Anxiety, continued normal

5:33am

Not as crazy early, thankfully.

Been doing much better recently. I’d like to think that this is due to taking better care of myself, but I’m not so delusional as to think my conscious actions are the primary driver of my health. I do have some power here, but it’s far from completely within my control.

I have been having more anxiety in general. That has been a bit of a learning experience to feel otherwise well and healthy but yet have this anxiety to contend with. Previously, I hadn’t really thought through how my anxiety interacted with my up-down cycles. It seems completely independent. Looking back, I can identify other periods where my main struggle is just experiencing anxiety.

I haven’t been particularly “up” recently. Definitely not down – mostly middling, slightly up. The anxiety comes, as it often does, in periods of repetition. There will be a trigger or two and anxiety will well up, threatening to overtake me. I’ve experienced a few instances in public where I wasn’t able to handle it very well though I suspect no one but me really knew the inner turmoil – it didn’t spill outside me too far.


It wasn’t my brain that initially woke me up tonight. It was obviously an external environmental factor. But my brain was instantly alert. Not any rushed thoughts, but I suspected that I was now “awake”. As it was, I tried to settle back down only to have one thought after another pop into my brain, insisting on being dealt with, resolved, or investigated. That was my final tip-off that this wasn’t going to be just a brief period of wakefulness, but that my mind was up and running at full.


Trigger check-in:

Information diet: Many cutbacks.

I cut back several weeks ago, and also made a more concerted effort to cut back further a week ago. I’ve been allowing myself more of various types of information input and realized that some of it, while not immediately obviously a problem, was in the longer-term detrimental to my health and happiness.

I think that’s what is so insidious about the information inputs: some things aren’t really a problem immediately. It’s only by allowing them for longer periods that I feel they are detrimental – and it’s really not obvious that they are the culprit.

That non-obviousness makes me wonder if my current anxiety is exacerbated by my current information diet and whether it would be helpful to cut back further. I’ll probably try to cut back further and see how it helps.

 

Caffeine: Strictly controlled.

I had been hoping to have it occasionally at most. But I find it very helpful to get my day started. So I have a very precise, controlled, amount and otherwise avoid all caffeine.

I also use it as an aid when dealing with the outside world. Prior to a situation that I know will be stressful, I may plan to have another small amount of caffeine. This week, prior to going out for a longer period of personal interaction in the evening, I scheduled a smaller morning amount of caffeine so that I could have a second small dose of caffeine prior to going out. (Still not late when I consumed it.) I’ve done this a few times and find it can be very helpful by setting up my internal feelings well for navigating social situations. I attribute it to the general positive outlook that it engenders.

 

Diet: Mostly good.

I’ve been predominantly eating well throughout, with a few occasions of eating in a celebratory manner with friends. This is now a relatively long stretch of holding a pretty good diet.

 

Interaction: More than usual.

Definitely a higher level of interaction than usual. Some work events, and some increased personal social times. Mostly this hasn’t felt as draining as expected. Though I may be just more attuned to expecting this than I have in the past, so it’s just as draining as it has ever been and I’m just monitoring more closely and expecting worse results than normal by being hyper-aware of this.

 

Exercise: None.

This has been sadly lacking. The small amounts that I had been doing previously, I haven’t even achieved to maintain. Some of this driven by scheduling conflict (or lack of prioritizing it), some just lack of effort in this area. I should prioritize it a bit higher. But, other than that, I’m not sure what to do and I don’t think that will be sufficient to get exercise to the point that I think it will be helpful.

 

Stress: Relatively low, some high spots.

Mostly the bits of higher stress have been covered previously: some stress from social interactions, but also a few other stressors from outside forces beyond my control. Two in particular come to mind that triggered a good deal of anxiety for me.


 

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Anxiety, continued normal

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