The fall should be a favorite time of year for most people to get outside and enjoy the foliage and crisp weather. So why is it that you can’t seem to enjoy that cool, crisp, quiet woods-walk as much as you think you should?

Overstimulation has become an epidemic in our times. Almost everyone suffers from it to some degree and most people are unaware that it is an issue. So what is overstimulation you ask? Where does it come from?

Overstimulation occurs from our surrounding environment, whether that is music on the radio, sirens from fire trucks, staring at a computer screen, watching TV, or riding in a crowded subway car. The world we live in is constantly bombarding our nervous systems with stimulating factors, which never really allow our bodies to calm down.

When most people think about their bodies and how they handle noise, visual effects and other stimuli, understanding that they filter most of the unimportant stimuli out to make sure our systems don’t become overwhelmed usually goes unnoticed. Living in the type of society and environment we live in, studies have shown that the outside impact on our bodies from stimulating factors, is too high for them to filter out enough of the unimportant or unneeded information. This results in our body receiving a higher than tolerable amount of daily stimulation that in turn wreaks havoc on our nervous systems.

Being exposed to too many stimulating factors can leave our nervous systems out of balance. This imbalance can cause adrenal fatigue, hormonal imbalances, exercise intolerance, weight management issues, and a host of other disease states that may go unnoticed by people who are unaware. You may also notice that this constant overstimulation has caused you to feel uncomfortable with silence or even awkward or tense about being alone, without something like the TV to occupy your time.

So what can we do to protect ourselves and our children from being overstimulated? Quiet time, plain and simple. As a society we have grown to learn and love being constantly entertained and occupied by something. Our Ipads and computers have moved away from being the work tools they were intended for and have become our free time fillers. We have forgotten the importance of peace and quiet. We need to be reminded that our bodies need time to decompress and unwind and without quite time, our nervous systems never really get the chance to recalibrate.

Its time to put down the electronics, turn off the TV and embrace some much needed quiet time. Play a board game, read a good book, or sit out on the front porch with a cup of tea. Enjoy relaxing for a change and give your body the time it needs to decompress and recuperate from the busy world that surrounds us.