As someone who lives with anxiety, my brain often feels like it’s moving a million miles per hour. I think we all feel this way at one time or another; we have so many things to do, and it doesn’t seem like there’s enough time to do it all. I’ve noticed the themes of relaxing and slowing down on my posts in recent months, and I think that’s a response to my current state of being. I always deal with the challenge of a busy mind from time to time but lately, I feel like it’s a daily struggle. Why is my brain trying to do everything, everywhere, all at once? And what can I do about it?
So, how did we get here? Often times during big changes in our lives, we feel stressed. If there is a change in your life that is coming (or even if you’re already in the middle of it), you can feel stressed out, tired or unable to feel like you can do anything. For me, the symptoms of my anxiety are often triggered by my stress. It doesn’t matter if the stress comes from a good place or a bad one; my reaction is to the feelings and emotions.
All of this stress has turned my busy mind into an extra, extra-busy mind. It starts with thinking about a task I have to complete. Then, while I’m thinking about how to complete it, I think about something else I have to get done. Then I remember the other tasks I couldn’t do yesterday, or the tasks I made time for today, or remembering that I need to drink water, or remembering that I haven’t eaten in hours…in a matter of moments, my thoughts can become a runaway train. And that’s just how I’m feeling on the inside.
Everyone has a different way of getting tasks done, and people with anxiety are no different. While there is a fine line between getting things done and experiencing high-functioning anxiety, we do need to figure out how we can get things done when we feel this way. And that happens when you start to get to know yourself better, and understand how you might react to certain situations.
When I feel like this, like life is just one task after another, my brain tends to shut off. I go into action mode, trying to check as many items off my list as possible. However, I can sometimes do that at the expense of my own mental health. Human beings aren’t supposed to do everything at once; in fact, it can rob us of many of the good parts of life. But how do you prioritize things when they all need to get done?
And this is when I remember to put my life into context. Right now, I’m extremely stressed out. But I also know that I’m going through a stressful time in my life for a very good reason. So even though that doesn’t make the stress go away, it directly challenges my negative thought patterns. I’m not always a big ball of stress; I’m just stressed right now. I will do what I need to do, when I need to do it. And I will practice patience when I can’t. Even though it might not change things, it’s okay that I have a busy mind right now. And by focusing, being patient and kind to myself, I can move through this time in a much healthier way than I have before.
Now, over to you! How do you react during stressful periods of your life? Do you have a plan of attack when this happens, or does it feel different each time? Let me know in the comments below!