My Anxiety Increases When Things Are Going Really Well
Ah, anxiety—something most of us experience when things aren't going so hot.
Well, when things go even slightly off-base, I'm riddled with angst. If someone doesn't respond to my text within 30 minutes, if I have to take care of minor dreaded tasks on a Monday morning, if I have to go to something and I don't know anyone… it all stresses me out. And when I'm in my states of despair, it hits me hard. During my stressful times (both minor and major), I beg and plead to the powers that be to make these feelings go away. I just want to be happy with a clear head, I demand.
So, why is it that when everything seems on the brink of coming together for me, I'm also riddled with anxiety, then, too? It's almost like I'm more content when everything's mediocre—not bad, not amazing, but perfectly average. My heart wants things to be amazing, but the minute I begin inching toward that direction, my mind takes over and fills me with stress.
Just two weeks ago, even, I worked out five days in a single week, felt so great about the people I've been spending most of my time with, had really fun stuff lined up for the week and I had some positive happenings on the horizon. I'm in such a great place, I remember thinking. Yet, the better things got, the more I felt like I overdosed on cold brew. All of that caffeine-induced stress flowed within me (without even drinking anything!).
I've processed this experience in my mind so many times. Is it because I think something bad will hijack my happiness? Is it because I don't think I'm worthy of my happiness? Do I feel guilt because I may have certain things that other people don't? It's all so strange. Of course I genuinely want to be happy and live the most marvelous life. I just don't want this inexplicable anxiety that accompanies it!
Right now, for instance, despite a very sad situation that affected my entire group of friends, I'm in a neutral state. I only worked out once this week, I don't have any groundbreaking plans for the weekend, and I don't have anything magical on the horizon. Things are simply fine (which is a great place to be, but it's not an astronomically great place to be). Outside of the situation I have no control over, there's nothing amazing and nothing horrible in my view. Therefore, I feel no stress. I'll go home tonight, watch Netflix and feel what I guess they call normal.
Despite my bizarre happiness-anxiety, I still want those heightened levels of excitement. I need to figure out how to block out the weird feelings and focus on the good stuff.
Are you stressed out right now? HERE's how to deal with feeling emotionally overwhelmed.