General Anxiety - Where there is a cause
We talked last week about general anxiety disorder, how it can effect many people, who sometimes have no idea they have this disorder or why they feel so anxious. This week we’ll be talking about having general anxiety with a cause. By this, I refer to you knowing what is causing you the anxiety you feel very often. Whether it be a job you hate going to every day or a relationship you are unhappy in.
This unhappiness and anxiety can spread into the rest of our lives and can cause physical problems too.
Symptoms can include:
- Irregular heart beat
- Stomach ache
- Feeling sick
- Difficulty sleeping. Which can then make us feel short tempered and lead to more stress.
There are emotional symptoms too, which might include:
- Feel others are judging you.
- Maybe you feel you are weak because you can’t control this. Please let me assure you that this is not the case and there are ways to help you.
- Worrying that you upset people or are a burden.
- Living in the past, thinking a lot about how things were and going over bad times.
- Worrying about the future and what might happen.
- Believing that you aren’t good enough.
There are ways you can help yourself wherever you are when you are feeling anxious.
How You Can Help Yourself
Being in this highly anxious state makes it hard or even impossible to make a decision and/or take action to deal with the cause, which then makes you feel even worse - know as a viscous downward spiral! It can be a hard place to get out of. Below are some simple techniques that can help you feel less anxious.
- Breathe - when you feel that ‘spinning out of control’ feeling, just breathe. Breathe in for four and out for four, as many times as you need to, to start feeling better. Concentrating on our breathing means we stop thinking about what is making us feel anxious.
- Go For a Walk - Getting some fresh air could help clear your head. It can also release endorphins, which make us feel better. If you’re quite a physical person, maybe you would enjoy getting to the gym more, taking a yoga/pilates class or going for a jog. Working out is a fantastic way to look after your mental health.
- Try a gratitude journal - When something goes wrong and it is out of your control, it can make us feel incredibly insecure and worry. Writing down 3 things every day that you’re grateful for can help with how we see things. It can be little things like being grateful for the roof over your head, that you’re able to go for a walk at 8pm, that your children are healthy, that you can afford to feed your family healthily. There are 100’s of examples.
- Try to Sleep More - Sleep deprivation is one of the main symptoms when feeling anxious. We get into bed and our minds seem to come alive and all our thoughts come rushing in. Did you know that the lack of sleep can actually make your anxiety worse? We need approximately 7 hours of good sleep to feel rested. Some may need more, some less, we’re all different. 7 hours is about average. Having a good sleep routine will help. Here are a few examples. Routine is pretty key here, so going to bed at the same times every night may help. Reading before bed can help, as your mind is focused on the story instead of what is making you feel anxious. Meditation or listening to calming music or a ‘sleep story’ There is an app you can get on your smart phone called CALM and they have various pieces on there. There is a free version with plenty on there to get you started. From calming music to a story to help relax you. Try it for a week and see how you get on. Don’t force yourself to listen to/read something you don’t enjoy, try a new sound or book until you find what is right for you.
I hope these techniques help you. Please contact me if you’d like to learn how I can help you deal with your anxiety.