I have just started listening to an audiobook podcast, The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson, and had just finished chapter 4. I was surprised by the discussion on what Mr. Manson calls as The Feedback Loop from Hell. It was scary as heck but the harsh truth is, it does happen.
One time I was on a weekly grocery errand with my fiance and was feeling unusually tired. It was a lazy Saturday afternoon and the supermarket was packed with just the right amount of people. We used to do it on Sundays but the crowd is heavier so we moved the schedule. We also brought our prepared to-buy list so we do not waste time walking down every aisle in every section.
When we got to the counter my breathing was heavier and two minutes later my heart started drumming wildly. At first, I felt worried because I was feeling abnormally exhausted considering we only bought a few things, and then I felt agitated because my heartbeat was on the loose and I was feeling lightheaded. I was so bothered because my body was reacting like that because I was worrying. My eyesight started getting blurry by then so I leaned on my fiance and told him I was not feeling well. He asked me what’s wrong and if I wanted him to get me to a nearby clinic.
I straightened up trying to calm myself down because I want to get the grocery done already and taking a clinic detour is not an option. I held on his arm but my vision began getting dark and I felt the heat from my torso rushing to my head. At that moment I knew I was about to collapse. I did not want to make a scene so I sat on the floor and held on to the pushcart.
At some point in our lives, we experience this, getting angry because we felt angry over unimportant things, getting sad because we felt sad in a particular situation, or getting anxious because we got anxious over something.
Honestly, I have no idea how to get out of these loops but what helped me during that stressful moment at the supermarket was sitting down, closing my eyes, and breathing deeply. By sitting down I was able to control my body to not collapsing, by closing my eyes I was able to focus and become aware of what is happening, and by breathing deeply I was able to relax the tension in my heartbeat. It took a few minutes but I was able to finally calm myself down.
I do not know if that was a panic attack or I was on The Feedback Loop, I cannot say for sure, but I do know that it started from me worrying why I was feeling unusually tired and then escalated to worrying even more because I was worrying. Sounds confusing, I know but whatever loop you are in, know that you can control your body. As for the things outside your control take Mr. Manson’s words, don’t give your F to everyone and everything.
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