I began to feel the worry as a physical sensation - it would start as a warning prickle in the top of my head and then spread like fire until it extended all across my scalp. This, I supposed, was a panic attack - but there was little I could do to stop it. As time went on, anxiety morphed into paranoia - the attacks happened more and more frequently, and the fear of them happening became all-encompassing, almost as bad as the symptoms themselves.
If you knew of a method to help students improve their grades, their self-discipline, their focus, and their ability to manage stress, would you consider offering it in schools? If the side effects included stronger interpersonal relationships and increased intelligence, would you still consider it?
Choice is ruining our lives, taking up precious moments. 99% of our lives are taken up by deciding. Supermarkets had 1000 products for the last generation to choose from, and now there are 40,000 of them. We need to ignore 39,850 items. We suffer from decision overload, we have a limit and then we hit neural fatigue.
For years, failing was solely based on how I thought others saw me and how I felt I should be acting in accordance to how others were acting. "I haven't been photographed like this person has", "why don't I get in magazines like that person"... These thoughts were rife. What was missing actually was a concentration on what I actually wanted and thought was important.
The past 17 years has taught me that it's not beyond our own powers to help ourselves. For anyone who is suffering mild anxiety, feels sad and wonders if they are depressed (you are not: if you have clinical depression, you know) please try other sanity-saving approaches before you resort to antidepressants.
The reaction to the first panic attack is then one of alarm and catastrophe.Thought of heart attack, madness, mental breakdown and imminent death and destruction goes through the mind, a far cry from the innocent message the body is actually giving. The body is tired not dying, the mind is exhausted not cracking up.
We spend our lives hunting for something that has a very limited life span, sometimes lasting only seconds (see sex). Whatever that rush of fireworks in the blood is; winning the lottery, making a billion, getting on the volleyball team, there will be a fall. We've known this forever (see Greek tragedy) and yet we never learn.
Have you ever worked in a business that looked professional and successful on the outside, but turned out to be dysfunctional on the inside? Maybe there was a destructive culture of office politics and complaining. Maybe the company simply didn't care about its people, or it was a chaotic, high-stress workplace, with low morale and high burn out.