Hey guys—coming at you late on this fine Thursday!
So, the idea for this post came to me after I’d decided to take a break the rest of the week when I realized I didn’t have anything prepared.
Funny, those spontaneous, thinking out loud ramblings are sometimes the most relatable.
I’ve been feeling rather anxious lately (not so much the last couple weeks, but for much of late February and March, for sure…), and after I pinpointed what may be the cause (I’ll get there, bear with me), I thought about this:
Can too much of a good thing be a bad thing?
Spoiler: yes, I think so.
You see, I’m a bit of an information junkie. I find joy in knowledge (hence why, if I had limitless funds, I would go back to school just for the hell of it—academia is my happy place). I, wrongfully, find a sense of worth on recalling obscure facts or being able to discuss current events with assuredness.
While I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a “know-it-all” (I can accept being wrong), I do find satisfaction in knowing some things that others don’t know. I guess I’m a “know-it-some?”
Long story, short—I think a lot of my anxiety is tied to the news. In particular, last month’s health care overhaul debacle.
I won’t get too political here, but I was afraid. Afraid that my generous employer-provided health insurance would be greatly altered. Afraid that, should we someday try to have another child, the cost of prenatal care and my hospital stay would be unaffordable. Afraid that my mental health-related office visits and daily medication would no longer be covered.
It got to the point where a knot would form in my stomach every time the healthcare vote was discussed on the news.
But what did I do?
I continued to watch and listen and read, of course.More of the same will never lead to change! #mentalhealth #TOL Click To Tweet
I habitually listen to NPR during my short commute to and from work because, first, I feel like it’s one of the most balanced news sources out there, and two, despite my lust for information, I don’t have much time to read the newspapers or genuinely watch the news (it’s usually background noise in the mornings and evenings).
When I mentioned this to my doctor, she of course suggested that maybe I should stop listening to the news so much.
Not going to lie, I brushed off the idea at first. NOOO!!!! I need fairness and balance in my life! She’s crazy!
But then I thought about the anxiety I felt last month. And how it’s possible to be informed without being inundated with information.
And, of course, this led me to think about other “good things” that I may be experiencing in excess.
Blogs and social media
Work (even if you’re lucky enough to be living your passion)
All of these are good things—things we NEED in our lives in order to find fulfillment and nourishment—but they, too, can become negative and stress-inducing if abused or done in excess.
Exercise can become addicting—or a means of punishing ourselves—and we can push ourselves to injury. Dessert is a big part of my life, but when I’m stressed or sad, I tend to over-indulge and then feel guilty about it. Reading blogs is something I enjoy, but every now and then I take a break to “detox” from social media and avoid falling into that dreaded comparison trap.
So what should you do?
First, be mindful of both the things you enjoy and the things you trudge through.
Give yourself a break when you need one.
If something you normally find pleasure in becomes a source of stress, then maybe it’s time for change! It’s ok to not be “all in” all of the time!
Life is to be experienced fully and we cannot enjoy pleasure without overcoming pain and hardship.
But we must remember to care for ourselves in all areas of life—even if that means knowing when we’ve had too much of a good thing.Can too much of a good thing be a bad thing? #mentalhealth #TOL Click To Tweet
So tell me…
- Does the media ever cause you anxiety?
- Have you ever experienced too much of a good thing?
- If so, how did you rectify the situation?