The What’s Wrong Scanner

There, the “what’s wrong” scanner booted up. Have you ever gone along feeling mentally pain-free…and then, BAM! you feel like you should worry, so then you do?

Jonathan Arenburg
Jonathan Arenburg

Jonathan is a mental health blogger, published author, and speaker. He has appeared in numerous newspapers and has been a guest on many podcasts.

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The night before last was jam-packed full of PTSD nightmares, likely brought on by recent events. Earlier this month, one of my family members had a medical emergency. With that said, she is doing well now, a fact I am incredibly grateful for.

However, my autopilot feature – a switch that makes us firefighters leap into action without a single thought to our own well-being – was stuck in the “run” position. Since my fire service days, it’s become part of the way I deal. I guess it was disengaged the other night because the terrors of the fire service played out in my slumber like some bad horror flick. As it turns out, it was a double feature, as one of many work-related incidents aired just after. Of course, as you might well imagine, yesterday was a day full of flashbacks and rage.

Front and back cover of the road to mental wellness - 8 sings your relationship is hurting your mental health.
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A difference a Day makes.

Now, let’s fast-forward to this morning. From the second I opened my eyes, I felt great! In fact, I felt so good that I felt a huge sense of relief and peace. And like basking in the warm sunlight, I soaked it all in. I know – “What the heck is a ‘what’s wrong’ scanner?

Well, it’s a feeling that my anxiety produces when it doesn’t detect something to worry about, kinda sad really. So, this morning’s moment of normality must have tripped it, my anxiety alarm. It seems I am conditioned to worry regardless of if I need to or not.

Because it detected a bout of homeostasis, my anxious brain said, “What the… there must be something here to worry over?” Let me tell you, the second I thought that a low-grade worry popped out of nowhere. Yay, me!

The Neurology behind anxiety

Since the “what’s wrong” scanner kicked in, the dull ache of worry has, much to my dismay, persisted. Nonetheless, the takeaway here is: I have made myself aware of it. Although I really dislike the feeling of dread it produces, thankfully I know how to fix it: Exercise

Whenever I am feeling anxiety’s power, I find running to be my best remedy. In fact, I often call it mother nature’s medication because it works so well.

Finally, I want to stress that if this sounds like you, I want you to know that you’re not broken. Anxiety can be managed once you learn how. This can be achieved through therapy, meditation and of course, exercise. Oftentimes our angst will try to convince us otherwise but remember, anxiety is frequently lying. You can do this!

Jonathan Arenburg

Jonathan Arenburg is a mental health blogger, S speaker, writer, and published author; He is also the host of the mental wellness podcast, #thewellnesstalksHe has also appeared in the i'Mpossible's Lemonade Stand III. He has also been a contributing writer for Mental health talk, a column in his local paper. In addition, he has also written for the mental health advocacy organization; Sick Not Weak.Jonathan has also appeared on several mental health-related podcasts Including: A New Dawn, The Depression Files, Books and Authors, and Men Are Nuts. Since being put off work because of PTSD, Jonathan has dedicated his time to his mental wellness journey while helping others along the way.Educated as an addictions' counsellor, he has dedicated most of his professional life of eighteen years, working with those who have intellectual disabilities, behavioural challenges, and mental illness.He has also spent fifteen years in the volunteer fire service helping his community.His new book (2021), “The Road To Mental Wellness,” goes into detail about his life-long battle with depression, anxiety and more recently, PTSD. In it, he hopes to provide insight on how mental illness cultivates over a lifetime and, if not recognized and treated, how it impacts the entirety of one's life; right from childhood into the adult years. Jonathan lives with his two children in Nova Scotia, Canada.

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