Panic & Run | Anxiety Series
Welcome back to my Anxiety Series - where I talk about my experiences with anxiety, how to deal with it and basically just my general understanding of it all. I'm no doctor, but as a teenager myself, I have decided that I pretty capable to discuss some of the issues that go along with it.
Today we are going with something that I am far away from conquering. I don't know if there is an actual term for it, but I call it "Panic & Run" or I guess the longer term could be "overthink and over-analyse something to such an extreme that your brain decides that the only thing to do is push the eject button'... or something like that.
My first experiences of the infamous 'panic & run' probably started when I was around 12 or 13. Possibly younger. I would go on sleepovers to my friends house (legitimately my best friends) and I would start overthinking sleep and I guess just everything and I would call my mom and leave.
For no actual reason other than my brain telling me that, I don't know, I was going to die or something if I stayed there. Now, trying to explain that to myself, let alone to said friend, was pretty much an impossible task.
The same thing happened at Irish college. Everything was all good, all fine - even though I did have to leave for 5 days in the middle (my dad was moving across the country and I thought it best to help him out) - I once again decided to hit said 'panic and run' button.
I guess I don't need to go into too much detail (hey mom) - but I liked a guy that was there but I was so absolutely terrified of having to face him that I literally fled. FLED.
Then, with all of these situations, not long after hitting the eject button, the first bout of relief fades away and you are just left with regret. Of course you regret running, because it's only after the fact do you realize that the world was NOT going to end if you stuck around. So you end up missing out on things, and feeling guilty about it, for like ever.
Thank you overactive, overthinking, over-analysing brain - much appreciated.
At this stage, I am obviously very much aware of this particular affliction (that I know for sure that I am not alone in) but unfortunately being aware of doesn't help as much as I would like. Because it still happens - I still run away from situations that I believe will cause me anxiety and worry (even though 9 times out of ten, I misjudge the situation and it's actually fine).
I am far from resolving it, but I am getting a little better. (It's all baby steps honestly) But, I do have a few tips that may help you out if you experience the same thing as me (please let me know if you do, you can privately message me or email me anytime).
Quotes & Phrases (to combat the Panic & overthinking bit)
5 by 5 rule... If it's not going to matter in 5 years, don't spend more than 5 minutes worrying about it.
Worry about it in a minute.
Stop overthinking, you are only creating problems that aren't there.
Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair. While it involves motion, it isn't going to get you anywhere.
Others things that might help you out..
- Your Friend Group - having friends that will listen to you and help you dissect the thoughts you are having.
I have said it before and I will say it again, friends are priceless. I am so lucky to have people that will tell me the 100% honest truth and even though sometimes the whole no filter thing can hurt - god does it help. Tell your friends to try and give you their perspective on both sides of the argument (the pros & cons really) and that way you have the capability to step outside your own mind.
If your lucky, your brain (who could be literally yelling at you by this point) might even shut up and listen as well. I think I would actually be rocking back and forth in a corner of a room if I didn't have my friends to pull me out of my own thoughts.
Also, this bit is important - your friends don't need to understand but sometimes they need to simply understand that they don't understand. Those are the kinds of friends that you should keep on your side.
I can't 100% guarantee that this is the best tactic but is another way to step outside of your own head. Go for a run, blare music, clean the house, binge on netflix, phone a friend - just don't sit there - doing it alone isn't going to help anyone.
Laughing and talking - best forms of distraction if you ask me.
So far, that's all I got because I am still not quite sure how to handle it all. But, if none of my methods work for you, just know that you're not the only one with these screaming voices in your head. Sometimes my head actually hurts from the whole thing!!
Some days are better than others - but hey, we are in this together right?