A Bundle Of Nerves

A Bundle Of Nerves

Vague thoughts on anxiety
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It’s happening again, the same way it happened before. That creeping dread, the audiovisual over-stimulation coming from nowhere but your own head. It creates invisible barriers between you and the rest of the world. Friends, family, classes and hobbies all end up feeling vague and distant. If this sounds familiar to you, then you likely suffer from one of the myriad forms of anxiety. Anxiety is far from an uncommon occurrence, whether it be a passing feeling or a consistent diagnosis. Most everyone has had to deal with anxiety's strange internal tensions at some point. It can manifest itself in a variety of ways, ranging from a simple reaction to stress to a protracted struggle between yourself and your own brain.

My particular strain of anxiety is hypochondria: a constant fear of something out of my control going wrong with my body or health. More often than not, it is extremely illogical. Aches become tumours, floaters and specks become possible blindness and even when there is nothing in particular for my brain to obsess over, I tend to be left with a foggy sense of impending doom. Even when it feels like the logical side of my mind has won out, and I am able to go about my day and enjoy myself, there will oftentimes be a small corner of my brain declaring fire and brimstone like some sort of drug-fueled street preacher. Some days it seems to come out of nowhere, others it mutates out of latent stress, but each time it feels like trying to walk through a tar pit. Grotesque strands of black ooze cling and drag, impeding any sort of progress or productivity.

One of the most consistent “symptoms” of prolonged anxiety spikes tends to be fatigue. A general sense of immobility overtakes you, draining your energy whilst simultaneously refilling your mind with dread. Mustering the willpower to go to classes or the library and dedicate yourself to work can feel like an uphill battle against a nigh impossible foe, while observers at the fringes of the war zone may simply tut and snigger some nonsense about laziness. This is all too common, obnoxiously familiar territory to many people, myself included. Even in class, there is no guarantee of a constructive use of time seeing as, more often than not, your attention span is completely shot. I either find myself catching floaters and sparks in my vision, nerves getting the better of me as my line of sight darts around like a madman, or wrapped in a miasma of gloom and fear.

The best things to remember in times like these, when it feels like your entire mental infrastructure is collapsing in on itself, is that your problems are not unique. You are not alone in your nervous throes. Though, at times, it can be among the most isolating feelings you may ever experience, someone -- somewhere -- is going through the same thing. I know that won’t return your energy, nor will it magically soothe your worries, but it is the first strike of the chisel into the stone. Without an understanding of what triggers you, without the knowledge that others struggle alongside you, in essence you are dooming yourself to wallow in a lonely smog, toxic and draining.

If you don't accept it you are just going to make it worse.

Suggested reading: Anxiety is an Invalid Excuse


Cover Image Credit: tumblr

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I Drank Lemon Water For A Week And Here's What Happened

It has already changed my life.

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There are so many health crazes out there now, it's hard to tell what actually works and what doesn't; or more importantly what is healthy and what is making your body worse. I read about simply drinking lemon water and I figured that didn't sound gross or bad for me so I figured I would give it a try. I've been drinking it consistently for a week and a half and I already notice some results.

I've never been a fan of lemon in my water, I always refuse it at restaurants. You definitely have to find your sweet spot in lemon to water ratio, in what tastes good to you. I personally cut the lemon into quarters and use on quarter per day. I put the lemon quarter in the bottle and then continuously fill with water throughout the day. I still get the yummy lemon flavor all day because I do not squeeze the lemon. It took about a bottle or two to get used to the lemon flavor, and now I just crave it.

Lemon water is supposed to speed up your metabolism. Obviously, a week is not long enough to tell if this is fact or fiction but I have noticed a change in appetite. I feel like I do not get hungry as often as I did before. I saw this effect within 24-48 hours of starting the experiment. This seems opposite to a fast metabolism but we'll see.

I definitely feel more hydrated with lemon water. I drink a lot of water anyways, about 80 oz a day but for some reason with the lemon, it makes me feel better. I don't feel as sluggish, I'm not getting hot as easily, and my skin feels amazing. I am slightly skeptical though because the lemon almost makes my tongue dry requiring me to drink more water, so I have upped my intake by about 20oz. I'm unsure if the hydration is due to the extra water, the lemon, or both!

My face is clearing up and feels so much softer too, in only a week! I have not gotten a new pimple since I have started my lemon water kick, may be coincidence but I'm not going to argue with it.

I also feel skinnier as I feel like I'm not holding as much water weight. I only exercise lightly, for the most part, walking around a mile or two a day so we can eliminate exercise factor to the slender feeling.

I have a messy stomach. Everything upsets it, and even though lemons are very acidic, they have not affected me in a negative way at all. It almost seems like the lemon water is helping me digest the difficult foods that my stomach doesn't like. I'm nowhere near a doctor so don't trust my word but it seems to be working for me.

From the effects I've felt so far, it also seems like lemon water may be a great hangover cure! I haven't tried it but I don't see why it wouldn't work. I can't say a negative thing about drinking lemon water so far expect you have to buy the lemons! If you try this for yourself though just make sure you are using an enamel saving mouthwash or toothpaste since lemons aren't so great for your teeth.

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Embrace Your Anxiety, Replace Fear With Enthusiasm

What if we used our understanding of anxiety to translate that fear of the uncertain to enthusiasm, as it produces the same exact feeling?

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One of the most common feelings individuals struggle with is anxiety.

A lot of people have such severe anxiety that it becomes a disorder; while some people experience anxiety less frequently in their lives, but still enough to be able to recognize the feeling.

Anxiety is a feeling that can be hard to define. Google has two general definitions of anxiety. One is "a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome." The other is "a desire to do something, typically accompanied by unease."

The first definition focuses on worry, while the second one focuses on desire. Both of these feelings contribute to anxiety. Anxiety occurs when you are scared, nervous, excited, enthusiastic, uneasy, and more.

The feeling we associate with anxiety is often the negative connotations; the worry and the fear. Rightfully so, as that is what we know. However, knowing that the same feeling is also associated with excitement and enthusiasm can help us feel less fearful when approaching uncertainty or unease.

Think back to when you were younger and approaching the first day of school. Do you remember the feeling on that very first morning? It was a strange feeling, for me, at least. I remember hearing the two mixed perceptions that day.

"I'm scared to go back."

"I'm excited to go back."

Knowing what I know now, I can see most people were feeling anxiety that day, while some translated it to fear, and others excitement. Personally, I had always been confused by that feeling because of the uneasiness, but I remembered the excitement I held at the same time.

I had the same feeling I had on Christmas Eve. I had so much anxiety in me that it was hard to sleep but easy to wake up. It is a hard concept to explain, but having experienced it makes it completely understandable.

Those who are familiar with anxiety will understand the horror of the fear we feel. But what if we used our understanding of anxiety to translate that fear of the uncertain to enthusiasm, as it produces the same exact feeling?

Think of that big presentation you have coming up for a class or for your work. The thought of it can sometimes get your heart racing due to normal anxiety; talking and presenting in front of others often will give us adrenaline and cause anxiety. Now, when we feel this, we normally become fearful.

"I don't want to present."

"I'm nervous."

You hear this all the time before an event as such. Though, to give us the most confidence, we can use that feeling we have inside and translate it to the excitement.

"I can't wait to present!"

"I'm so excited!"

It all feels the same; it is just how we express ourselves.

Of course, it is hard to do, as our minds are programmed to think in our own ways. Though, if you can train your mind to replace fear with enthusiasm whenever you feel that sense of anxiety, you will find just how much easier your life can become.

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