Our sensorial life here is very different, our bodies are receiving constant high levels of stimulations. And one of the most important organ which gets much more stimulated is the skin. For instance, as I sit writing this, the sun from the window is heating up my skin, the wind is also touching my skin and cooling it down. When we swim in the ocean, I can smell the richness of the minerals that are entering my body which are being massaged in through my skin by the waves as they crash onto me. The sand tickles my skin. All my muscles constantly challenged by the waves. We breath in the air of the sea with all its nutrients. Smell and hearing are also constantly stimulated. I can hear the waves crashing in the ocean, the people in the lagoon, the smell of the air, the animals around me. And visually we see distance. And there is very little air wave occupied by technological transmission, particularly when there are blackouts, as is the case right now.
When I compare this to urban life, I am beginning to realize that what is overstimulation is actually due to under-stimulation of the skin. I should have clued in when the first thing an OT made me do with my son were gentle skin tickles every two hours for 10 days and they helped. This seems very logical to me now. We wear make up, clothes and live in houses that create a barrier to the elements around us. We can’t feel the wind or sun in a house because we have windows and controlled air systems. The air outside is polluted, so we want these barriers in place but their hinder our ability to hear and sense the natural world around us.
Yet, as humans, we are built to sense that world. What would happen to us if electricity disappeared? How would we know the time, when the wind will rise, the weather change, know when to go hunt, etc. And when these senses are not stimulated we get over-stimultated by the remaining stimuli.
No wonder sensitive kids like media so much, in an urban setting, it replaces natural stimulation. I teach a class on interactivity and networking and we discussed some of the changes technologies are bringing to our lives. We discussed how natives used to think a photograph was evil because it would steal their soul. While to us this may seems absurd, the more I think about this the more I think they had a good point. Via portraiture we learned to behave to represent a version of ourselves instead of being ourselves. Having to look at images of ourselves made us change what our understanding of ourselves were as well as what social needs were and by consequence made us adapt our behaviors to these new values. These behaviors separated us from our natural needs by taking away their importance to our survival. The social and economics aspect of our lives becoming more important as more technologies claimed to do better then our senses as protecting our lives. I seriously doubts that they do. Our scientists still can’t predict the weather…
Technology changes our behaviors and changes the needs and/or masks our natural behaviors. Every main tool introduced new behaviors and in some cases physical traits changed. Clothing being a very important example. We were much hairier before we used skins to cloth ourselves. And media is also changing our behaviors.
Being here for a few weeks I am starting to be able to discern in each of us what I would call “sensorial” based “ behavior. Being in a natural setting, my husband and I are picking up much more on what stimulated our kids. And we are noticing how much mirroring of the games they do. If the games represent and promote aggression, they quickly become aggressive. Starwars is one of the worth offenders in this respect.
One sense that is less stimulated here is our empathic sense. Latino culture is very different in that people do not repress or keep things in as much as in Canadian culture. Adults feel their emotions (positive and negative) and express them in the moment and then let them go. This means that when they interact with you, there is nothing more in their interaction than the emotions of the interaction being communicated. This means HSPs mirroring abilities triggered are reduced to the interaction in question and not hidden ones.
I became very aware of this when a kid whose parents just had a big yelling match came over for some relief. He was holding these very negative emotions in, as any kid does in this kind of situation, and within minutes he was mirroring his parents emotions to my kids who immediately started fighting. What was remarkable is that this happened without these children speaking the same language. In other words, what was being mirrored was not communicated orally or psychologically.
We have all changed drastically in a very little amount of time and it is not due to traveling alone. I will use my husband for an example, when we slow down at home or we take holidays he is anxious; Even going camping, he cannot quite relax.
When I met him, he hated water. Needless to say, in Canada the temperature of make being cold, and him having no fat, does not make for a happy marriage. He still won’t go the pool in town. Here is goes to the ocean three times a day. His stress is gone, he talks all the time, interacts with us in ways he finds very difficult to do in the city. His adhdness seem to lessen here.
My oldest child is also much calmer and asks to go to the ocean to let his energy out while my youngest child’s skin ailments all go away as soon as we are here. ..