Saturday, July 11, 2015

Texting anxiety

Texting is a part of daily life for many of us. It can be a quick and convenient way to communicate. It can also be a source of anxiety.

One of the "unspoken rules" of texting is that you don't have to immediately reply. Just like an e-mail message, it's understood that you'll respond when available, unlike a phone conversation. However, we often apply expectations about how long it should take for a person to reply and, when they fail to do so, become anxious.

Such reactions are normal and commonplace. For nervous people, however, this anxiety can precipitate into a working-up process if one isn't vigilant.

For example, I recently had a wonderful date. We seemed to enjoy our company and have a lot in common. When I sent a follow-up text expressing my enjoyment, I didn't receive a reply right away. OK, I thought, no biggie. Then some hours went by without a reply. I started to work myself up. My heart began to race a bit. My mind started to whirl: Does this person not like me? Did I do something wrong? Did I text too early? Admittedly, such reactions are average, and I acknowledged that. I also spotted that if I continued this line of thinking, I was at risk of ruining my day. After all, these were just my feelings about the situation, not the facts. I decided to practice objectivity by taking my mind off the situation by working in the yard. And a few hours later I did indeed receive a text back.

Nervous people will find themselves being anxious in everyday situations just like everyone else. These trivialities of everyday life, however, can spiral into larger worrying unless we spot them and practice our Recovery training.

43 comments:

Liberty L said...

Great post, so true!

Judy Bushey said...

A good reminder!

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Ben Carpet said...

Overcoming anxiety can be an impossible task for some, but as someone who has overcome it myself I know it's possible for some, i'm not saying everybody though. My point is, it's possible, and you feel even more confident than people without anxiety if you can rid yourself of it.

Camille Meehan said...

Great post, we all need to be reminded of this once in a while.

Dan Orr said...

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Anonymous said...

what do you do for help?



Fleur De Lisa said...

I can definitely relate to this post. My thoughts seem to naturally want to go to worst case scenario. Thanks for sharing with us. FDL

Elizabeth Price said...

Hello,
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
I would just like to invite you to check out my blog. We write a lot about anxiety, depression, and bi-polar disorder.
Thank you for your time,
Elizabeth Price

http://www.victoria-tate.com/2014/08/staff-shares-struggles-depression-elizabeth-price/
http://www.victoria-tate.com/2015/10/pure-panic-life-with-anxiety/
http://www.victoria-tate.com/2014/08/fun-awful-bipolar-coaster/
http://www.victoria-tate.com/2014/08/lisa-laurenzo-mental-illness-does-not-equal-stupidity/

www.medicationforyou.com said...

I am 32 yrs old and have suffered from depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder for years. I am in the mind of a real bad anxiety onset and it is incredibly lonely. I feel hopeless that I can ever escape it. I awake every morning with butterflies in my stomach, worried about how I will get thru the day. I am on meds, have been for months now. i feel completely alright now calm, composed, relaxed, confident and happy.

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James Harding said...

Very good advice. You raise a good point about calming/recovering yourself by thinking about the facts not just feelings.

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Jennifer Lynn said...

A great post! Texting has become a necessary evil in the society. I am surprised to see people texting while driving. It definitely induces anxiety as you feel obliged to reply to dozens of text messages on your smart phone. Yes, you can try a hobby or something to divert your mental energy to some constructive channels. You can also try therapy in this case.

Elviira said...

Thank you for this post! Definitely an important but often neglected issue. I find similarities with emailing, at least it makes me anxious in a similar way!

That's an important observation that they were just feelings, not the facts. Love it!

The Anxiety Guy said...

Nice post, anxiety can definitely be debilitating and here's my inspiring comeback story - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7dTGDRZHTw

Hendri said...

Thanks for sharing your account of what it is like living with anxiety. Having been a counsellor for folks suffering from anxiety and depression for quite some years during my university days as a psychology student, and having a wife (Mel), with anxiety and panic disorder, I can definitely attest to the suffering that anxiety suffers experience every day.

I used to have some extreme bouts of anxiety during my college years, where even if someone had just closed a door to a room that I would feel the walls closing in on me. For me, I have always experienced more social phobia episodes and still do many times today. I don't like crowded places else being surrounded by too many people actually brings on some severe anxiety, to the point where I am clenching my fists and trying to imagine being in a forest away from all the people. It is particularly bad in the tube stations or walking around in London where it gets very crowded. Anxiety is very real and can make life difficult to live. But I am lucky that my wife has developed some great coping techniques to control bouts of extreme anxiety and panic attacks, and I recommend taking a look at her book, My Anxiety Companion, for tips and coping strategies. She also has a great blog and Youtube channel where she reaches out to fellow sufferers. So if you are keen to get a little extra help with those spills of anxiety, I am sure her weekly videos and newsletter can help. Any help makes a difference.

Again thanks for sharing your thoughts and please keep them coming. We'd love to see you at Mel's blog as well so you can see some of her experiences and thoughts on anxiety.

My Anxiety Companion

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jessica said...

Hi!
I loved this blog, because everything you said was so true. I too, find myself just struggling with everyday activities. And it is really hard, and I feel like nobody understands me, or gets why I am so nervous all the time. But after reading your blog, and the comments, I feel better, and that I am not alone. What are your tips with dealing with anxiety?

The Lady in the Teal Coat said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who does this! My friends think I'm weird when I talk about 'how long it took someone to reply' or god forbid if they don't reply!! The amount of scenarios my head creates is unreal!

Laura Rebecca Jonas said...

I just posted a video on how I reduce my anxiety. Simple changes in you everyday life. ❤️
https://youtu.be/kDAP9z07b-A

April Nelson said...

Thanks for this wonderful post, Being anxious is normal, most of us will experience anxiety is some shape or form, sometimes we don't even realize we are suffering. Our mental health is so important and one thing we should take so much care of.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I think part of recovering is sharing these intimate thoughts. I've suffered from anxiety for decades but like you am determined never to give up on life and let my anxiety take over, every little step helps. I've started a blog Anxiety0to50@wordpress.com to try and help others, please take a look. I don't follow a recovery programme but have taken bits from lots of programmes and basically just my own experience over the years. I know that sharing really helps others, thank you :)

JBGraham said...

Phew, I'm relieved I'm not the only one who gets impatient when people don't reply to my emails! I never linked it to anxiety. I learned something new about myself through your post. Thank you.

The Anxiety Guy said...

Great blog Doug. Your words will help many people suffering with Health Anxiety. I also have a podcast related to health anxiety that I'd love if you checked out - https://goo.gl/ZqQGlg Thanks again and keep up the great work.

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Hugh said...

Anxiety can strike in all sorts of situations, thanks for the post.

John said...

I can definitely relate and wish nothing but the best for you and your journey with anxiety. I too find comfort in numbers and know that you cant just will the anxiety away and we all need a support group. If any of you want to be in a facebook community that focuses on the lighter side of anxiety to help it become "normal" you're more than welcome to chime in at:

https://www.facebook.com/iheartanxiety/

Unknown said...

I'm someone whos prone to anxiety. My parents came from very damaged families and being stressful is what ive seen all my life. For a very very long time i thoght that wd the only way to live. If someone feels slightly nauseous we just assume that he has cancer. Ima 25 year old girl. I have a great job. Im a dentist and people tell me im beautiful... But im stuck with my parents until i get married and then ill have to live with some strange man. Thats the kind of society i live in. Im a smart women bt i feel suffocated. I know no one will probably read this and honestly, im not really looking for a response. I just want it to be out there that the perfect life everyone assumes i have, Because i have a great job and a great future and family and all that crap, i don't have it. I feel unhappy! I am unhappy!

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Deborah Martin said...

Battling anxiety is a constant process, and I think you have done great with distracting yourself. That is a great aid when it comes to keeping the problem within manageable levels.

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Brendaa Wilkinson said...

I have moderate social anxiety aswell. Do some exercise and yoga. Try to be positive in each aspect of life. You can give a try to hemp oil as well.

Brendaa Wilkinson said...

I have moderate social anxiety aswell. Do some exercise and yoga. Try to be positive in each aspect of life. You can give a try to hemp oil as well.

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Was hoping to connect www.fixmybrokenmind.com

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This comment has been removed by the author.
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The Anxiety Guy said...

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Austin Armstrong said...

I too suffer from texting anxiety :(. Thank you so much for publishing this post and sharing your journey! I was wondering if you could take a look at my blog post on overcoming anxiety? It offers a lot of great tips to help you overcome daily anxiety. I would love to hear your opinion! Thanks!

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Mysouljunkie said...

Along with seeing your family Mental Health Service doctor for possible drug treatments for depression, research has shown that Counseling Therapy is also recommended for the best treatment of clinical depression. And Online Counseling has shown to be as effective and sometimes even more effective in treatment of both depression and anxiety.

Michelle said...

I can REALLY relate to your story. This is an example of overthinking at its best. I find myself doing this exact thing with texts. If someone doesn't text back right away, most likely they are not near their phone. I will have it all figured out why they didn't text me back and it is usually stuff that is WAY out there. I blog about very similar issues with anxiety and talk about anxiety and overthinking a lot. I would love for you to read some of my posts :) www.positiveplaceonline.com

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