Do you ever feel over stimulated? There’s too much light? Too much noise? Too noticeable of a scratchy fabric?
I’m the kind of person who can tune all that out and buckle down to focus. Correction: I used to be that kind of person.
Lately – a constant barrage of stimuli have me feeling completely overwhelmed for short bursts of time. Sudden noises or persistent but minor noises, harsh lighting, uncomfortable chairs, too stuffy air, too much of a draft, and yes, tight or scratchy clothes make me feel completely over stimulated and anxious. Both physically and mentally.
At these times, I have to shut down, escape the environment making me so nervous and try to calm down. A bath where I all but submerge my head is actually the best cure I’ve tried.
So far, I’ve been lucky that these “episodes,” for want of a better word, have happened while I’ve been at home, and I’m relatively able to isolate myself enough to actually have a bath.
But it’s so out of character for me! Usually, a quick walk, a few minutes of slow breathing followed by a slow, soothing gulp of a cup of coffee does the trick. I’m unused to it; it’s a problem!
And if I have a problem, I fix it. To fix it, I have to find the root of the problem.
I’ve come to two conclusions that I think are equally valid.
First, it’s all the changes we’re facing. I’ve listed them out, but that’s really only a few of them. There are more. These changes are enough to make anyone feel anxious and overwhelmed without excess stimulation.
Second, I’ve sat in a dentists chair nine times in the past year. I’ve probably totaled about 24 hours of being strapped down to a chair with a bright light in my face while having sharp, loud instruments shoved in my mouth with varying degrees of pain before, during and after. And no, I’m not exaggerating. If not for the fact that I was numbed for about 90 percent of the work done, I’m sure it would legally fall under the definition of torture.
Hopefully the less than routine dental work is done for me. Hopefully I am done with the multi-hour dental sessions. Hopefully.
The truly crummy thing is, I can’t do much about the roots of my anxiety problems at the moment. The dental work – I’ll just have to get over – which will take time. And as for the pending and current changes, all I can do there is what I’m already doing: preparing as much as possible, taking them as they come, and adjusting.
For my (thankfully infrequent) predicament, I can only treat the symptoms, so to speak. Ear plugs. Soft fabrics. Green tea instead of coffee. Pick up a few soothing hobbies. Trying baths instead of showers. Lightly scented candles. Alone time. A few more yoga sessions.
Am I alone in this? Does anyone else just feel completely overwhelmed by constant stimulation that they become anxious when it’s never been a problem before?