Hyper-vigilance is an enhanced state of sensory sensitivity accompanied by an exaggerated intensity of behaviour whose purpose is to detect threats in your environment
( and hopefully eliminate them before they come to pass)
or a belief that you need to remain alert at all times in case an impending danger comes along.
Hyper-vigilance is also accompanied by increased anxiety,
you feel like you are on
"guard duty 24hrs a day" ready to make your move if you have too,
It can make you feel tense, jumpy and a general unease which can leave you eventually feeling exhausted.
What can cause hyper-vigilance?
To name but a few
• feelings of being judged/criticised/ fear of blame
• anticipation/ fear of uncertainty
• sense of abandonment by peers/family
• nightmares/ flashbacks of past trauma
• emotional distress/ arguments/shouting
Possible emotional responses to hyper-vigilance.
• withdrawal or shut down
• incessant worrying and remunerating
• spiral of negative thinking
• Inability to make a concrete decision
• emotional intensity and out-bursts
Once you have a better understanding of triggers to hyper-vigilance you can actively try to reduce its impact
• allowing yourself moments of stillness, where you can efficiently be off duty
• avoid any high risk stress situations ( where possible)
which is likely to trigger hyper-vigilance.
• validating your emotions
I.e. I feel like this because................
( not shutting them away for another day)
• expressing yourself
i.e. Being heard and listened too, placing boundaries
• any relaxation and mindfulness techniques
We feel that a lot of our parents/ individuals experience this off and on throughout their lives.