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  • Hannah

Over-Arousal = Less Lovin'

I got upset last night. It still happens. Nothing I've learned stops me from feeling. I wouldn't want that. I want to be "only human". "Only humans" are very lovable, much of the time.

What I don't want is to linger in that upset space for so long that it starts to make me behave in ways I don't like. Like getting critical with my man for the way he interacts with the boys (did that). Or snapping at the kids at the dinner table (that, too). I want to be more in charge of how I act than that.

But...last night! I was so over-stimulated by the combination of a disappointment that was lingering inside me and the outside noise and arguing of the boys (they are never ever --even when actually asleep--as peaceful as they look below! That was 100% posed) that I didn't entirely keep my cool. Mostly, but not entirely.

Because, like many people who have strong feelings and sensitive nervous systems, I don't always take the time and space I need to let those feelings get processed and resolved.

But that is exactly what needs to happen in order to get back into a centered, feel-good space.

And to be nice.

And to be loving. And happy. And have fun. And to feel pleasure. And have any sort of sex drive.

Over-arousal is a love-killer. I think it's funny that the word "arousal" is often associated with sex, because too much arousal can make sex the last thing we want.

I'm talking about over-stimulation. Being overwhelmed. Emotional overload. Sensory overload. Like noise, huge to-do lists, sick kids, terrible news stories, intense emotions. Etc.

None of us are kind or happy when we are over-stimulated or stressed out. A client and I were just joking about how it is like putting on our "puke-colored eye-glasses" so we see everything more negatively. We feel and act our worst. We don't feel sexy at all.

Sensitive folks like me (and you?) reach that over-aroused state sooner than many others because of our highly sensitive nervous system that takes in and processes so much. When there is too much going on inside and outside us, we just need to pause and take some self-care time.

Taking that quiet self-care time for you is being a good partner to your significant other. Because it is from that centered calmness you that you can be kind and loving.

Like a good massage or snuggle-session leads to the best lovemaking, so does good self-care lead to better relating to your partner (and kids and friends and co-workers).

I just came out of a coaching session with a client in which she was struggling with just this issue. Though always passionate about self-care, which for her include yoga and time in nature, she had been so busy lately and also working really hard on her relationship and had dropped the ball on self-time.

She told me how she had had a bad weekend with her partner because she deep down knew she just needed to be alone and unwind with some self-time, but she didn't take her own knowing to heart soon enough. They ended up in a big argument. She was simply over-aroused from doing too much, and we know where that leads!


This is hard for us sensitive-souled women! We need to be really fierce with our own care, but we have trouble with boundaries (and ferocity isn't generally our speciality!).

So we playfully came up with the idea of making a "Do Not Disturb" sign for her to either wear or flash when she was going to do some relationship-healing self-care. She added "self-care in progress" at the bottom of her heart-encircled sign.

I decided to make one of these signs, too, and flash it to my rowdy family at dinner when I run away to my bedroom for some peace and quiet. But I am going to add "loving partner and mom returning soon" to mine.

Because that is what happens when we are good to ourselves. Our partner, too, gets to reap the benefits.

Like an exquisite session of lovemaking.

Do you take enough time to care for you? What happens when you don't? What are the best ways for you to unwind, process and recover from the intensity of living? Share ...or ask a question... in the comments below. I always love to hear from you!

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