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Easily Irritated By Clothing Tags? You’re Probably More Talented

Easily Irritated By Clothing Tags? You’re Probably More Talented

Do you cut the labels out of your clothes as soon as you get them home? Can you think of nothing worse than the feeling of them scratching and irritating your skin? It may seem irrational to others but you’re not alone.

If this is you, then you may be subject to overexcitability. This term was coined by Polish psychiatrist and psychologist Kazimierz Dabrowski who identified overexcitability as intense feelings within us that are caused by a heightened response to stimuli. This means you can become easily irritated by anything from repetitive or loud noises, textures of fabrics on the skin, to not liking certain foods because of texture or taste.

Of course, this can be more apparent in children – sometimes deemed fussy and particular when it comes to food or clothes – but can go on to develop into adulthood.

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In children, this can mean the child can come across as difficult and challenging to teach and parent because they have an increased awareness, sensitivity, and intensity. If you think this perfectly describes you or your child then there is a positive side to these strange traits. There is a link between overexcitability and being highly gifted and talented especially in creative fields such as art, language, and music.

It seems overexcitability is a heightened excitability of the nervous system which fosters intensity and sensitivity in gifted people. So if you are identified with the irritability of clothes tags then this could include you.

The Five Types of Overexcitability

Dabrowski identified five different types of overexcitability in people, with gifted children and adults thought to exhibit one or more of these.

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1. Psychomotor Overexcitability: The constant need to move and often portray their emotions through physical movements. These people may suffer from tics or nervous habits.

2. Sensual Overexcitability: This is the most common and refers to the people who need to cut the tags out of their clothes straight away, don’t like certain foods because of texture and taste, and generally have a heightened awareness of all senses: sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste.

3. Emotional Overexcitability: These people use their emotions in an extreme way both negatively and positively. It is more likely that people with emotional overexcitability will suffer physically from their emotions such as anxiety headaches.

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4. Intellectual Overexcitability: Mostly found in children, this shows up as a love of learning, a deep curiosity and always seemingly lost in thought.

5. Imaginational Overexcitability: These people have amazing imaginations and it usually manifests with vivid dreams and also a love of music and drama. Negatively, it can cause ideas of worst-case scenarios and general fears.

What To Do If You Are An Overexcitable

If you’ve identified with any of the five overexcitabilities then fear not. The most common is sensual overexcitability which can involve both heightened pleasure and displeasure and experience a far higher sensual input than the average person. On one hand, you can get lost in music, art and have a particular talent for languages but the problem with this increased sensitivity, is sometimes feeling uncomfortable and over stimulated at times that can be distracting and cause immense irritability.

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Here are some ways to minimize these negative reactions to stimuli:

  • Acceptance and appreciation are the two things that gifted people want the most and receive the least. This is especially prevalent in children so accept and appreciate yourself and others.
  • Create a safe environment that limits the amount of offensive stimuli and your exposure to them.
  • Be open about your overexcitability and don’t feel like you should be boxed as ‘fussy’ or ‘hard to please’.
  • Focus on the positives with these being self-aware, creative, curious, loyal, energetic and enthusiastic.
  • Celebrate your contribution to diversity and don’t feel isolated by other people’s opinions that your actions are not normal.

Overexcitability is an inborn trait and isn’t something you can reverse. So instead of focusing negatively on the things that stress you out, focus on the positivity of your thoughts and reactions. The fact that you are more likely to be highly gifted and talented is a great positive in itself and should also be recognized, celebrated and nurtured in anyone including adults and children.

Featured photo credit: Kasia Serbin via stocksnap.io

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Jenny Marchal

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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