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Thread: Anxiety from little things

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    Sr. Member toxicyarnglare's Avatar
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    Anxiety from little things

    I've been working towards controlling my anxiety lately, and have come to realize that a lot of anxiety stems from small, inconsequential things, that build up over the course of the day and cause troublesome effects without me being conscious of it. Some things I've noticed cause anxiety for me are things like not sure what was the last song I was listening to on a CD, making minor mistakes at work and feeling the need to correct them quickly, or hell, even making sure I do everything in a video game before I go to the next area.

    I also have this issue where certain things that I've done wrong stick in my head and nag at me until I resolve them, for the most part I can't fix those at work, and so no matter what I think about, my mind kind of goes back to that one unresolved issue. It's happened more than a few times where the anxiety caused me to have to leave early (thankfully my company is very lenient about letting people leave early, so I don't get in trouble for it if there's enough staffing).

    My job is also a desk job, and I always notice that sitting down for a while, physically, makes it harder for me to stay calm. Once I stand up to go to the bathroom, a lot of the tension kind of melts away and I feel better.

    I do have some health issues (namely irritable bowel syndrome, which causes constipation and bloating) which can physically make it harder for me to keep calm, but I want to do things to help that are in my power. Does anyone have any advice on dealing with these issues?

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    Eldritch Priestess Willow's Avatar
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    Re: Anxiety from little things

    Since you mentioned that standing and walking helps to reduce the anxiety, I'm leaning towards the idea that regular exercise could do you a world of good (if you aren't already doing that). Or maybe even different kinds of exercise, if you are. Anything that helps you to stay in the moment and burns off that excess energy that's bleeding through to feed your anxieties.

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    Re: Anxiety from little things

    Similar to what Ljubezen has mentioned, have you tried walking meditation? Traditional meditation tends to be difficult for me but I've found walking meditation to be beneficial when I'm stressed about something. Good luck to you...

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    Supporter Jembru's Avatar
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    Re: Anxiety from little things

    This sounds very familiar. Anxiety crept up on me gradually. I think it was triggered by the death of our kitten, Magpie; that sudden realisation that horrible things happen for absolutely no good reason. I work nights so watch a lot of news (as there's not much else on), so I was bombarding my mind with all the pointless suffering there was. I started to worry that if Magpie could just suddenly die, me or JP could. I'd walk the long way home from work to avoid what I considered a busy crossing, to lower my risk of being knocked down. I refused to go out with my friends in fancy dress at Halloween because I thought we'd attract attention to ourselves and could be attacked. I would be dumb with fear if JP didn't come home ontime (and because he uses a blackberry his battery is nearly always dead).

    Like you say, things like not being able to recall something I know I should know, will start a knot in my stomach, and I'll feel frustrated unless I can remember. I started to think really low of myself, constantly warning people that I'm not bright, not a good learner, and so on. The 'but what would I know..' feedback loop.

    Before long I was starting most days with a feeling of dread. I started to have palpitations at work (where I couldn't even go out to the bins until the day staff arrived, for fear someone would attack me at the back door). Then finally, I had a full-blown panic attack on a bus after seeing a friend a few weeks ago. I knew then that I needed to get back some control.

    My mum has depression and was recently on a positive thinking course. They covered things like anxiety too, so she gave me the notes and handouts from the course. I treated myself to a notebook so I could journal the healing process and keep on track. It seems to be helping, although I think that just making that conscious decision to start fighting it, was the biggest step.

    Some of things I'm doing include;

    Daily affirmations; I've used affirmations a lot in the past, but assumed they weren't all that effective for me. I had read that if you strongly believe the opposite of the affirmation, then you focus too much on that. According to this course, you can get around this by starting affirmations with 'I choose..' So not, 'I am cheerful and optimistic' which just makes you think 'haha, that'd be the day..', you say, 'I choose to be cheerful and optimistic'. I gave it a go and actually have a little stand-up memo pad on my desk that has an affirmation on each page. I flick through it saying them all in the morning, then have it standing next to my PC on a random page, so I can say it to myself whenever I glance over (it currently says 'I choose to eat well and get plenty of exercise'; and I HAVE been.. pretty much without trying!).

    Wrist band; This is an elasticated band worn around the wrist. I'm using a child's hair band with Hello Kitty on because it's cute and makes me smile. It took some getting used to to begin with, but when I think something negative, be it about myself or the world around me, I'm to 'twang' the band and say 'cancel'. Weirdly enough it does break my chain of thought and help me to think about something else. The 'cancel, is meant to be a signal to my brain not to process that thought. I'm not sure how that works, but I'm doing anyway because the course says so.

    Gratitude journal; This one is hard, but I bought a separate book for this. Each page is an illustration of a cat with a huge speech bubble with lines in. There's also a 'cross off' panel at the top for the date. The idea is that each day you try to think of at least one thing you're grateful for (I mentioned this in the 'Yey' thread). It's meant to gradually train you to notice the good things, however small. After all, anxiety sufferers have no problem noticing even the smallest of bad things until they snowball.

    The booklet also talks of visualisation, positive body language and of course, the importance of exercise. I guess there are no short-cuts or quick-fixes, but just trying to tackle it makes you feel a bit more in control I think! I've started looking at other self-help style books and courses. I'm also using mindfulness exercises, because I've noticed I can actually have two chains of thought in my head at once; sounds impossible but it's happening, it's very weird... and draining (and maybe explains my rambling writing style ^^). Mindfulness helps to give me a break from that kind of over-thinking.
    夕方に急なにわか雨は「夕立」と呼ばれるなら、なぜ朝ににわか雨は「朝立ち」と呼ばれないの? ^^If a sudden rain shower in the evening is referred to as an 'evening stand', then why isn't a shower in the morning called 'morning stand'?

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    Newbie ThistleRain's Avatar
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    Re: Anxiety from little things

    I've dealt with anxiety/depression for a long time. Exercise and keeping busy are the only things that have ever really helped. Having a tough time with it myself lately. I don't work right now, and no longer go to a gym (I used to go almost daily, but we don't have one with a pool by us...swimming was the best for me.) I struggle with motivating myself to exercise at home. I'm hoping to start hiking soon. It's been so rainy. I hope one of the suggestions helps you.

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    Re: Anxiety from little things

    My son is six and has ADHD and anxiexy/OCD. The things that help him (and us as a family, because it can be quite exhausting and frustrating for us) is what we call "green time"--going outside and playing, exercise (he takes gymnastics lessons) and a routine. We use a lot of timers and alarms and schedules and checklists. Medication times, starting bedtime routine, morning routine, etc all have alarms, and we use the times for reading time and screen time. Getting ready for school has its own checklist, as does bedtime, chores have a schedule, etc. We also do a lot of prep work on low-stress days--on Sundays, for example, we put our clothing for the week, we make up the stuff for our lunches for the week, and partially assemble dinners so they can be easily made. After school (because if we wait til before bedtime we don't feel like it) we pack lunches and do chores.

    At work, a group of us schedule a a walk at 0730, 1000, 1230, and 1400....plus nearly all of us have some sort of exercise routine to get our butts moving regularly. I have an exercise ball and weights, and a list of desk exercises...the girl across the hall from me does walking lunges and squats...our department head has an exercise bike and goes on daily walks with our supervisors. Part of this is because its common sense...but the other reason, I think, is because we ought to set a good example. While we don't do much with it practically, in all technicality, ergonomic assessment is part of our jobs. Ergonomically speaking, the best thing you can do for yourself when sitting at your desk is to do something else (phrased in the field as "the best posture is the next posture").

    I don't have OCD per say, but (since its genetic and my dad and son do), I have some tendencies. OCD is about repetitive obsessions (things you think) and compulsions (things you do), and how they become ritualized behaviors...the kiddo collects sticks, which sounds like an adorable nature-y kid behavior (and indeed, we've come up with many a stick craft), but for Sharkbait, its a perceived matter of life and death. For the most part I can control them, rather than them control me, but if I don't address the things that stick in my head, they can really knock me off course. What I do is figure out how to "fix" the thought, then I don't worry about it so much because I have a solution for the problem handy. For example, I have an irrational fear of going off a bridge in the car ever since I read a news story in high school about someone getting in a car accident, going over a bridge, and drowning in their car. All of my cars until the last two have always had manual windows for this reason. But when we got a car with automatic windows and on top of that, I had two small children in car seats, it got particularly bad...I obsessed over how I could save both kids, how we'd get out of the car, etc. It literally made me ill just to think about it, and I couldn't stop thinking about it. So the Hubby bought me a window breaker/seat belt cutter for each car and acquired an inflatable life jacket (to make swimming with two children unable to swim easier). Whenever I find myself thinking about it, I run through my plan and tell myself that its a statistically unlikely event.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

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