Have you thought about how often you are served information every single day? How often do you do something that feels “good” for your brain? Even in youth, it’s common to have several energy drinks every day.

While you’re drinking the energy drinks, you’re most likely “browsing” something hyper-stimulating like short films that you only watch 3 seconds of before moving on to the next one, which is a recipe for an overstimulated brain. And many people don’t understand why the population is having more and more difficulty concentrating?

What is overstimulation?

Overstimulation is a condition where your brain is overwhelmed with too much information and impressions. This information can be anything from sounds, smells, tastes to social media notifications. When we are constantly exposed to this information, it can exceed our brain’s capacity to handle it.

Why does overstimulation occur?

Overstimulation is becoming more and more common in our digital age. Our constant interaction with smartphones, social media and other technologies provides us with a continuous flow of dopamine, a “reward” chemical in the brain.

This, along with an overconsumption of sugar and other foods that trigger dopamine, can literally “fry” our reward system, leading to overstimulation on a daily basis.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Companies and organizations exploit these dopamine-triggering mechanisms to keep us hooked on their products and services. The result is a state of constant overstimulation, where our brains struggle to keep up with the endless stream of information and rewards.

Can a natural keto diet be good if you’re overstimulated?

How does being overstimulated affect you?

In our modern world, we are constantly exposed to overstimulation. Social media, smartphones and a constant supply of sugar and stimulant drinks provide us with a continuous stream of dopamine. This “happiness” hormone makes us upset, causing our chemical reward system to get fried. Over time, this can make us prone to overstimulation.

Ten common causes of overstimulation in today’s society:

  1. Social media: Platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are designed to keep us engaged. They give us a constant dopamine release every time we get a ‘like’, comment or share.
  2. Cell phones: Our phones beep, vibrate and light up with notifications throughout the day, keeping us in a constant state of vigilance and anticipation.
  3. Sugar: Foods and drinks that are full of sugar can provide an immediate dopamine release, but often leave us exhausted and overstimulated when the sugar crash arrives.
  4. Caffeine: Caffeinated drinks, such as coffee and energy drinks, give us an immediate energy boost, but can also leave us feeling restless and overstimulated.
  5. Video games: Games are designed to be engaging and rewarding, often resulting in dopamine release. But too much gaming can lead to overstimulation.
  6. TV and movies: Modern movies and TV shows are full of action, drama and suspense, which can be overstimulating, especially when we watch for long periods of time.
  7. News: Continuous exposure to news, especially negative or frightening news, can keep us in a state of high alertness and overstimulation.
  8. Multitasking: Trying to do too many things at once can overwhelm our brains and lead to overstimulation.
  9. Noise: Constant background noise, whether it’s from traffic, construction sites or just people talking, can be overstimulating.
  10. Overcrowding: Being in crowded spaces, such as public transportation or busy stores, can also lead to overstimulation.

Overstimulated or hypersensitivity

Hypersensitivity and overstimulation are related, but they are not the same thing. Overstimulation happens when your brain is overwhelmed by information. Hypersensitive people, on the other hand, have higher sensitivity to things in their external environment. These individuals are particularly susceptible to overstimulation due to their increased sensitivity to stimuli.

Signs and symptoms of overstimulation

Although overstimulation can affect us all, it causes different reactions in different people.

Signs in adults

Adults who are overstimulated can feel overwhelmed and stressed out. They may have trouble blocking out sounds, sights, smells and may become more irritated by small environmental disturbances. Physical symptoms may include sweating, trembling, or feelings of dizziness and disorientation.

What does overstimulated look like in children?

Children show signs of overstimulated differently than adults. They may complain about noise, smells, sight, or other disturbances in the environment. They may become more hyperactive, not listen, or sit still.

Boy and girl filming for social media

Physiological symptoms

Overstimulated can also lead to physiological symptoms. These include muscle tension, rapid heartbeat, sweating, or an upset stomach. These symptoms are the body’s way of dealing with the overwhelming flow of information it receives.

Frequently asked questions

Overstimulation occurs when your brain is overwhelmed with incoming information or sensory experiences. This can leave you feeling stressed, overwhelmed or irritated.

When you are overstimulated, stress hormones are released in your body. This can lead to physical symptoms such as high heart rate, sweating, restlessness and muscle tension.

The feeling of being overstimulated can vary from person to person. Some may feel stressed, irritated or overwhelmed. Others may feel exhausted, restless or have trouble concentrating.

If you often feel stressed, overwhelmed or have trouble concentrating, you may be overstimulated. It’s a good idea to talk to a healthcare professional if you suspect that you are frequently overstimulated.

Hypersensitivity is a trait that makes a person more sensitive to things in their external environment. This can include sounds, smells, tastes, or certain types of stimulation.

A highly sensitive person may feel overwhelmed by strong or complex situations and have a deeper emotional reaction to experiences. They may also be more affected by other people’s moods and energy.

The role of genetics in overstimulation

Your genes play a big role in how sensitive you are to your surroundings. Some people are genetically predisposed to be more sensitive to sensory information. This can make them more susceptible to over-stimulation.

Environmental factors

We live in a world that is full of stimuli. Social media and modern technology, and the abundance of sugar and refined foods give us constant access to information.

These digital tools are often designed to give us a dopamine release and activate the brain’s reward center, which is a big part of the powerful stimulation.


Our constant access to technology can also contribute to overstimulation. Mobile phones, social media, and other digital tools are designed to release dopamine. Dopamine is a “reward hormone” that gives us a sense of pleasure.

But when we’re constantly releasing dopamine, this can lead to overstimulation. Especially when we also have access to sugar and other substances that trigger dopamine.

Personality and overstimulation

Your personality can also affect how susceptible you are to overstimulation. People who are introverted or neurotic may be more sensitive to stimuli.

What is the normal level of stimulation?

What is a “normal” level of stimulation can vary from person to person. Some people can handle a lot of information and stimuli without being overstimulated.

When does it become a problem?

Overstimulation becomes a problem when it hinders your ability to function normally. If you constantly feel stressed, overwhelmed, or exhausted, it could be a sign that you’re overstimulated.

Overstimulated and aging

Some people may find that overstimulation becomes less of a problem as they get older. However, this is not always the case. Health conditions, cognitive changes, and lifestyle changes can all increase the risk of overstimulation.

Medical conditions related to overstimulation

Our modern life involves constant dopamine transfers, thanks to technology and excessive access to stimulating food and drink. This constant flood of dopamine can lead to overstimulation, and is particularly problematic for those already predisposed to the condition.


ADHD affects a person’s ability to concentrate. Those with ADHD are often easily distracted and overstimulated by sounds and movements. This can be exacerbated by our constant access to technology and stimulating food and drink.


Individuals with autism may have difficulty processing information. They can be easily overstimulated by environmental changes, which is exacerbated by our constant, fast-paced life and abundance of stimuli.

Anxiety disorders

People with anxiety disorders have a higher sensitivity to certain stressors. In an already tense state, the slightest extra stimulus can tip them over into overstimulation.

Man with anxiety attack

Processing difficulties

People with processing difficulties may have strong and unusual reactions to certain sensory inputs. Our tech-heavy world can cause significant overstimulation in these individuals.


People with schizophrenia may experience abnormal sensory processes that make them more susceptible to overstimulation. This can be exacerbated by the constant bombardment of sensory information in our modern world.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

People with PTSD may experience increased sensitivity to the environment and are therefore more susceptible to overstimulation. The constant stream of stimuli in our modern world can trigger their symptoms.

9 tips on how to deal with overstimulation

Being constantly overstimulated is a reality for many in today’s society. Social media, mobile phones and the availability of sugar-rich foods and drinks have created a dopamine-fueled culture. Algorithms from large companies continuously trigger this dopamine response, leading to persistent overstimulation. Here are some tips on how to deal with overstimulation:

1. Identify your triggers

First, understand what triggers overstimulation for you. It can be sounds, smells, or certain situations. By knowing your triggers, you can better prepare yourself.

Man plays playstation

2. Gradually expose yourself to triggers

Slowly start exposing yourself to these triggers. This can help your brain become more tolerant over time.

3. Use relaxation and meditation to “unwind”

Learn relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing. These can help you calm down and focus.

4. Practice focusing 100% on one thing

In a world full of distractions, it can be helpful to practice focusing on one thing at a time.

5. Quiet space to calm down

Find a quiet place where you can take a break from the stimulation. This could be a room in your home, a garden, or a library.

6. Actively manage stress

Learn stress management techniques. This can be things like writing in a diary, taking a walk, or talking to a friend.

7. Disrupt and remove distractions around you

Make your environment less overstimulating. This could mean tidying up your home, reducing noise, or turning off notifications on your phone. Intermittent fasting is a good tool for not getting too frequent stimuli from food.

8. Be physically active

Physical activity can help your body deal with stress and overstimulation. This can be anything from a brisk walk to an intense workout.

Related: How to train with bodyweight?

9. Find tools and filter out stimuli

There are many tools out there designed to help with overstimulation. This could be special apps, earplugs to reduce noise, or glasses that filter out certain lights.

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