OK, I'M BACK, EVERYONE CALM DOWN. I know you've all been sitting on the edge of your seats, eagerly waiting for me to upload again.
....all zero of you.
I actually have been thinking about this blog a lot, despite my non-existent audience. I've decided that before I make a plan to reduce my own stress, I should write about what stress is in general. After all, knowledge is power, right?
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, stress is
a: a state of mental tension and worry caused by problems in your life, work, etc.
b: something that causes strong feelings of worry or anxiety
Stress is not necessarily a bad thing. A little bit of stress can motivate you do work harder and to do better. It can also be lifesaving- when you're stressed, your body releases special hormones and awakens your fight or flight system. While this is great in a life or death situation, it's not so favorable if this system is being triggered in an every day scenario. Then it can become exhausting and overwhelming.
Everyone will feel stressed at some point in their life, because everyone goes through challenging times. Common stress factors include being fired, losing someone close to you, or marriage/divorce. However, some people (such as myself) struggle with a stress disorder, such as anxiety. This means they'll feel stressed almost constantly, even if there isn't any drama in their life at the moment. Feeling such stress all the time obviously affects their happiness, their peace of mind, and their day to day lifestyle.
Anxiety can be hard to define. There are five different types- generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Not to mention, each one affects every person in a different way, so it's hard to compare cases to each other. I'm going to be focusing on GAD, because that's what I have, at least according to my psychiatrist. Generalized anxiety causes people to worry about... well, pretty much everything. That's why it's called generalized anxiety. Simple, everyday things paying bills or slight health problems like stomach aches will cause people with GAD great concern. To them, everything seems like a bigger deal than it actually is.
Anxiety manifests itself in different ways for everyone. For a while, I didn't agree that I have GAD because my anxiety is far from general- it seems to be specifically centered around timelines, and nothing else. I get anxious if I have schoolwork due, I get anxious if I have household chores to do, I get anxious if I have to get someone a present and it's almost their birthday. (Speaking of which, it's my best friend's birthday in three days, and I have no idea what to get her. Queue the panic). The more stuff I have to do (even if it's totally manageable) the more I worry. And the more I worry, the more lengths I go through to distract myself from worrying. And the only way to distract myself is to lose myself into books or the internet- and I can lose myself for hours. And then when reality finally sinks in and I realize I've spent three hours reading a Calvin and Hobbes comic book I've already read 5 times, the panic comes back even harder than before. This time too hard to focus on working at all. It's a vicious cycle, and it's even worse if there's some kind of authority figure involved. I instantly get five times more anxious if an adult reminds me about all the stuff I have to do.
Whenever I get that panicky type of anxiety, it's always centered around one thing- deadlines. GAD is supposed to make you feel anxious about life in general (that's why it's called generalized anxiety disorder, duh). That's why I wasn't so sure that I had GAD. But recently I learned that for some people, anxiety doesn't just feel like a panic. It can manifest itself as a feeling of dread- and I get that all the time. Not about any event in specific, just... in general. I could be in the middle of reading a book or listening to music or doing anything really, and all of a sudden, this powerful feeling of dread washes over me, and the only thing I can do is sit there until it goes away. Surprise surprise; that's a symptom of anxiety! So I've come to the conclusion that yeah, I do have generalized anxiety. I just feel dread more often than panic.
However, anxiety can't account for all of my concentration issues. I've already said I some of my problems concentrating are caused by anxiety (when I'm worried, I turn to books, tv, internet, etc. etc.), but the endless uncontrollable daydreaming isn't so easily explained. So wouldn't think it too much of a stretch (especially if you've done some yoga lately) to say I might have ADD. It took me a full hour to write these last two paragraphs because I couldn't stop thinking about other things for two seconds. And not like anxiety related thoughts. Not worried thoughts. Just random thoughts. These are the thoughts I've had in the past hour:
- How are crepes made? Because the last batch I made was so overcooked they had to go to the hospital for third-degree burns.
- How are scrambled eggs made? Because the last batch I made was so overcooked, not even my dog would eat them. That one's not even a joke.
- Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Dinosaurs, obviously.
- Would a dinosaur eat my burnt eggs? *spends 10 minutes just imagining a t-rex trying to hold a fork with their tiny arms*
- The time that passed between T-rex's and humans is shorter than the time that passed between T-rex's and stegosaurs. There were 85 million years between the time of the stegosaurs and the time of the T-rex, and 65 million between the time of the T-rex and the time of the human. Also dinosaurs were around for millions and millions of years, and we've only been here for like 200,000. Time is so weird.
- Can you believe that there were millions upon millions of years that there were giant reptiles all over the earth instead of us? And then they were suddenly wiped out, just like that? Kinda makes you think that humans could be wiped out just like that too. That's a nice thought.
- We're all gonna die someday. Someday every person will be gone. Whether it's from a natural disaster, a nuclear war, a robot revolution, or maybe space travel has gotten advanced enough that we all left to live on another planet. Every single person and all of their hopes and dreams and fears and stories will have just disappeared. And all of the stuff we've created will just be lying around earth, useless, overgrown by plants. The planet will be taken over by wildlife and animals once again. And then exploring aliens will land on our planet, and see all of the remaining proof of our civilization, and wonder what happened to us, but will never be able to fully explain it (kind of like us with the dinosaurs). But- plot twist- we are the exploring aliens. Within the hundreds of generations that have passed since our people left Earth, we somehow lost all of our records explaining where we came from. We know nothing of our beginnings... until one day, a young and curious space captain finds a small and inconspicuous planet in the middle of a small and inconspicuous galaxy. The space captain only ended up there because she was lost, but forgetting her map at her home planet was the best mistake she's ever made, because she's now discovering the birthplace of human kind.
- How old is Avril Lavigne?
I had more daydreams than that, but you probably catch my drift.
Anyway, if I do have ADD, it seems to be very intertwined with my anxiety, so I want to figure out how to be less anxious before I try to figure out anything else about myself. That's why I'm going to create a stress-relieving plan for myself to follow over the next few months...
...a stress relieving plan I'll reveal the next time I update. This post is too long already. I got carried away. I had a plan for this post, but my train of thought derailed long before I got there. Can you see how my brain works? There's no order to it, which is why everything I try to write turns out more like a stream of conscious than anything else.
And this derailed train I have for a brain needs to get some sleep before school tomorrow. Bye!
SOURCES (yeah I have sources, take me seriously):
Editors note (aka me. I am my own editor): I DIDN'T HIT POST. I WROTE THIS THURSDAY AND THEN I DIDN'T HIT POST. GOD I'M SO MAD AT MYSELF. I DIDN'T EVEN REALIZE UNTIL I DECIDED TO CHECK MY OWN BLOG TODAY. THIS WAS SO CLOSE TO BEING ON TIME AND THEN I DIDN'T HIT THE STUPID PUBLISH BUTTON. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY.WHY. WHY. WHY.WHY. WHY. WHY.WHY. WHY. WHY.WHY. WHY. WHY.WHY. WHY. WHY.WHY. WHY. WHY.WHY. WHY. WHY.WHY. WHY. WHY. BYE.