The Anxiety Effect

My name is Biscuet and i deal with anxiety.  Maybe even chronic anxiety.  

I roll with the punches and on the surface it may seem that nothing is on my mind or bothering me.  I can sit across the table from you and carry on an engaging conversation about almost any topic and you would never know what it’s like when i have that bit of alone time later.  

This anxiety can creep up and attack at any time and without warning.  I’ve dealt with it on and off for years.  Sometimes it means laying in bed with my heart pounding.  Sometimes it means sitting on my couch watching TV with suddenly i have the realization that i can actually hear my heart beating and that if i don’t calm down then it might just beat it’s way out of my rib cage.  I don’t have attacks where i breathe into a bag like in the movies.  It’s not like that.  But i do sometimes feel slightly short of breath like the beginnings of an asthma attack or my chest feels like a small person is sitting on me.  None of it is fun and all of it scary.  

I went to the doctor the other day to discuss this shortness of breath and the chest pains.  After seeing that my blood pressure was way high and my heart was racing he did a pretty thorough checkup.  After several minutes of asking me questions and doing some tests he looked at me and said:

“You need to go home and Google ‘meditation’”

That was his way of saying that there’s nothing wrong with me other than anxiety.  So it struck again and i didn’t even see it coming and i didn’t know what it was.

I just write this to say that i know i’m not the only one.  I’m convinced that many people deal with this level of anxiety, but either don’t speak up, don’t slow down, or don’t know what to do about it.  I don’t think prescription drugs are necessarily the way to go, but i do think it’s wise to talk to a doctor.  I also think it’s wise to do a few other practical things that may help ease the burden of anxiety.  Below are a few simple things that i’m trying.  These are not just tricks to get rid of anxiety in the short-term, but rather lifestyle choices that will hopefully moderate the level of stress my body takes on physically:

- Eating healthier.  I don’t have a reason for this, but i’ve been trying to eat healthier and it seems to make a difference. 
- Exercise. Okay, so these first two are things your 6th grade health teacher told you. Stay with me.  When i exercise it’s easy to think that it’s a good time to contemplate all the decisions i need to make that day or all the problems i’m trying to solve.  Instead of doing all that i try talk to God about anything that i can think of.
- A small glass of wine at the end of the day.  This seems to help calm anyone down.  It’s hard to be stressed and it’s hard to think about work or responsibilities when you’re slowly sipping a glass of merlot.
- Talk about it with people who get it.  Realizing that other people have the same issues and you’re not crazy is a freeing feeling.  

This anxiety stuff is the real deal and it’s not fun at all.  If you relate to any of this, then let me just tell you that you’re not alone and it’s not the end of the world.  I know how it feels.  At this current moment, i feel fine, but you never know what tomorrow holds. 

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One Response to “The Anxiety Effect”

  1. Mom February 6, 2013 at 10:06 am #

    You are absolutely doing the right things.- Adequate rest, good diet, and exercise. Anxiety is no fun and yes it is scary, but looking it in the face and calling it by name is freeing. This post will be beneficial to many

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