I became very anxious out of the blue in response to feeling overwhelmed at work. In response to the anxiety, I had catastrophic thoughts about how damaging this anxiety was going to be - it would mean I couldn't function, impact on my relationship and also just felt plain TERRIBLE and couldn't be tolerated. Unfortunately, this kind of thinking has maintained the original anxiety and it just keeps going and going. I know that if I felt more able to handle the feelings of anxiety and didn't think they would ruin my life then my anxiety would fall and I would feel better. But I can't convince myself that anxiety isn't really damaging when every day I have the evidence that it IS - I feel so terrible that it really is impacting on my whole life. So my question is, how do I go about not feeling anxious about feeling anxious - how do I convince myself it isn't going to ruin my life when it is ruining my life? I feel I am caught in a horrible cycle of logic that I can't break out from. Any help or suggestions will be very gratefully received. I am waiting to start Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and have just ordered a relaxation tape.
You said that you were feeling very overwhelmed at work and that this was the reason you began to feel anxious. It's kind of the "chicken or the egg" sort of question, but are you sure you weren't experiencing some anxiety first and that led you to feeling overwhelmed by your job?
While the question has some merit, it's also rather moot. The point being that you are now suffering from anxiety. You said it yourself when you stated that you are "caught in a horrible cycle of logic that I can't break out of." Sorry to say this, but welcome to the very unpleasant merry-go-round ride of anxiety.
SOMETHING caused you to begin to feel anxious and it has now spiraled into overtaking your whole life. You need to find out what that "something" was and deal with it. And you are doing exactly what I would advise anyone in your situation. You have made an appointment with a therapist and that is the smartest thing you could have done for yourself. I would also advise a visit with your doctor to rule out any physical reason for this "sudden" anxiety. There are quite a few medical reasons that can cause a person to feel anxious/anxiety/panic. Your therapist may recommend that you have your doctor prescribe an antianxiety medication to help you calm down, which is fine...........the combination of medication and therapy can be very effective. A word of caution, if your doctor wants to put you on Xanax, please ask for something else. Xanax is a very good drug, but you have to be extremely careful with it. I would instead request something like diazepam (Valium) which does not carry the same "dangers" of Xanax, but is very effective.
Listen to your relaxation tape, see your doctor, begin your therapy, and I have a feeling it won't be long before you are back to your old self again.
Meanwhile, do your best to not focus on yourself. Surround yourself with your friends or family, stay busy, do things you enjoy, don't "overthink" this. You'll be fine.
Greenlydia ALWAYS has great advice! Read all her posts and you discover lots of great tips.
I can really relate to how you feel, the vicious logical cycle that actually feeds into your anxiety and in the end your nerves get so accustomed to feeling this way that they are over-sensitized. I used to find myself waking in the morning and looking for it within my thoughts, of course I slowly realized that when you look for something so badly and so thoroughly then you do find it! Then oh boy, of you go again on another roller coaster day of anxiety on/off and your nerves and confidence frazzled.
This forum really does help to rationalize all those feelings. The simple fact that you can "talk" with others that really get how you feel and don't just sympathize but really truely understand because they either are still suffering from it or just have learned to live with it.
I think you are doing all the right things to help yourself. The other thing to remember is that if you have one of those"bad" moments where you feel you cannot cope, just sit back and let it wash over you and say to yourself, this will pass it always does, no moment is eternal and I will be fine soon if I just let it happen. Believe me it does work, the acceptance piece allows you to calm down which in turn shortens the anxiety and its intensity.
Being busy is the best remedy that I have found, the day flies by when I have tons of things to do, or if I'm feeling really bad then a movie or reading get me through that difficult hour and then on to something else. Try and laugh as much as you can, or smile and read inspiring and funny books!
You ask 'how to go about not feeling anxious about feeling anxious?'
I believe these two ladies said it best. They gave you really great advise.
Here's an interesting test if you want to take it.
1. Whatever you do.......do not think of a "pencil".
(Now what just happened? You thought of a pencil, though you were told not too. So its natural to think on things we may be told "not" to think on. It happens naturally because it is brought to our mind, its activated.)
2. Can this pencil ruin my life?
(Now what just happened? You may have thought of several different case scenarios in how maybe a pencil may be able to ruin a life. For example: Getting poked in the eye and have permanant damage, etc.)
The point I am attempting to make, is that anxious thoughts will come and they will go. When they tend to visit longer than we like, it is because that thought is being activated. The harder we "work" trying "not" to think about it, the more activated it seems to get. Vicious cycle isn't it?!
Therefore, pick up that pencil and write everyday until you realize that some time has passed and you have yet to cause permanant damage to your eye with that pencil. You will soon come to see that there is no need in fearing the danger any longer. You can write with complete ease of mind, knowing you are the one in control not the pencil (anxious thought).
You see....anxious thoughts don't hurt people in and of themselves. The person that is using the (thought) however, can decide to pick it up and cause an injury by misuse; but, you have a choice to use that pencil (anxious thought) to benefit you in a positive manner like writing a beautiful story; rather than misuse its purpose and suffer negative consequences. You have a choice to choose your outcome.
I believe you have an extremely beautiful story to write MairiMc and there are so many people that will greatly benefit and be forever thankful to you for what you have to offer. I believe you are going on to help many.
You are very welcome Beewoman. I am so glad you found it helpful too.
Changing my negative thought pattern to a positive one, has really helped put fear / anxiety in its rightful place . I use to think that when I got in that horrible way, there was nothing I could do about it......that it just happens. Then, the domino effect......beginning to fear going out, to work and just getting up in the mornings, obsessed with health, etc.
You see, at that time, I did not know "how" to control it, let alone that I even had the "power" too! Let alone that I didn't even understand it in the first place and why it was happening or what was wrong!
It was my "thought process" what I was allowing myself to dwell on. So, I began speaking positive things about myself and my situation/s (even when I didn't believe it). I continued to do so; even though, I felt like a complete liar for doing it. No, I didn't see alot of change immediately. I had to be persistant. Especially when I didn't feel like doing it anymore. That was all the more reason to continue persistance. Sure, at first it feels like you are lying and going overboard with the "positive" thing, Others may say that very thing to you. First of all, remember they are seeing and hearing new (positive) things coming out of you that they are not use to from you.
Reading the Bilble, I begain to realize that what is spoken has the ability to go forth and produce the fruit thereof. In the beginning was the WORD and the WORD was God and the WORD was with God. I also read........and God SAID......and (it was so).......and God SAID.......and (it was so). We are told by Jesus to SPEAK to the mountain and it will be (cast) into the sea......God SPOKE all things into existance, including us.
We SAY what we have and we HAVE what we SAY. So we need to pay special attention to what we hear and what we speak not only regarding ourselves but toward others too. But ya know what? I found that to be "TRUE". Therefore, I choose to SPEAK good, positive and healthy and muzzle what is bad, negative and destructive.
Oh boy! What a beautiful day it was when I finally came to the realization that there was NO WAY I could be dying afterall; because, I begain to realize all the energy that it took to maintain negative thoughts, emotions and words. As a matter of fact, the more tiredness, ill feeling and disgusted the feelings were the bigger this negative energy would build, imagine that! Dying people don't have that much energy running through them before death actually comes! So, with that in mind, I had to be in pretty good shape afterall; or, I could not have sustained and maintained all that for all those YEARS not to mention that it was actually getting even stronger and stronger, at that! So, I realized at that point, I was most certainly strong, just needed to focus my time and energy on the positive thoughts and let that grow bigger and bigger! : ) squelching the negative to the place where it belongs. It takes a whole lot more energy, time and effort to maintain anxiety and fearful thoughts than peaceful ones, and the end result would not be a pleasant experience I was looking forward to. I decided if I'm going to give energy then I would like the end result when I'm done to be an enjoyable one.
I made a decision. I asked God to help me and I begain to live life. This time the energy was not a "jittery nervous energy" it was a life giving energy. A feeling of health and well-being, in spirit, mind and body. But, I had to put my foot down, choose it and SAY it! I chose to take that energy and utilize it in a way that affects my life in a manner that is pleasing to GOD. By doing so, I became pleased.
FACE YOUR FEAR of anxiety head on. Look it straight in the eyes ESPECIALLY when you're scarred to and say, " NO! In the name of CHRIST JESUS, you do not have the power nor the authority to control me, my thoughts, my health or my life any longer! It has been stripped from you for all of eternity! I will no longer tolerate you in my life. You have no choice but to bow down to what I SAY and leave now! " And it WILL parish! Then you are FREE to go and live the life you were given by GOD you were meant to enjoy. When it tries to rear its ugly head, say it again. Don't give up. It can come for a visit; but, it cannot stay if you do not allow it to. It must have "'your permission" and your invitatation only and not anbody elses (so know one can put that on you). We give that invitation when we allow ourselves to "dwell" and "think" on the negatives and the "what ifs". That is us opening the door wide with a great big invite to come on in, put its feet up and stay awhile. So, my friends, slam that negative door shut! And open the door that leads to your life of peace and comfort.
Now, go about your day today, choosing to have a Peaceful and Worry Free one. Because it is yours to have.
Lots of friendly warm Hugs to everyone! : )
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