Although I thought my anxiety had appeared out of nowhere, when I look back on my behavior throughout my life it’s easy to see it had always been there. My over-thinking and analyzing of most situations often lead me to worry and stress more than most children my age. When I was a child in elementary school, for example, I was not permitted to hear scary stories at Halloween with my class because I would stay up for nights, direly convinced I was not going to make it to morning.
Of course, many children fear scary stories and I had always been social and made good grades so my parents never realized I had a problem. I made it through high school and got into my first choice university- San Diego State.
However, my second year in college, everything that had always been stable in my life began to falter. Lacking my normal support system, any anxiety I had been living with now began to outwit any reason and rationality I had learned, and my life became one giant worry. Common sense no longer made sense at all and rationalizations no longer comforted me because anxious and fearful thoughts had a counter for every consolation.
It was my mom that forced me into the self-help section of our local Border’s. We left with three books about conquering anxiety, a beginner’s yoga book, and a DVD about practical meditation. Much to my surprise, the words of these authors and the calming techniques of the yoga and meditation greatly improved the condition of my anxiety and it was manageable again.
However, as the things faltering before worsened, so did the entropy in my mind. Soon clearing my mind for yoga and meditation seemed impossible and calming techniques were too time-consuming for my increasing impatience. I wasn’t happy and I didn’t have the energy to fight my anxiety anymore. So I gave in and allowed it to take me over once again, hindering many areas of my life and causing many of my relationships to struggle.
At this point I was in my third-year at State and against the advice of most, I had just begun my new major in Psychology- the science of how thoughts, feelings, and behaviors affect each other. The more I listened in my classes, the more I learned about how my mind works to motivate my behavior and actions, and vice-versa. What triggered my recovery was learning how easily influenced your brain and body are. Simply by believing you are in danger can trigger your body’s most neurotic fight-or-flight responses, and in the same respect, by reassuring yourself you are alright and truly believing it, you can calm those responses.
It was as if a veil of darkness was being lifted from my eyes. Not only could I see exactly what I was doing to cause this anxiety in myself, I understood what needed to be stopped in order to regain control and conquer my inner entropy. Slowly but surely, this knowledge has helped me recognize and defeat my anxiety attacks before they can affect me.
Although switching majors probably added to my anxiety, I have never regretted it. I believe that my education has conquered my entropy.
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