Programming allows me to reduce my anxiety, to reduce my stress, and to calm the little hamster that runs into my head.
In 2016, depression, stress, and generalized anxiety disorders were manifested in my life. From then on, my life turned into a kind of nightmare. All everyday tasks that were commonplace became painful and without interest. Everything seemed like a mountain asking me enormous energy and concentration.
In my head, the hamster was still active, way too active. The meditation did not work at all, after 2 seconds my concentration disappeared. In short, all the methods to reduce the swirls of ideas in my head did not work. A health professional told me that it would be important for me to do something that would allow me to exercise my concentration and reduce my anxiety. So I installed Xcode from Apple and I started programming an application for the iPhone. I am a former programmer from the 80s. To start to code again was a bit like cycling after 20-30 years break.
For some, programming is a puzzle, for me, it allows me to completely make the void in my head. Programming allows me to focus only on one thing at a time. I no longer think of anything, I no longer think of what is anguishing. I am disconnecting. It is exactly like people who like to knit, embroider or paint to relax, to make a vacuum.
The only problem with programming is my lack of concentration. To concentrate, there must be no noise or sources of distraction. I need total silence, I have to put some earplugs into my ears to get there. Even with all this silence, I can’t stay focused and be productive for more than 45 minutes. After that period, I have to stop everything, because my brain gets “hot” and my thoughts are swirling in my head. If I try to push my limit, I begin to screw up everything I had done beforehand.
Developing an application takes a lot of time, so it was a huge challenge for me to do it in small steps of 45 minutes per day. Nevertheless, by the end of 2016, I managed to develop a small game (Point & Shoot Ball Game) that I published in the App Store. You can see some of my games and apps by following this link.
In addition to helping me with my concentration, programming also allowed me to increase my self-confidence. The fulfillment of this project was by far my greatest satisfaction. This satisfaction can not be bought, it can only be won. In my case, I won it in small periods of 45 minutes and I am extremely proud of it.
Concentration is like a muscle that has been resting too long. By exercising it, my concentration will eventually become normal, the hamster will calm down and I will be able to find a more active and normal life.
I had never realized how important mental health is, and how fragile it is. Many people still have prejudices about mental health, there is no shame in saying how we feel between our ears. Often, mental health deteriorates slowly without we realize it. Take time to listen to what is going on in your head, take time to watch your behavior. Take the time to talk about how you feel or consult. Do it for yourself, for your family, for your friends. Life is beautiful, the clouds always end up leaving room for the sun.
Thank you for taking the time to read and share this article.
I’ve started writing lines of code in the ’80s. I took a break in the 2000s and now I code iOS apps in Swift/SwiftUI since 2016. I enjoy apps development. It highly helps me to reduce my anxiety. Like all independent developers, I’d like to live from my coding. You can check out my apps on the App Store. Thanks for visiting MyRCBox!