to tackling everyday anxieties caused by hypersensitive nerve endings in our skin! Starting with the layers closest to your skin such as underwear and socks, but also shirts and trousers for a complete feel good outfit.
Coping mechanisms to manage tactile sensory overload
When it comes to dealing with tactile sensory overload, it’s important to have strategies in place to help manage the symptoms. For example, it can be helpful to practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and mindfulness. It’s also beneficial to engage in activities that provide a sense of calm, such as yoga or meditation.
Helpful tools and resources for managing tactile sensory overload
To help ease tension and anxiety without having to step away from a situation, fidgets provide an incredibly useful tool for channeling that extra energy caused by overstimulation. Small manipulations not only allow hyper-sensitive individuals the chance to focus on their task at hand but also offer a grounding effect in times of overwhelming emotions or sensations.
SAM sensory & more products provide a variety of tools and aids to help reduce tactile stimulation. These tools can be used to reduce stress and anxiety, as well as to create a calming environment. At SAM sensory & more, we offer subtle accessories that help regulate stress throughout the day, but with the look of stylish accessories. They match your outfit so you don’t just feel more at ease and comfortable, but also look really good. Our range includes items like subtle fidget stress balls and chewy fidgets for tactile relief. Additionally our weighted collar provides gentle pressure around the neck area – because sometimes all you need is a hug! This weight can improve restfulness whilst also reducing levels of cortisol (the "stress hormone").They not only reduce panic attack frequency and severity but may have antidepressant effects too, helping alleviate feelings of agitation or irritability.
Seeking professional help for tactile sensory overload
If tactile sensory overload is becoming unmanageable, it’s important to seek professional help. A therapist or doctor can help identify triggers and provide strategies to help manage the symptoms.
Tactile sensory overload can be a difficult condition for highly sensitive people to manage. However, there are a number of strategies and tools available to help find relief from the symptoms. Identifying and avoiding triggers, using tools and resources, and engaging in calming activities can all help to reduce the effects of tactile sensory overload.
Finally, it is important to prioritize self-care and to give yourself permission to take breaks or to step away from a situation when it becomes too overwhelming. SAM's products work together seamlessly so that HSPs can transition through everyday life with greater ease while reducing overall levels of overwhelm and anxiety at key times throughout each day! Try SAM today - shop now!