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anxiety while reading

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by eskimoeskimo, Aug 5, 2020.

  1. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    I've asked about this before, but I'm still struggling with it. I get extremely anxious while reading, especially longer stuff ie novels. I get anxious about my heartbeat and the physical sensations of anxiety and, though I constantly try to "accept" these sensations and try not to control them and bring my attention back to the reading, the anxiety just goes up and up. I've tried so many different things ... sticking with it, pacing, reading while walking, reading while deep breathing, reading aloud. Some of these things help a little bit, because they physically distract from the uncomfortable physical sensations. But none gets to the root cause. I'm just stuck in this loop. It's really confusing. My retention is still quite good, considering all this is going on, but the anxiety is maddening. I'd like to be able to enjoy reading again. Any suggestions? Can anybody explain to me what's going on here?
  2. ssxl4000

    ssxl4000 Well known member

    Hmmm...a thought I had...

    Do you remember the first time this happened? That usually is helpful if trying to understand what is going on. For example, I used to become short of breath while driving. I thought it was something allergy wise in the car bothering me, but then I realized it first started while I was driving to pick up my daughter from school. So, actually, it was just my brain being scared of her (she was 4, a handful, and often stirred my fear of failing as a dad). However, before I figured that out I was always worried about it, so it started happening anytime I drove.

    I used to have mild panic attacks at random times too, once while sitting on the couch alone watching basketball. Again, I thought it was an allergy thing as my breathing felt labored, but I think it just had something to do with my brain being afraid of me being comfortable and my mind starting to wander. Maybe the same happens with your reading???

    Basically, as usual, the more you worry about it, the more it will happen. So, perhaps going back to the mental exercises of telling your brain you are safe and don't need symptoms, or replaying any stressful thoughts that might have bounced around your head that day.

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