Anxiety Life

Multitasking – a cause of anxiety?

I find that my brain works best when I am doing lots of things at once. I tend to start one task, get an idea, check that out, which leads to other things, and I have always liked that aspect of myself. I am creative I would tell myself. A free-spirit. It is a talent that I am proud of.

Recently I have been working on a few projects with my husband, who is extremely calm. He very rarely feels anxious, and when he does, like a job interview, he channels it in a way to make himself more alert. Better. You know, the proper use of anxiety! Get it for a reason, and use that rush to fight or flight.

As we are working on these things together, we started to see how differently our minds work, and it got me analysing if my multitasking is actually helping me.

He focuses on one thing at a time. He gives 100% focus to that task. I, on the other hand, say one thing then start giving more and more ideas. I am creative I tell myself. However, his mind cannot focus on more than one thing, so I have to reign myself in. While he was focusing on the 1st task I gave him, and unable to start other tasks as I was waiting on him, I started on the task of hyper analysing myself. My brain is better, I can think of lots of things. He is so slow. Then I started to think, he creates things. He feels accomplishment whereas I never do. Then it hit me, is this why he is so calm? Do I ever accomplish anything?

When I do eventually finish things, I don’t get satisfaction as my brain is already onto other things. Plus, I always stop and start so often that the day has gone and I feel I have accomplished nothing. By the time I finish, I am exhausted.

Could it be that my way of working is actually at worst making me anxious. Or at least, not helping me.

An article from Psychology Today states:

Most of all, doctors tell us that multi-tasking causes an increase in the production of cortisol, the stress hormone. When our brain consistently shifts gears, it creates stress and tires us out, leaving us feeling mentally fatigued. In addition, the barrage of information is overwhelming. Figuring out what you need to pay attention to and what you don’t can be down right exhausting

This resonates with me, as I often feel my anxiety gets MUCH worse when I am overstimulated, like when I have a variety of choices or am in a very noisy place.

So how can we change this when we are constantly doing so many things at once. Multitasking isn’t just starting a variety of tasks as I thought, but it is also when we are working listening to music, checking our phones or driving while chatting with someone. This made me think, when actually was the last time I did just one thing. I even sleep with the TV on! My poor brain must be exhausted.

So I am going to research this more and get back to you with some blogs on some techniques that might help us.

For now, I am going to rest my tired, overstimulated brain!

Love, @powerofanxiety