The world is full of stimuli that affect your five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, touch. Every person is unique in the way their brain processes that stimuli and sensory overload can occur for anyone.
What is sensory overload?
Some people feel increased stress when stimuli gets to be too much. Think of that fingers-on-the-chalkboard sound and the sensation you feel when that happens. Now imagine that feeling happening when there are too many people around or when someone touches you or when there is too much noise. When someone has a sensitivity to outside stimuli, the body’s stress response can activate in such a way that the nervous system becomes overwhelmed. Some people experience panic attacks when the nervous system overloads and some people experience physical pain. When that happens, the natural response is to search for a way soothe ourselves or to make it stop.