Sensory Stress and Hygge Me Calm
Within this article I share with you some of my journey of being sensory sensitive and the reason why I choose to support my anxiety from an autonomic perspective.
I was 30 when I started to research why I found my life such a confusing mess of contradiction…
I loved loud music at home but couldn’t face the idea of attending a concert or live music event.
I loved socialising with a couple of friends but when the amount of people increased beyond 2-3 people I would shrink into the background and make a swift exit.
I had lots of energy but it wouldn’t be sustainable… I would crash and burn so easily.
I just couldn’t work myself out. How on earth could I be such a contradiction within what I love and what I cant tolerate? Why could I have so much and so little energy all at the same time? Why would my days always end in an inevitable crash…with me shouting or crying in my room ashamed of something I had said or done? The world was confusing and chaotic and I was desperate to find out why I couldn’t cope in the same way as the other people around me….
I was so frustrated with myself…I knew I wasn’t depressed…I knew that I was putting effort in because I would fight the inevitable overwhelm with every fibre in my body…but nothing worked and I was desperate to find out why I responded to the world the way I did!
Around this time I was learning more about sensory processing as it related to my children’s Autism diagnosis and also studying Speech and Language Pathology. It was when learning about how our brains and bodies work to relay messages and process information through cranial nerves and autonomic reactions that side tracked me to research sensory responses (I will include my lovely rendition of the cranial nerve song at the end).
Suddenly my world made more sense!
I have never been good at just taking information on face value and everything I find interesting becomes a ‘project’ for which I need to research….find strategies to…..and experiment with possible solutions to in my day to day life.
The more I learnt about how my brain and body worked the more my experience of the world made sense to me…I learnt three fundamental lessons about how our bodies are designed to keep us safe…
1) Our brain is always on the look our for danger to keep us safe.
2) Our body protects us from that danger by releasing hormones and creating energy within us so we can run or fight to keep us safe,
3) The processes in steps one and two are done automatically within an ‘autonomic’ bodily reaction - a process outside of our conscious control…to keep us safe!
This was a fundamental light bulb moment for me as I had been fighting my brain and body and I had no chance of overcoming my reactions to my environment using the tactics I was employing…
Which brings me to the second key area of learning that I needed to truly understand before I could support myself better. I had to realise and most importantly recognise and accept that I do not respond to the world in the same way as other people.
I honestly thought that all people covered their ears to loud noises, flinched at soft touch and head would spin out in busy places….I thought that everyone else just coped with it better than me.
When I realised this wasn’t the case and actually my experience was heightened and different to many people I could piece those two fundamental lessons together and understand myself through my sensory processing differences and brain and body reactions to them.
The very thing that I considered ‘my fault’ and something I had berated myself for my whole life up until that point had at last an explanation.
I had to ‘drop the shame’ and instead learn to nurture myself with self-love and kindness (something that doesn’t come naturally to me).
This is why i created Hygge Me…
I want to help people like me to find ways to support themselves in their day to day through loving supportive action. The products and strategies chosen within Hygge Me packages work on a physical level to reduce the stress we feel to our environment.
The strategies that accompany them work on a cognitive and physical premise to calm our body, clam our mind and support regulation.
This is why the packages include more than just product….Hygge Me is a place of learning and support so that together we can explore new ways to bring rest, relaxation and calm to our day to day,
I invite you to join our Sensory Community today!
Love to your sensory self,
Jess x x
I try to keep my blog and accompanying information as accessible and as jargon free as possible, but I have decided to start linking some articles that explain in further depth the psychology, neurology and science for our responses.
We are indeed our physiological and neurological processes and understanding how this works can help us to understand how and why we react to the world the way we do!
This initial link is to the Star Institute and explains our sensory system in a little more depth.
warning this is my party piece and it contains singing…
It was when studying speech and language pathology I became interested in researching sensory processing differences- as part of this course we had to learn about basic neurology including the names and functions of the 12 cranial nerves.
As a neurodiverse learner I have to find alternative ways of remembering important information - This took me days of repeatedly practising to remember ... It is now etched in my memory forever and my favourite party piece…please excuse the singing lol
Love to your sensory self,
Jess x x