Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A night at the movies with Recovery

Last weekend I went to the movies with a friend. When we entered the theater, I experienced a little anxiety. We nervous people often become tense when there are many choices, and we have a tendency to work up even trivial situations, such as selecting the "best" seat in the house.

We chose one location, but I thought it was not ideal, as it was near the aisle. I suggested we move to a more central position, which we both agreed was better. As the previews began I heard a baby whimper behind me. That's when I began to work myself up.

I felt a mixture of anger and fear. I was angry that someone would bring a child to a movie that, although not "adult" oriented, was not a film marketed to young kids. How rude, how inconsiderate, I thought. I wanted to move but also feared that the family behind me would consider me rude and inconsiderate for displaying my displeasure. For a moment I did not know what to do. I felt my heart beginning to race.

I then realized any decision would steady me, as Dr. Low suggests. I decided that the seats were still in a great location and that the baby was not being too loud. In fact, to my amazement the child was very quiet throughout the movie (Dr. Low reminds us to not work up a situation in the "preview"). In fact, a couple of his outbursts were a bit comical given what was going on onscreen.

A few days later, I realized that I overcame my fearful and angry temper by not allowing the situation to spiral into a vicious cycle. Yes, this was a triviality, but these everyday occurrences, not life's real emergencies, are what usually give us the most symptoms. I endorsed for being group minded to my friend and the people around me. Recovery served me well during a night at the movies.


JEN SHOE said...
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JEN SHOE said...


Lyubov Ismakov said...

Hi Doug,

My name is Luba Ismakov and I work for LivingWithAnxiety.com, an online mental health resource offering information and support. We are always looking for partners in the online community to help us end the stigma and replace it with understanding and acceptance.

We would love to share your inspirational story about your personal struggle with anxiety in a Share Your Story article or guest post on our website. This would be a great opportunity for you to get your voice heard.

Please let me know if you're interested in writing a Share Your Story article for our website. You can contact me via email at: luba@deepdivemedia.net and I would be happy to give you more information.

Thank you,

Chris said...

Oh man, this was classic. I can relate to all those little thoughts that were going through your head in that theater!

I overanalyze every situation too and work myself up into a panic attack.

A lot of times when I'm having anxiety, I like to pull out my phone and just play around for awhile. It helps distract me from the anxious thoughts and gives me something else to focus on.

Of course, I'd probably get some looks from people if I did that during a movie, which would just make my anxiety worse lol.

Beyond that, deep breathing works wonders for me. I like to count out my breaths, trying to lengthen them and breathe deeper and deeper every few breaths. That simple little thing really helps me ride out an attack.

That's so good that you were able to take control over your thoughts and keep things from spiraling out of control.

Anonymous said...
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Dennis said...

I like this blog very much and would love to have you as a guest blogger or vice versa, www.anxious-athlete.com is my website or can be reached at The Anxious Athlete page of Facebook, take care.

Brian Brewer said...

Have you considered taking a magnesium supplement for anxiety? I am not saying it's for everyone but has been very successful for me.

Frank said...

It amazing what we can achieve by watching our thoughts ...not just reacting like an agitated baboon :)

Frank Foster

Pittsburgh Court said...

Hi, Im excited to find your blog, Im a person who as well suffers from anxiety & have been looking to not only blog myself but to find people I can relate with :)

tracy.rose@healthline.com said...

Hi Doug,

Healthline editors recently published their final list of the top anxiety blogs on the web for 2013 and I Am Living With Anxiety made the list. You can find the complete list at http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/best-anxiety-blogs (in no particular order). We encourage you to share your newfound status as one of the best blogs on the web with your friends, family, & followers.

We also created a set of badges you can easily embed on your site & anywhere else you see fit:


Please let me know if you have any questions.


Warm Regards,

Doug said...

Thank you all for your kind comments. Chris, distracting yourself with your phone is a great strategy--Dr. Low calls that "forced objectivity." However, we want to be group minded and not distract those in the theater with us, of course.

Dennis and Brian: There are certainly many paths to recovery. I have found Dr. Low's teachings to be the best, personally, for me.

Sam Davis said...

Nice one Doug. Small victories like these, over time, count for more personal growth than we might think.

Sam, Please check out my guide to the cause of social anxiety disorder

tracy.rose@healthline.com said...

Hi Doug,

Healthline has just released their list of Best Anxiety Apps for this year: http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/top-anxiety-iphone-android-apps. Much like your blog, these apps were thoughtfully chosen by our editorial team. They were also medically reviewed by our in-house team. As a winner of our Best Blogs this year, we thought that you might be interested in sharing this list with your audience in hopes that they will find some of these apps useful. Thanks again for creating a wonderful resource for the Anxiety community!


Alex Sten
Healthline Team

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