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'Pokémon Go' Helped My Anxiety

Sometimes you just need to Go.

Anxiety is a funny thing to wrap your head around. It exists in everyone but some have it worse than others. Some never let it see the light of day, and some, like myself, bottle it until it explodes in a cascade of terrible thoughts and irrational fears. This explosion of mine was triggered by something my wife said a small while ago.

"You've been really negative lately."

Had I? Yeah, I guess I had been. I just didn't see it. I've always been the more positive one in the relationship but here lately I've had issues with that. Of course, that's no fault of my wife's, or mine even; it's just how we're programed. Humans are allowed to be negative sometimes. But here's my problem. I couldn't stop. I was demotivated when it came to work, or doing anything remotely productive. I went from walking the dogs twice or three times, to maybe once on the morning. Something was wrong with me. I didn't used to be this way.

My wife was the first clue into what was going on.

"You've been so negative lately."

That morning after she left I went to my office as I always do and instead of watching a YouTube video before getting to work I just... Sat there. I sat there drinking my coffee and thought about it. I had been negative lately. Every idea I came up with for my YouTube channel, I shot down. "Eh, that's stupid," or, "No one's going to watch that." After a few minutes of that and some more time reflecting on the other terrible thoughts I had, I decided to travel over to internet for solace. I found myself scrolling Twitter, as I do daily, and then I ran across something that caught my eye.

One of my friends was sharing their most recent catch on Pokémon Go. I laughed a little (it was a cute Pokémon) then continued on, not thinking more about it. Over the next couple of days, however, I noticed more and more of my friends posting their trainer codes. Finally I said screw it, and downloaded the app.

This is where the change began. I started it up, made my profile and grabbed the dog leash and headed out to go Pokémon hunting. From the moment I caught my first Rattata I was hooked. I soon found myself starting the game up every time I walked the dogs. Eventually, I started walking about my neighborhood by myself, holding on to the wifi signal as long as I could. Then it hit me.

I was outside. Even though it was 96 degrees out, I was out there.

This was all I needed. I was confined in my small studio, focusing my eyes on two separate monitors for a majority of the day to the point where I was "afraid" to go outside. Input that in quotes because it doesn't sound like the right word. I guess I felt like I didn't have a reason to. I had a very "what's the point?" look at the whole idea of being outside. But now, with Pokemon Go, there was that chance I would see a new Pokémon or hatch an egg or anything like that. Without realizing it, I was feeling better because I was distancing myself from my work. And sometimes that's what you need. It just took me some time to figure it out. I'm still getting a fair amount of work done with small walks in between to keep my mind open, fresh, and positive. I'm not going to be negative anymore. If I find myself getting overly stressed, instead of shutting down or taking a nap, I'll take a walk. And maybe catch a Rattata on the way.

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'Pokémon Go' Helped My Anxiety
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