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How do you know you’re living in Hypervigilance mode?

Updated: Mar 9


A woman with an overwhelmed expression on her face holding both hands up to her head expressing anxiety

As someone who spent the majority of my teens and 20’s in hypervigilance mode, I’ve come to find this feeling of anxiety insidiously creeps in, gradually becoming a part of ‘normal’ life. Many of us wonder why we are feeling so stressed, depressed and anxious; always feeling like we are running a never-ending race where we never quite get to the finish line.


If this is something you can relate to the following might help you identify if you’re living in Hypervigilance mode?


  • Feeling the need to be constantly busy or productive

  •     Constantly feel on edge or anxious

  • You find yourself trying to mindread or predict other’s behaviours

  •   Feeling frequently exhausted due to always being on high alert

  • Trouble concentrating

  •     Difficulty expressing your opinions or laying down boundaries

  • Digestive issues, stomach aches

  •     Difficulty relaxing

Hypervigilance is a state of fight-or-flight. This is an automatic physiological response, meaning a response your body goes into unconsciously. It is an evolutionary adaptation where your body perceives a threat triggering a stress response for your body to fight or flee. Back in the day, this helped cavemen to increase their chances of survival in threatening situations. Although this response has been helpful in the past, and can help to keep us safe in dangerous situations, frequent feelings of Hypervigilance when there is no threat can leave us feeling both mentally and physically drained.


The expectations of modern life, technology has giving us the ability to be constantly connected to communication. This can leave us feeling pressured to be available at all times contributing to this state of constant stress. Hypervigilance can also stem from a number of other life events and experiences such as trauma, domestic violence, abuse or a volatile home life. It can leave a person feeling isolated and overwhelmed.


Thankfully, you don’t have to live life this way. Speaking to a therapist about your feelings can help you understand and explore how and why you are experiencing this, providing empathy, support and care. As a qualified person-centred therapist, I always put my client at the forefront, providing insight and understanding to the processes behind hypervigilance, supporting you to find you in a safe and welcoming space.



 

 

 

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