Community Update

World Pulse Toolkits Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits are all available here.

We are especially excited to share our signature Citizen Journalism and Digital Empowerment Curriculum. Start learning today!

Physical Effects of Hyper-vigilance

Hyper-vigilance and anxiety

An obsessive concern with others is the marked behavior related to hyper-vigilance. Hyper-vigilance is defined as a form of acute anxiety. Most often the behavior is rooted in a traumatic event, and potentially part of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The nervous energy arises based on either real or imagined threats. A treatment includes therapies that process emotional trauma and social anxiety. These behaviors compromise your mental health because your constant awareness of those around you detracts from your ability to focus, and provide productive insight. Often, a hyper-vigilant person displays knee-jerk reactions, which then erode personal and professional relationships. Both anxiety and hyper-vigilance create further isolation socially, and reinforce a learned helplessness.

Adrenal Fatigue

Trauma of any kind, infection, intense heat or cold, divorce or any major life change can bring about hyper-vigilance. Extended hyper-vigilance may result in adrenal fatigue. Lack of sleep also depletes the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands produce hormones vital to your body's natural functions. Cortisol is a hormone that is produced within the adrenal glands. If the adrenal glands are no longer secreting cortisol naturally, you might become exhausted; or be diagnosed with fibromyalgia. When the adrenals are functioning normally, the levels of cortisol in our body are higher in the morning when you awake after rest. An adrenal fatigue test is administered by providing a saliva or blood sample.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD)

Traumatic experiences may relate to a social condition, such as war, adoption, or poverty. All such experiences have lasting health effects and possibly create hyper-vigilant behaviors. After trauma, a person may become obsessed with the activities of strangers, or avoid interactions with family or friends. These are survival responses and unhealthy behaviors that affect this individual's health. Mental health aligns with physical health with regard to processing trauma. How important is recovery from trauma for your mental health? Benefits of your efforts to reduce anxiety and hyper-vigilant behaviors include a reduction of obesity, addiction, heart disease, and promiscuity, among other self-soothing behaviors.

Stress Reduction Techniques

Some level of stress is beneficial in motivation and endurance. Long-term stress associated with hyper-vigilance can be processed by massaging pressure points. This massage relaxes contracted muscles that disturb skeletal alignment. Hyper-vigilance treatment includes therapies that process emotional trauma and social anxiety. Art therapists, massage therapists and support groups help both adults and adolescents bring the subconscious negative influences of anxiety into their conscious awareness. Then the emotional charge can be released. Not everyone or everything is the same from day to day. Stress affects both the body and mind. Pressure points are used with massage to reduce the physical effects. If you cannot find a therapist in your area; or are unhappy with the services provided, find something that you can do. Journaling, hiking, making music, gardening, and talking to someone are free activities that potentially bring relief. These activities take your mind away from the obsessive thoughts that compromise your ability to function. Doing this work alone can be a struggle. Find a stress reduction activity and build a network of supporters you can access when anxious feelings emerge. Use your network to prevent the watchful behaviors of hyper-vigilance.

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

Mkandeh's picture

Ebola: Sierra Leoneans feel like prisoners

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Blog »

Read the latest from World Pulse headquarters

EMAGAZINE: Bridging Borders

EMAGAZINE: Bridging Borders

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative