I can't stop walking

Postby keep_walking » Sun Sep 11, 2016 9:25 am

Hi, I am new to this forum and I don't feel comfortable sharing my real name, but you can call me... for example Joe, or maybe Johnny Walker (that's a joke you are about to understand...) So, without further ado, here is my story. I am 25 and I walk back and forth in my room every day. Every time I feel excited or bored I really want to start walking back and forth while thinking about all kinds of stuff. Every time an interesting thought comes to my mind, I start walking and thinking about it. If I am angry, I start walking and imagining what I wished I answered to somebody for example. If I am happy, I just walk and think about what made me happy. Most of the time I dream of achieving great things, or I think about how should I have reacted to somebody who did something bad to me (but really most of the time I am dreaming).
The problem is that I do this a lot! I walk back and forth at least 1 hour a day, but very often 2 hours, and if I am very excited I walk 4+ hours. Sometimes my knees start hurting me (because I turn around very often, I walk only 3-4 meters in one direction). I have tried forcing myself not to do it, but it is a constant battle and it freaks me out.
I realized this was a problem at about 18, when I didn't have much free time and had to study a lot. It is not because I have too much energy, because I have been going to the gym for 4 years and I remember that I also walked a lot after training, when I was tired. Also, I very often start walking even if I feel very tired. So, i guess it is purely psychological.
My roommate also started joking me about it because almost every time he enters my room, he sees me walking back and forth. This also made me realize there is indeed something wrong with me.
It seems as if I can't control my emotions, and indeed I am very emotional when I walk back and forth, but this is weird because I have been playing online poker professionally for 5 years ( I don't want to argue about the word "professionally", I just mean that I have been making my living from it). I think that my strongest trait was that I was very calm while playing and have never sworn or hit something or anything like that. I have seen a lot of other players and they all get emotional more or less while playing, so I was happy that I could manage my feelings while playing. Also, it is not a side effect of poker, because i have been walking back and forth long before that, and I also haven't played poker for 1 year because I started learning coding. So I can control my feelings I guess. It took me time to learn to control my feeling while playing poker though. Not that I was super emotional in the beginning, but as everyone else, I got emotional from time to time. But then I learned to think about emotions and control them while playing. Not that easy when it comes to the desire to walk back and forth though.
I love making plans and I get very upset when I can't follow them or something (for example me walking back and forth and losing valuable time) disrupts my routine and it is almost impossible for me to get back on track, so I lose the whole day. For example, I have a plan to get up in the morning and do A, B and C. So i get up, I can't resist the desire to walk back and forth for 1 hour while thinking for whatever, and then I feel like my whole day is wasted. I can't focus even when I sit down, I start walking back and forth very often... and indeed I waste all my day! And I become very nervous at the end of day because I know it is only my fault and my girlfriend comes home and I am very irritable and I can't make her smile. Sometimes it works when I force myself and resist the desire to walk back and forth and think about what I want to think, but eventually I got bored with what I am doing and it becomes very difficult to resist more. Even if i do it for several days, I don't feel like it is becoming easier, it is just a constant battle. During my first year at university, I thought this is just a habit and I would change it if I don't do it for several months. So i forced myself for about 3 months, yet it didn't become easier. The problem was still there, only I was getting tired fighting with it.
I guess this may not sound as a serious problem but it actually has a huge impact on my life and I don't know how to deal with it. So, I would be very glad to hear if you have any piece of advice. If you need more information, I would gladly share it.
Thanks in advance!

p.s. I posted this here because I am not sure to which section it belongs!
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#1

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Mon Sep 12, 2016 1:57 am

Why isn't what you are thinking about while walking productive? Why is what you are thinking about a waste?
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#2

Postby keep_walking » Mon Sep 12, 2016 12:25 pm

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:Why isn't what you are thinking about while walking productive? Why is what you are thinking about a waste?


I am really happy that I received an answer! Thank you for the time and effort!
I am not sure if your question was rhetorical, but in case it wasn't... well, I have tried making it productive (maybe not that hard I admit), but it rarely works. For example, I was programming a game and I started walking and thinking about a feature. 5 minutes later I was so carried away because I imagined that I published it and it suddenly became a success and I made a company and then how it became huge and it started doing not only games but things like Tesla, SpaceX, etc., etc., etc. So 5 minutes were productive, and then about an hour of unrealistic dreams... And then I have to go back to reality.

So, what is your advice - instead of trying to stop it, to try as hard as possible to make it productive? And release the "beast mode 4+ hours of walking and thinking"?
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#3

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Mon Sep 12, 2016 1:05 pm

keep_walking wrote:So, what is your advice - instead of trying to stop it, to try as hard as possible to make it productive? And release the "beast mode 4+ hours of walking and thinking"?


Steve Jobs was known to go on rather long walks. It can be a productive way to think.

It sounds to me like you are self-handicapping. By that, I mean all of this thought about fantasy future you or angry you or XYZ you is just a way to actually avoid doing the task at hand.

I recommend you take some time each week to set some goals, things you can accomplish in one week. Then focus on your goals. Don't stand up to walk if what you are going to think about has nothing to do with your goals. If you do have something you want to think about that is goal related, start walking...BUT, have an alarm set for 15 minutes. When the alarm goes off, ask yourself if you are still thinking about the one week goal or have you drifted off, distracting yourself and self-handicapping to avoid what you really are suppose to be doing? If you are no longer thinking about the goal, sit back down. If you are thinking about the goal, use the snooze feature, give yourself another 9 minutes.

What it sounds like is lacking specific, short term goals you allow yourself to mentally drift off into the future.
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#4

Postby keep_walking » Tue Sep 13, 2016 5:41 pm

Thank you for the advice! Next week I will start with clear short term goals and try to focus as much as possible. I will post an update after that!
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#5

Postby I'm following » Sat Sep 30, 2017 1:42 am

Hey,
I just got this problem from some weeks now, can tell you that a state of depression triggered it.
I've noticed it recently, since I consider I am recovering, I am mostly excited when I do this rather than sad.
But still, as you, it kinda upsets me.
What I found so far ...yeah they don't let me post the site since I am a new user, says I spam. :) I'll try on pm.
Maybe this will help you, I don't know.
Good luck!

Can't even pm, great!
Well, maybe in your search, you'll find it. It says it has to do with anxiety.
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#6

Postby laureat » Sat Sep 30, 2017 4:05 am

I dont think there is something wrong with walking and thinking: i love doing that

But i think its wrong if you create too much drama in your mind, too much fantasy which has nothing to do with reality:

Walking on the room asking questions like : what if i was a batman, what if i was a spiderman? it only feeds your ego for the moment which may feel good but it makes you feel worse than before when you quit the fantasy as your no longer the spiderman,

the fantasy world can become addictive you no longer want to get back in reality: you always want to be there in your fantasy
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#7

Postby JuliusFawcett » Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:00 pm

How easily do you accept yourself as you are?
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#8

Postby Ahel » Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:24 am

Thank god i found this! I thought i was alone in this. I have the same condition of walking for hours for no reason. Im 19 and i've always had problems with gaining weight and its just causing me to loose more and more weight. It started in 2015 but i really noticed it in 2017 when i just walk for 4 to 5 hours, in my room. Not really sure but I think its a psycological problem :(
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