Hypervigilance is a state in which one has an intense state of alertness and heightened sensitivity to potential (real or perceived) threats.
Signs of hypervigilance may include:
1. Always on the lookout- Constantly scanning the environment for signs of danger.
2. Heightened Startle Response- to unexpected noises or movements.
3. Difficulty Relaxing- keeps tension in the body and inability to unwind
4. Irritability- Being easily agitated, often as a result of heightened arousal.
5. Difficulty Concentrating- challenging to focus on tasks due to preoccupation with potential threats.
6. Insomnia- Difficulty falling or staying asleep due to a state of heightened alertness.
7. Physical Symptoms- like increased heart rate, sweating, and muscle tension.
Hypervigilance is often associated with trauma and anxiety. Another way to look at hyervigilance is the body attempting to seek out safety. This state of being exhausts the person, especially if they’ve lived in this way chronically. If someone exhibits these signs and it impacts their daily life, therapy could be a supportive place to address these symptoms.