10 Signs of Possible Sensory Overload


After a recent conversation with my daughter who’s just learning about her high sensitivity, she described to me how after a fun, but very busy social afternoon, she just hit a brick wall & was “Just Done!”.

She couldn’t deal with anything well & definitely needed some alone time!

{1st, I can SO relate & 2nd, good for her for being aware of what she needed!}

During a later conversation I totally empathized & shared that everyone is different, but once you’re aware of the “Warning Signs”, it becomes easier to adjust course & take recharging action!

She had no idea what I was talking about so shared a few of my biggies with her.

This lead me to make this Top 10 List to share with you. If I can help just ONE person curb off the Sensory Overload Hangover, then it’s WELL worth it!

Challenge to Focus. This is by far my most common #1 alarm. This can be focus on a conversation, task, or project.

Challenge to Process. This usually goes hand in hand with the challenge to focus. I’ll either be reading, listening, or thinking about something & will have to repeat in my head & carefully pay attention over & over until I can make a decision on next steps. This is WAY different from just decision making, but is a very noticeable effort to process information!

Headache or Migraine. If too much of any sensory type {wind, light, conversation, general environment noise etc} & I get a headache or feel one coming on, this is a BIG alarm for me. If I don’t heed the alarm, I will get a migraine {Please listen to your body & pivot to take action after a headache! I wouldn’t wish a migraine on anyone. It can greatly prolong the recharge time needed!}

Energy Drop. Now that I’m more in tune with my body, this is a sure sign for me. Even so, I’m curious & asking, “Is this because I need to eat? Is this because I just ate? or Is this because of sensory overload?” Be curious. Learn about how YOU react.

Dizzy. This one is a bit crazy. Try this experiment & let me know how it goes for you: If you feel you might be experiencing a bit of sensory overload, but you’re not sure, try this…

~ Stand firmly against a wall
~ Close your eyes
~ Do you feel like your head is spinning?

If so, pay attention! If not, great!

Irritability {sudden increase}. This is more of an overall feeling. If it seemingly comes out of the blue, then pay attention. Be curious & ask yourself if it’s because of sensory overload.

Unexpected Emotional Reactivity. Ha, this is the next Sign after a sudden increase in irritability! If you suddenly become snappy with someone & you think, “Where did that come from?!”, be curious as to the cause. Trust your gut. Is it an emotional trigger or might it be sensory overload?

Glazed eyes. Wow! This almost always happens in an environment with harsh lighting, loud noise, & an attempt at focused conversation. This is definitely a warning sign for me!

Sudden Stop in Your Participation {if conversation}. Like the others, be curious as to why if this happens to you. Just be aware.

Numbness Creeping In. If I wait too long, my brain seems to start shutting down as a defense mechanism. I’m not empathetic & feel a bit withdrawn. Just overall a numb feeling.

It’s very common {for me} to suddenly be aware of multiple symptoms at once. It just depends on the situation… how unfamiliar I am with it… whether or not I’m deeply engaged & excited about it… & the length of time the exposure. The longer the exposure, the likelihood of it happening is increased & the potentially the worse it gets.

I’m so very fortunate that my husband now finally “gets it” as he’s seen it in me, has increased his education about high sensitivity, & is even able to provide some education to others when I have to make a quick exit.

A wonderful example of this was during a family rock climbing trip earlier this year…

Here’s the story…

We had an especially long, very fun, but VERY social day. The next morning my husband was talking with me, asked me a question, & was instantly alerted to my very delayed response. I also thought aloud & shared that it was taking me longer to process what he said.

After a couple of minutes, he looked at me & said, “You know… I know you wanted to save your rest day for tomorrow, but I think you should consider taking it today instead.”

Huh… it hadn’t even occurred to me & I wasn’t fully aware of my delay in processing….

About a split second later, I just started bawling…

Yup! “Out of the blue”… full out tears.


My brain was like, “Are you sure?” but my body was like, “YUP!!!! This is Exactly what we need!”

At first I was frustrated & felt badly to miss our 1st official climbing day with the family, but my 1st priority is to take care of me & my health.

I ended up staying back for the day… took a 2 hr nap {wow!} & read quietly on my Kindle for Samsung app for the rest of the afternoon & evening.

It was wonderful.

I didn’t have to like it right away, but there was no question that this was what my body was craving!

{Oh ya, & the night before, I had a migraine after we left a 3 hr dinner with the family!!!}

Lessons Learned! Period! 🙂

Every person is different, so may not be affected in the same way, but if any of these happen, be curious & ask why.

If you found this valuable & know someone who might find this helpful {or educational or comforting!}, please share.

Being a Highly Sensitive isn’t anyone else’s “Problem”, but it’s up to us to own & take responsibility for our health!

#ISeeYou #SeeOthers #SensoryOverload
~Crystal 🙂


#HighlySensitiveLeader #HSP #HighlySensitivePerson
#PositiveVibeTribe #NextLevel #Encourage #Uplift #Support
#Coach #Consultant #Trainer #Speaker #Author #Leader #HighTicket
#AuthenticMarketing #AttractionMarketing #FunnelMarketing #Connect #Impact