What is Information Overload?
Information overload is a state of mind that occurs when the amount or intensity of information exceeds the individual’s processing capacity. This leads to anxiety, poor decision-making, and many more consequences.
Everyone responds differently to information overload, and individuals with conditions such as autism can be especially sensitive to it. Therefore, the subjective condition of the person is as important as the amount of informational stimulation that they encounter. 

Regardless of how rational or high-minded you try to be, you cannot make decision after decision without taking a toll on your mental health. This is different from your ordinary physical fatigue as you are not consciously aware of being tired, but rather you are low on mental energy.

The more choices you make throughout the day, the harder each one becomes for your brain to process and inevitably it will begin to look for shortcuts to limit the amount of energy being used. One shortcut is to become reckless: to act on impulse instead of thinking through the consequences. Another shortcut is the ultimate energy saver: To do nothing. Rather than mulling over decisions to be made, your brain takes the easy way out and just simply avoids any choices. Unfortunately, by nothing, this causes bigger problems in the long run despite easing any mental strain you have at that moment.
What are the Symptoms?
  • A never-ending list of ‘shoulds’ – All those things that must be done.
  • Regrets for all those missed opportunities of the past.
  • Unfinished business; email to send, phone calls to make, bills to pay.
  • Worry about things that may never happen.
  • Grumbling and criticizing; these are simply habits we get into which keep our energy levels low.
  • Striving for perfectionism; Then beating ourselves up for failing to achieve it. I know all about this one (still work in progress).
What does Mental Clutter look like?
  • Information overload. Having too much information to process, which leads to feeling mentally drained.
  • Expectations. From how you want your husband to hang the dish towel to how you wish people would behave better on Facebook comments, this is when we want things or the people around us to be a certain way, but it just doesn’t happen.
  • Tasks we’re procrastinating on. Folding these clothes, paying that bill, making that phone call. These things are often in the back of our minds, annoying us throughout the day.
  • Negative feelings.
  • Stress, anxiety, worry, fear, shame, anger, frustration—feelings that don’t feel good and so, they bother us.