During my various episodes of anxiety, I often found myself drowsy or sleeping. It almost felt like an escape mechanism from everything that even remotely caused feelings of discomfort or anxiety. Had to start my job after a break, and lousiness took over. Had a fight with my husband, sleeping through the day. A load of work piling up, just laying on the bed.
So instead of actually dealing with things first-hand, I felt more comfortable sleeping. This leads to the pile only increasing with lesser time to finish, and severe anxiety attacks. The vicious cycle continues.
So I took to the internet and a few books to figure out if this is really a thing, If what I was going through really had science behind it and how could I make it better and take control of my life. Here in this article, I have mentioned all the useful ideas, notions, and explanations I found from plenty of resources.
Why- The science behind it
So let’s begin by defining Fatigue
Fatigue is weariness or exhaustion from labour, exertion, or stress. It’s the temporary loss of power to respond caused by continued stimulation.
Now how are fatigue and mental health related?
The adrenal gland is responsible to manage stress and gets activated whenever we are in any stressful situation. While dealing with mental health issues we often find ourselves dealing with stress. These glands hence get overworked leading to inefficient working.
Why do you feel sleepy when dealing with stressful situations?
A concept in psychology called “learned helplessness” is used to explain certain aspects of depression and anxiety. To define clearly Learned helplessness is a condition in which a person suffers from a sense of powerlessness, arising from a traumatic event or persistent failure to succeed. It is thought to be one of the underlying causes of depression and anxiety.
This happens to owe to past experiences that turned out negatively, that worked against our will and needs- arguments that turned bitter, failure to express yourself, being misunderstood or blamed, forced relationships, under-appreciated, unsuccessful tasks etc. Over a given period of time, one starts feeling that it can’t be done or things aren’t going to change and the best way to deal is to accept it and not fight it.
Chronic anxiety and fatigue go hand in hand. When suffering from chronic anxiety, one is overcome with feeling a lack of control, one might perceive it to be unbeatable and unavoidable and hence develop learned helplessness.
Good or bad
Having said that most people avoid or give up therapy or medication for the very same reason. The feeling however tiring maybe becomes a part of their daily lives. It seems so deeply rooted and unbeatable that one just gives up on trying to feel better.
But I am sure if you have found your way until this article, you are out there finding an explanation and cure, firstly you are brave and you should acknowledge that and know that no feeling is forever. Secondly, please share it with your loved ones, work friends or anybody you feel needs an explanation or a clear view about what’s happening to them or someone they know and how can it be better.
So here are a few things you can try to overcome sleepiness related to anxiety:
7 tried and tested ways to beat it
Get to the root: It will definitely take some time but it is important to introspect and find out the reason behind it. What is causing you anxiety? What learned helplessness have you accustomed yourself to. We all have different triggers, watch out for them. Make notes and keep track.
Watch how you talk: Keep a check on what you talk to others and yourself. Is it positive or negative? Optimistic or pessimistic? Do not indulge in negative talks, even in your self-talks. You are what your conversations are. Start replacing today. If you don’t have anything positive to say, don’t say it at all.
Watch your company: Filter people you hang out with. Surround yourself with people who aren’t just cribbing about life or complaining or gossiping day in and day out. Get around people who are motivated, getting things done, are learning new things and are ready to share ideas than to share people.
The most cliche but the top proven strategy - Exercise: The more healthy you feel physical, the brain feels confident and happy. Take time out, trust me this one will never fail you. You are lean, perfect or fat, do it. Everybody needs it. Your mind needs it.
Indulge in good reading: Reading helps your brain with good thoughts, happy pictures, alternative ideas to cope, and new ways to deal with things, which gets you inspired and engrossed. You learn perspectives and learn more about yourself and others.
Podcasts: If you are not a big reading fan, these are the way to go. But watch out for what you listen to, once again don’t indulge in negative talking, no drama series etc. Pick out a few good and positive ones. It can be related to self-help, mental health, lifestyle or something to help you improve in your career. The same goes for reading.
Seek Help: When these things start affecting your daily life and tasks, you start breaking down on every little argument you have to face and when everyday tasks start haunting you, do not give in. You can make it better, you can help yourself to feel better by seeking help. These professionals are trained, they have spent years of research and work just to help people who have little difficulty in coping with it. It Is not at all a sign of weakness, it can not last forever, stop telling yourself these things and start the work.
Yes, it will take work, and you are a warrior who’s ready to train. So do it. No harm in preparing yourself for seeking help or for the change you are planning to bring in by taking charge of your life and emotions rather than surrendering to them but do it sooner than later.