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Anyone else actually work/study more with anxiety?

Hey guys, I was just wanting to post this and hopefully, people can relate. 

I know many people who are anxious or depressed often lose motivation to do any study or work but for some reason, it's the complete opposite for me! 

 

A few people have told me that's lucky because I can actually get things done, which I do agree with but I also think there are new and different challenges that come with it. When I get anxious, I can't stop working/studying/finding something to do. I feel like I have to be doing something productive with every minute of the day and it's hard to give myself a break. So yes, I get things done, but I also get extremely exhausted, sad, and lonely at times because I don't give myself much time to just socialize and rest. I think maybe it's an ineffective coping strategy for me? I've tried to reflect on why I feel so uptight much of the day. I feel like it's because my family can get noisy at times. I think I got too used to going into my room and staying there for ages studying with headphones in to ignore the noise. 

 

Anyone relate?

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Re: Anyone else actually work/study more with anxiety?

@ayrc_1904  hi there!

 

I relate to this, it certainly is a funny situation to be in. I think what makes it harder is that no one understands or makes assumptions that it is 'easier' or a 'blessing,' especially in a productivity obsessed culture. In fact, it's the opposite as you say!

 

Do you have ways you combat and manage this? 

 

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Re: Anyone else actually work/study more with anxiety?

Hey @ayrc_1904, I just saw this! 

 

I completely relate to this experience. I am one of those people who fixes my anxiety by trying to tackle the things that are making me feel burdened. For me holidays are a bit of a nightmare because I'm trapped in a cycle of needing something to do and feeling guilty I'm not achieving Smiley Sad It's ironic that I have more trouble dealing with downtime than with stress sometimes- it's a weird wall to break down! 

 

As @Tay100 said, do you have anything that you do in your downtime? 

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Re: Anyone else actually work/study more with anxiety?

I can definitely relate to this although it is quite dependent on the root of my anxiety.

As @StormySeas17 mentioned, I struggle with not constantly trying to achieve something and find the holiday period between studying to be quite an anxious time for me. When I experience anxiety from studying it often drives me to work harder, achieve more and get more done. However, when the root of my anxiety is something out of my control e.g. someone else's behaviour, I find I have a serious problem with concentration.

Its definitely an important and crucial balance and it would be good for you @ayrc_1904 to take some time to step away. For example, I study psychology and often felt guilt during semester if I wasn't constantly studying. So I found books that I thoroughly enjoyed reading that were psych based and read those before I went to bed each night. I found doing this I could unwind, look forward to this time but also not feel guilt as it was relevant to my studies. Maybe something like this could be a short-term solution?
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Re: Anyone else actually work/study more with anxiety?

Definitely hit the nail on the head! I've also struggled with this and sometimes it backfires and I just make myself too busy and then feel exhausted Smiley Sad 

 

I found what helped me was figuring out things to do where I felt relaxed. I also started putting this time in my diary so that I stuck to it. Sometimes i'd have 20 minutes in there or sometimes a few hours depending on the relaxing activity. RO has some sections on Chilling Out which may help you work out some specific ways to wind down if you wanted to try this too. 

 

I'd love to know if you have any other tips though, always keen to try out different things!

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Re: Anyone else actually work/study more with anxiety?

Sorry for the late reply @Tay100 ! Hectic week! 

Yes omg right?! Like, yes it does in fact help in terms of being able to hand things in on time and doing well in your studies etc. but the price you pay for being able to do that is a lot! It really does take a toll on you a lot of the time. 

 

I've been trying to put my 'productive energy' into working out or going for a run lately. I think it's a pretty good way of using up the 'i need to do something' thoughts into something good for myself and wellbeing. Ngl though... it is definitely hard to convince myself to do that sometimes rather than study. But I do get there eventually and I'm working on it!

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Re: Anyone else actually work/study more with anxiety?

Hey @StormySeas17!

 

Thanks for relating!! I definitely feel less alone with this now. Every time I brought it up to my other friends they'd say things like 'omggg it must be exhausting but I wish I was you so I can get my work done'- which I understand why they'd say that, but I felt alone in this since I didn't feel like many people related to me and actually understood exactly how exhausting and draining it can be.

 

I totally understand you in terms of the guilt cycle during the holidays. I find myself looking for things to do all the time! There's literally not much to do in uni breaks but I keep feeling like I should be doing something. Definitely a weird wall to break down.

 

I've definitely been working on being 'productive' by working out more these days. If not that, I feel like I look for things that aren't too tiring like helping others with easier things, baking things with friends etc. I guess just trying to put my energy and anxiousness into something that has a different meaning to 'productivity'. What kinds of things do you do?

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Re: Anyone else actually work/study more with anxiety?

Hey @Wolfie_ 

 

Thanks for your reply! That totally makes sense. I'm so proud of you too for really understanding and reflecting on the different effects anxiety has on you dependent on what the root of the problem is. 

 

That sounds like a solution I'd be happy to try! I study psychology too and I think a lot of people studying it recognise a little later into the process just how competitive it is. I feel like it's definitely a course that you need to study very hard at and that's probably a factor into what makes me feel guilty if I'm not studying sometimes. Do you have any books you'd recommend? 

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Re: Anyone else actually work/study more with anxiety?

Thanks @TOM-RO! That's super helpful! Smiley Very Happy

Not gonna lie... I'm definitely relieved that others relate. I'll take a look at the Chilling Out section of the forums. 

 

These days, I've definitely been exercising more. I've also been playing more online games with my boyfriend and watching netflix or youtube to wind down at night. I think I'm convincing myself slowly to really let myself just rest. I do need some help and a gentle push sometimes from my boyfriend but I think I'm lucky because he definitely helps me get around the 'always need to work' thoughts.

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Re: Anyone else actually work/study more with anxiety?

Hey @ayrc_1904 , it's great to hear that you're starting to find more ways to wind down a bit. I can definitely relate to having periods when I was studying when it really felt like I was running on adrenaline - it's great for getting things done, but I would often then crash and burn a bit, or get sick. Uni can often leave you feeling like you have to be working all the time, but it's so good if you can learn ways to wind down. What kind of exercise do you enjoy? Walking and running has been huge for me in helping me to manage stress. 

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