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Jumpiness and Nerves

Back to the NaBloPo­Mo prompts:
What do you do to cope when you’re ner­vous?

I have a whole mess of diag­noses, includ­ing post-trau­mat­ic stress dis­or­der and social anx­i­ety dis­or­der, so I feel jumpy and ner­vous fair­ly often. I’m on med­ica­tion that helps, and I have Ati­van that I can take if I must for pan­ic attacks. But I try real­ly hard to use the Ati­van, because 1) it can be addic­tive; and 2) it makes me sleepy. It makes far more sense to take advan­tage of the biofeed­back tech­niques I learned years ago to try to get my heart rate and breath­ing under con­trol. Cog­ni­tive behav­ioral ther­a­py has also giv­en me some valu­able ways to exam­ine the thought pat­terns that lead to pan­ic attacks, so that I can try to short-cir­cuit them before I get too wound up.

For less crit­i­cal nerves, I find it impor­tant to keep my hands busy. I usu­al­l­ly take a small stitch­ing project with me wher­ev­er I go. Hav­ing my hands busy and keep­ing my mind par­tial­ly occu­pied takes up enough of my ener­gy to keep me from get­ting too wound up in nerves, most of the time. My stitch­ing is the equiv­a­lent of oth­er peo­ples’ doo­dling or fid­get toys.

1 comment to Jumpiness and Nerves

  • I so total­ly under­stand the sooth­ing pow­er of hand­work (she says, look­ing down at the com­fort knit­ting in front of her, and remem­ber­ing the cro­chet project that lives in the car)

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