A Mood Hack for Introverts

A Theory on External Stimuli and Extroversion/Introversion

The mood hack will follow soon. But first it helps if I explain my theory.

I have a theory that introversion and extroversion are determined at least partially by what levels of external stimuli an individual can comfortably handle. Meaning that people who prefer low levels of external stimuli are more likely to be introverted, and people who prefer high levels of external stimuli are more likely to be extroverted.

I hypothesize that moving to NYC raised my preferred threshold of sensory stimuli. (I have actually recently moved from NYC back to my hometown of Tulsa – more on that in another post! For now I’ll pretend I’m still in NYC). I walk outside my apartment, and it’s loud. People are talking, music is playing, sirens are wailing. That feels normal now. Before, it would have seemed deafening. I’m able to tolerate higher levels of sensory input – thus, I have become more extroverted! At least, that’s my theory.

I still value silence. When I was younger, I liked it much more. I remember a time when I had been hanging out with friends all day. At one point near the end of the day, while we were playing soccer, for maybe ten seconds, no one spoke. The world felt completely quiet, and it felt SO GOOD to me. My brain had been yearning for that all day, even though I had been having lots of fun all day. I’m introverted, so a decrease in external stimuli helps me recharge.

The Mood Hack

Even though I feel more extroverted now than I did a few years ago, there are times when I feel like I’ve just had too much, and I want time to recharge. One weekend recently, I spent time with friends pretty much every waking hour. It was very fun (this cannot be overstated), but I also needed some time just to recharge. For a moment, I separated from my friends. I went back to my apartment to eat some food and change clothes. Then I got in the car for a 20-minute drive to my friend’s house. Typically I turn on the radio when I drive, but an idea came to mind: If I want to recharge right now, wouldn’t it be best to minimize the amount of stimuli around me? It made more sense to leave the radio off, in order to allow my brain to process everything I had experienced so far that day. So I did just that, and it was interesting how quickly I felt recharged.

Takeaway 

If you’re an introvert who wants to recharge quickly after a social event, try decreasing your external stimuli so you can recharge faster.

Let me know your thoughts, and if you have tried this before!