Stress trap – what to do?

Sometimes you want to hold your own everything. Eyes, ears, nose, mouth – especially eyes and ears (and mouth some others). But there 's puddles and bums ' s again without ceasing. Checking SMS, mails and Facebook demand attention, and the phone rings impatiently. The clothes dryer beeps, one is shouting on the TV, and on the radio are degrees News: Where did something happen again? On the way to work the next charge: shrill following tone horns, flashing traffic lights, billboards and crowds. And when you've finally made it to the desk, five of them suddenly want something from you. No, no! Give me a break! Where is the next desert island? There's 's: Typical case of overstimulation. Why? Consciously and unconsciously, we constantly receive external and internal stimuli, which are processed by the brain. But the capacities are not unlimited. With an overload of optical and acoustic signals, the brain can no longer sensibly classify and structure the impressions. No problem in the short term. Otherwise we would probably all be sick already. But if the excessive attack on our senses becomes permanent, it will be a heavy burden on the body. He is exposed to a permanent overload. The sympathicus, part of the autonomic nervous system, is, so to speak, in active mode, putting the body in a higher state of readiness to perform. This is at the expense of energy reserves. We are in a chronic state of stress, with all the consequences we do not want: high blood pressure, tinnitus, headaches, digestive problems, sleep disorders, irritability, aggressiveness, hyperactivity, weakness, fatigue – and of course: impaired concentration and depression. Burnout at the end is not excluded.

Please switch off

Children are particularly sensitive when they are flooded with impressions. Like a group of adult people: the so-called highly sensitive personalities (HSP). In this group, which accounts for up to 30 percent of the population, the French psychotherapist Christel Petitcollin researched for her new book "I think too much" (Arkana). "These people, in contrast to the majority of people have a dominant right brain," said the author. "The right brain is responsible for emotions and the affective assessment of the experience." She controls via intuition, creativity, symbols, wants to comprehend holistically. The left brain is responsible for analytical thought processes, language, numbers, logic. Highly sensitive or mentally highly efficient, as the expert calls it, have a finer perception, have more intense feelings and an increased sensitivity to sensory stimuli. They perceive too much, which leads to innumerable thoughts and questions and the environment sometimes goes horribly to the famous pointer. And the affected person too. "How can I turn off my brain?" Is a question that the psychotherapist has not heard only once. But even with average sensitivity, more and more impressions from all sides lead to mind spirals that can torment and steal sleep. Somehow, we're all addicted to constantly thinking. About everything and everyone. The weather, the politics, the friends, the job, the ex, the current lover, the ex from the ex, the world peace. Often, we increasingly think in terms of negative, which creates stress and frustration.

Fear and stress

Christel Petitcollin gives a typical example in her book: "You're standing at a zebra crossing, it's green, you want to get over there, a speedster disregards the red light and almost touches it, you've got a big scare, he might have run over it! good: take a deep breath, be grateful that nothing has happened, and go on, but no, the thought engine is on fire: And if I was dead now, would I handle everything, in case I die, and you'll check it out It looks like bankruptcy, insurance and a funeral … The idea of ​​how much your relatives grieve for you makes them saddened, but yes, you realize, luckily not much has happened, but at least he does And then it starts again: the emergency doctor, the hospital, the sick leave Who would take over your work in the office Any scriptwriter would envy you for that, out of a tiny one Scene to develop a feature-length film, "said the psychotherapist. "Of course, thoughts of this kind trigger anxiety and stress." Why do you do it yourself? "What's important is that you learn to control your flow of thoughts," says Petitcollin. "Be aware of how to jump from one thought to the next and say stop!" Consciously make the decision not to pursue negative and useless thoughts. Make something positive that works like a brake. "A patient always thinks about her little son, and already, she tells me, everything gets brighter." Running away is always an excellent option. "Do a lot of sports," advises the expert. Running, swimming, cycling, whatever. This reduces excess energy. Do long walks and hikes, you have double benefits, because: The contact with nature calmed down demonstrably. Just drown the full memory in your head. Why not at home in front of the mirror to your favorite music?

Do not disturb

Decree yourself a news and information break. Reduce internet and media consumption. Make short breaks, but without a cell phone! And set the tormenting spirit in everyday life, at least temporarily silent. Initial withdrawal symptoms lie down soon. Do not be afraid of the silence and of being alone with yourself. Maybe you would like to go to the monastery once a week, isolated from everything? Your nervous costume will thank you. "Do not think that something is wrong with you if you are not overworked and overwhelmed," advises US futurologist Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, addressing an unhealthy trend: to boast exhaustion, lack of sleep. The scientist speaks in his book "Pause" (Arkana Verlag) the good old rest break the word. To work intensively for four or five hours, then a long breather, that would be his recipe against the burnout. "And for the beginning, treat yourself to ten minutes every day, when you think of nothing." Although you will not manage it right away, practice makes perfect: Close your eyes, concentrate on the darkness, and quickly stamp all thoughts that begin to circle. Of course yoga can be very helpful. But even if you manage to get into a "flow" every now and then, that will save you a lot of inner restlessness. That is, you let yourself fall completely into an activity that you love. A chess game "on life and death", painting a picture, choir singing, a discussion evening with friends, playing an instrument (highly recommended!).

Anti-stress hormone

When it comes to overstimulation and chronic stress, the advice of the renowned psychiatrist Dr. med. Hans-Otto Thomashoff ("The Successful Me", Ariston) is not missing: "Give your relationships the right value." Because one of the best drugs against the number one disease maker can not be bought in the pharmacy: the binding hormone oxytocin. It is distributed, if you love someone. The partner, the children, the friends, the four-legged friends and themselves. Therefore, according to the expert, consciously take time for it. Regularly go out for a romantic dinner with your partner, do not recklessly cancel your visit to the opera with your girlfriend, make sport dates with the gang. "We're all too easily fleeing into virtual worlds, rather than savoring real life," the psychiatrist calls one of the main reasons for the rising number of mental illnesses. For momentary overstimulation, before which one, for. In urban traffic, for example, he can not always protect himself, but he knows a simple trick: "Take two deep breaths in and out slowly, the decisive factor being the conscious exhalation until the end, followed by a few seconds breathing space before continuing to breathe normally we're the part of our resting system that helps to keep a clear head in case of sudden stress and get an overview of the situation. " Is already far more than half the rent …