Thursday, November 29, 2012

Writing Up a List

I have been doing so well with my anxiety since probably June, but it has started to kick in again.  I have been traveling so much and been gone a lot more than I ever have and so I have been feeling like I am so far behind in my life and I keep trying to catch up.  Even as I sit here thinking about all the things that I need to do and how far behind I have gotten I can feel my heart start to beat a little fast and I feel a pressure in my chest and like I can't breathe right.  In fact, it feel just like as it is described as Generalized Anxiety Disorder:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder carries with it a fundamental inability to relax . . . you're in a constant state of readiness for danger . . . remain hyper alert for danger, always seeing it as though for the first time.  It's almost as if they are continually facing threat.  Since the body is not equipped to keep this up indefinitely, you eventually collapse from exhaustion.  It's like the fight-or-flight response on a daily basis.

This is not a comfortable feeling, not to mention that being in a constant state of fight-or-flight is exhausting.  I used to just try and block it or just tell myself to just breathe, but I have learned that I need to stop and pay attention to the feeling.  I stop and ask myself what I am feeling and why.  Right now I am feeling overwhelmed because I haven't had the time to do all that I wish to accomplish and needs to be done (you know, mostly chores, etc.).  This is when I usually write my list.

I am a huge fan of lists, they just help me stay focused.  When I am overwhelmed and starting to freak out I pull out my paper and just start writing everything in my head that needs to be done.  Once I have my list I start writing next to each item a deadline date if they have one.  Looking at a huge list is daunting, but only looking at the items that need immediate action reduces the intensity of the list.  I only tackle the things that have to be done that day and then I move to the next date of items when I can.

It seems like life can just be about putting out the fires at times and at times like this, I really have to pay attention to the panic I start feeling, stop and recognize what I am feeling, then find a reasonable solution to solve it and my lists are just one way of doing that.

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