Tag Archives: paying attention

Anxiety is Just a Bad Daydream

Anxiety is Just a Bad Daydream

I watched a documentary about dreams recently and it got me thinking that perhaps my brain has a love affair with dreaming. I’m often not fully paying attention when I’m awake because my thoughts gravitate to more interesting scenarios which may or may not be actually happening… in other words often my dream world is far more interesting to me than real life. This accounts for much of my behavior like my so called “spaciness” and wanting to be alone so often (I can follow my own train of thought without having to explain it to anyone as well as not have to follow their social rules in the process).

So that is a practical explanation for why I continue to be lost in a daze much of the day. But I am thinking that from a more physical assumption, perhaps I am not fully awake. Like, I am thinking that if our brains have certain genetically programed patterns of sleep that cause dreaming (this specific documentary said that REM sleep is for practicing and preparing for future situations based on data it processed during non-REM sleep) then if I am not fully waking up then my daydreams are running in similar patterns to night dreams. Then anxiety about a made up situation that isn’t a real life danger, would be the day time equivalent of a nightmare.

From this prospective, I can see why people have a difficult time being in a good mood when they worry about stuff that actually will never happen to them. If you can’t always wake yourself up from a nightmare because you think it is really happening, how are you going to wake yourself up from fear…especially when you are convinced that you’ve got to prepare yourself to face this fear?

I think it will help to remind yourself that in your waking life you’ve not always as awake as you think you are.

Timing

Timing

Dreams have their own timing. So enjoy putting the puzzle pieces of life together as they appear in front of you instead of pondering on the couch how it didn’t happen as you planned. You might miss your next window of opportunity to act. If you are paying attention, you’ll notice that windows of opportunity appear all the time They do not all look the same so you must make the right wish (within your means, so for me this is just a little above realistic) to alert your mind to learn how to recognize the necessary windows. It is all in your mind.

Searching for Things

Searching for Things

Many times I search and search and search for something and finally give up and ask someone else if they have it, or have seen it, or know where else I can look. The split second after I (Questioner) ask the other person (Questionee), and just before they answer, I realize where it is.

I am not sure why asking someone is the trigger for remember where something is. But it seems that I must find out in order to skip that step of asking someone unnecessarily.

There are many hypothesis floating around in my mind, none of which seem the least bit concrete. Like maybe it is a way for me to maintain some sort of bond with the Questionee.

Or maybe it is my own mind adjusting to what I perceive is the timing of interaction necessary for the Questionee to feel confident in their bond with me.

Regardless, in this situation I am going out of my way to gather information that is already in my own head, I just haven’t accessed the correct folder to it yet.

In personal, social situations I see this as acceptable because this is what everyone in my family does when we are lazy and think we’ve searched enough or know someone else definitely could find something faster. I know that a family Questionee isn’t going to think ill of me and use this minor situation against me later. But at work (where I search to the bitter end), I could possibly be perceived as incompetent, rushed, needy, not paying attention, etc. by certain people who have acquired the thought that everyone should act like robots. It is these snooty people who take tabs solely on incidents that confirm their paranoia.

A boss for example, who is in charge of a project- that, in fact, has a the work load of three bosses- cannot possibly know what is going on all the time because the boss has no time to actually manage the project. This ever-increasing fear of the project going wrong -due to an inability to properly manage it- creates a huge fear that the project has fatal errors, which will not be discovered until a cataclysmic moment. The fear propagates paranoia and so every incident that didn’t go smoothly goes on to the list of potential huge issues for which someone must be blamed for.

From there you may as well start reading from the top because the person who gets blamed for problems created out of the boss’s imagination, is powerless to do any more than employ coping mechanisms that involve analyzing her own minute behavior so as to avoid being put in the hot seat merely for asking a question….

The Multiple Meaning of Yawns

The Multiple Meaning of Yawns

Yawn: “a deep usually involuntary intake of breath through the wide open mouth often as an involuntary reaction to fatigue or boredom.”

Depending on the situation, for me yawns can also mean:

  • I am tired of being here
  • I know this already
  • I’ve heard this many times before
  • I don’t agree but it is no use educating you on my opinion
  • That’s not what I meant
  • Hello, I’m here too!
  • Can we do something else?
  • I’d rather be doing something else
  • I’ve drank too much
  • My blood sugar is low
  • Can I lean on you?
  • I’m going to anyway
  • Hug me
  • There’s nothing more to talk about, but I want to keep talking
  • Can we just be alone?
  • I’d rather not stay on the phone much longer
  • It is relaxing to talk to you
  • I’m having a hard time paying attention
  • Just lay down and relax with me
  • This chair is uncomfortable
  • I’m listening because you’re requiring it of me
  • I have something to say but I’m not going to say it

It is not uncommon to apply excess meaning to natural human actions, but I think my list is a bit excessive, no?  It really just evolved that way because, based on past experiences, I don’t feel it is necessary to express myself verbally.  This aversion to verbal communication, though written off as passive aggressive, has indeed saved me a whole load of trouble in having to constantly stand up for myself or saved me from the repercussions of openly saying things that may hurt the other person’s feelings, or validate some negative opinion they may slightly harbor about me.  The simple fact that my childhood knowledge base was not completely compatible with those of my peers causes much of what I need to say to come out in other ways.  This is reinforced by my ego constantly being inflated by the information that I either withhold or don’t articulate clearly so I feel that I know something that you won’t understand.

That is in no way to mean that inadvertent actions are under my control.  All this evolved and I am only noticing it after the fact… something many many many times after the fact. But regardless, I only notice it because I’ve become aware of how often I use these mechanisms to get by.  This is just one of many compulsive things that make up what people call my personality.  I wonder that if I didn’t communicate with yawns (as Adam terms it) and I didn’t pick my nails, or at times have to eat the same food everyday because I just can’t resist , or keep believing people will do what they said they would do, etc, then perhaps I wouldn’t have the compulsion to write about these things either, I would probably be a different person, compulsively unaware of how all of you only exist to distract me from the fact that we’re bound by these programming walls.

Aside from literal translations I also yawn:

  • To get my oxygen to my brain
  • To tell myself to move
  • To make myself notice that something about the situation needs to be changed
  • To get out the energy I would normally apply to speaking
  • To make myself tired so I don’t participate
  • To make myself appear tired so I don’t have to participate
  • To avoid intimacy
  • To buy myself more time to make a decision without having to use words
  • To keep people waiting