Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor or health professional. These are my personal opinions and ‘ideas on the loose’. Writing about anxiety is my way of processing, organizing my thoughts and looking for answers. Please, always seek help from health professionals.
I was always an anxious child. But the real struggle has started after fainting in the tram when I was about 7 ( fainting was a result of fast heart beat rate which was a result of an allergic reaction to medicine). Medicine for motion sickness to be exact. My heart rate was 160 beats for minute. Mum gave me only half of a recommended medicine dose . Just imagine…
After that I became very anxious in public spaces, always expecting terrible things to happen. I was especially nervous when using public transportation. But I was energetic and eager child, so after a while I just went on with my life (not being particularly happy when using public transport but still doing it). The fear was there but it was not overwhelming, until about 3 years ago…
The public transport trigger seems to be pretty straight forward. Something bad happened once, so I’m ‘expecting’ it may happen again.
But I was wondering about other possible reasons for anxiety? Here’s everything that came to mind:
(I’ll generalize and write ‘we’, just for the sake of this post, but I’m aware that many of you may feel differently about issues described above. Please share your opinion and your stories).
Fear of missing out.
There are so many choices, everything is available everytime and everywhere. We don’t have compulsory, mindless time to recharge anymore. You can check your bills, statements and heating on the go. Seriously, who needs that heating feature ;). You know what your friends ate for dinner, watched on netflix, read on the internet. It’s too much! Our good ol’ brain can’t take on board all the information.
People paid their bills before digital era. And believe me, if you forget, they will find you. Also, people lived fulfilled lives without knowing that their friends just ate chicken for dinner :). Don’t get me wrong, I like instagram, I enjoy lovely travel and food pics. But sometimes it’s simply to much for me and I unplug.
PS-Missed calls from unknown number always trigger my anxiety. I’m always sure it’s super important call about my mum’s health or our finances, but most of the time it’s just a call from telemarketers!
Constant guilt & pressure to be a certain way.
We sorry too much. We sorry for everything. Everytime. I’m not saying about obvious stuff (like saying sorry if you stepped on someone’s foot or when you really, really messed up and apologies are in order), but about things that make us feel unnecessary guilty ( I’m a bad mum, because: I didn’t / I did/ I should have done). I think that, if we care enough about someone/something, we will be feeling guilty about hard choices we make, whatever we chose. Some doctors say that sadness and guilt are normal and I agree with that. Obviously, if these feelings are taking over your life and making you miserable, something needs to be done. But overall, isn’t failure and sadness a normal part of life? And I think there’s a big difference between ‘normal guilt’ and ‘ocd guilt’ (as I personally call it). The latter makes you crazy and you start to analize and regret every single thing you did.
You will mess up at some point, because you’re human being. You’ll make a mistake, feel sad and eventually take on board consequences. There is no going around it, there is no being perfect.
After I realized that, it’s so much easier for me to just ‘let it go’. It’s still a hard work and it’s a real revolution in the way of thinking, but hey, I’m getting there!
Lack of control in general.
We long control, as there are so many things in life that are out of our control.
Peccadillo of the day : Going out? Demand rewards! Haha, it’s not the most educative approach, but if I go to the bank/ shop and manage it, I want my reward – cookie or something 😉 I know, I know, it’s bad for so many reasons, but who doesn’t want a cookie !???
This week’s challenge: Do something (at least a little bit) different everyday. Try new cuisine, take different route home, change your hairdo, watch something new on tv (something that would not be your first choice).
Question of the day : Do you consider anxiety a disability?
Tell me what you think in the comments. Are these your triggers too?