Too Much Information


Every day we are showered with more information from a variety of sources, some important, some less so and some of no use to what we are trying to get done.  Ironically here is a post on the subject.

In the world of Social Media, we see the acronym TMI – Too Much Information.  Closely allied to the term Overshare.

Love or hate social media in any of its many forms, be thankful for it highlighting that there is often Too Much Information.  TMI and Overshare came into common use almost unexpectedly.  Read on for the pitfalls of unleashing technology.

It seems to be the broadcast equivalent of the office notice board when word art and clip art became available to all.  Not so long ago the notice board would have looked something like this:

Sure it’s not winning any design awards; then again neither is what came next:

The mantra went, Have Word Art – Use Word Art!  The same seems true for broadcasting our every thought, or at least for some.  It is not only the easy target of Social Media, mass information is everywhere.

  • Emails
  • Newsfeeds
  • Car Info Panel
  • Texts
  • Advertising
  • Snail Mail – yes it still exists.

This is a short list, we are frequently subjected to others sources, often without choice.


How we receive Information

Information comes through the senses, and while it is possible to turn off your Mobile – yes it really is!  Your senses are always on duty, for a recap there are five senses:

It is only correct to acknowledge that not everyone is fortunate enough to have all five senses working.  We have differing levels of sensitivity in each of these.

Visual – Things we see through our eyes.  Beyond closing our eyes there are several effective ways to inhibit this sense from sunglasses to blindfold; although not practical while out and about!

Auditory – Sounds heard through our ears.  The only way to reduce impact here is by covering the ear or obstructing the canal; please take care if you choose this option.

Kinaesthetic – The sense of touch, most bodily areas notice this to a greater or lesser extent.  There are ways we can control this in the short term either with medication or the application of ice packs.

Olfactory – The sense of smell, we usually think of this as being experienced through the nose, although some comes via the mouth.  It is widely accepted that blocking the nose and the mouth simultaneously is not ideal.  Done for long enough it will remove the sense of taste; permanently.

Gustatory – The sense of taste, as we often think of smelling through the nose we tend to think of taste in the mouth; a large proportion of taste is experienced through the nose.  Tastes tend to be less volatile and keeping your mouth shut controls the most part here.  Although we do sometimes need to ingest items that don’t taste ideal.


Hypnotherapy can be used to turn up and turn down the sensitivity of the senses.  This is very useful when we use Hypnotherapy for Pain Relief and Hypnotherapy for Weight Loss; there are many more effective uses involving Hypnotherapy and the Senses.


What do we do with all the Information

Stop for a moment now and think about what is coming through from all your senses……

Being skilled in Mindfulness helps here, notice the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and contact that are present now.  And these may stimulate thoughts or memories as you look internally for memories and associations.

It is unlikely that you consciously noticed everything your senses were being subjected to; unless in a controlled environment.  We are familiar with our senses being stimulated.  Entering a professionally sound proofed laboratory is quite strange; the lack of background noise is disorientating.  Through our senses we are frequently subjected to masses more information than we can actively process; so what do we do?


NLP describes Delete, Distort and Generalise to make sense of the filtering; there are a variety of other models.

Delete:  An experience or sensation is wholly or partially ignored

Distort: We are subjected to one stimulus but mistake it for another

Generalise:  We draw comparisons to another experience or sensation and act according to that.



The construct of Delete, Distort and Generalise resists us being overwhelmed every waken moment. Without a system to filter the vast amount of information we would be overwhelmed and unable to function.

There is however a downside to this system; the filtering and processing of information may not serve you in the best possible way.

Look at the following example of driving along the road and what delete distort and generalise may result in.  We start with the genuine scene ahead.

With a max out on attention a deletion could take place.

Potentially worse, you notice there was a sign, rather than seeing the warning for bends, recall (incorrectly) a rise in speed limit.  This may not end well.

Aware that there was a sign but not giving much notice to it and feeling generally happy, like it the day’s going well; for now.

Pitfalls of TMI

We all like to feel informed up to a point. The amount of detail we each want in different matters varies, either with interest or the importance, we place on it. On the surface I like to know about the food I eat; in more detail, I prefer to know less about practices in abattoirs.

There are many pitfalls or potentials downside in having too much information; here are some examples.

  • Indecision
  • Distraction
  • Poor Judgement
  • Thinking we know already
  • Cognitive Overload

A variety of techniques can help with the sense of being overloaded and helping to keep focus when needed.  Personally, I use hypnotherapy techniques either in the moment or to design and instil strategies.


Hypnotherapy and Too Much Information

I frequently work with clients that are ‘overloaded’ and as we start to plan for their changes managing overload is imperative.

Successful work with a client involves knowing how they see the world, especially with relation to the work we are doing.  Using hypnotherapy we can make positive changes in various ways, for examples.

  • Engage the filtering system
  • Adjust intensity of the senses
  • Move task specific attention
  • Focus attention

Lining up for a match defining shot is not the time to have your attention drawn to aromas wafting by.  Hypnotherapy has the tools to help manage overload and focus on the task at hand.



In this post, we have acknowledged the almost constant supply of information, and how this can adversely affect day to day functioning.  The receipt of information requires processing to take place; be sure you are working effectively with the correct details.