Anxiety & Cue. Crave. Reward.


Anxiety for me can lead to mania. I very much strive to keep it under control. Sometimes it is caused by too much thyroid hormone replacement. My medication was recently adjusted, and I am losing weight so that could be the culprit. I do take Ritalin, but I have found that it actually helps anxiety rather than worsens or causes it; it helps me stay awake and focus and that gives me a sense of control.

In the past, I would wrap up in blankets and shiver for days, imagining all the irrational fears in my mind coming true. I had intense waves of electricity pulsating through my body. I often vomited and got very little restorative sleep.

Medication helps me to achieve a baseline of stability, but I still have anxiety. I do avoid large crowds, and things like that to help manage it as well. But even though I take steps to prevent anxiety, it does happen, and I felt a lot of anxiety this morning when I woke up.

Because I woke up at 3 AM, I chose to obsessively scroll through Amazon for a while until I realized my anxiety was a cue, that my body was craving physical activity, and once I did that the reward would be the calm I am now feeling.

Thinking of my anxiety in those terms really helped me get on the bike this morning and to stop scrolling through Amazon!

Anxiety is not just a symptom, as I am learning, it can also be a cue that your body needs something to help it return to calm. If you find out what activity helps you, then you are able to achieve the rewards of calmness, control, and satisfaction.

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