Generalized anxiety - thinking, thinking, thinking!

Rough Weather  
Generalized anxiety is a relatively common problem, affecting 3-4% of the population.  It turns daily life into a state of worry, anxiety, and fear.

Over thinking and dwelling on the "what ifs" characterize generalized anxiety. As a result, you feel there’s no way out of the vicious cycle of anxiety and worry, and you can then become depressed about life and the state of anxiety you find yourself in.

Generalized anxiety usually does not cause people to avoid situations, and it isn’t having a "panic attack. It’s the thinking, thinking, thinking, dwelling, dwelling, ruminating, ruminating, and inability to shut the mind off that interferes with your ability to deal with life.

Quite often, other thoughts seem almost non-existent because the anxious feelings are so dominant. Feelings of worry, dread, lack of energy, and a loss of interest in life!

Many times there is no "trigger" or "cause" for these feelings and you realize these feelings are irrational. Nevertheless, the feelings are very real. At this point, you have no "energy" or "zest" in life and no desire to want to do much.

Being in this state leads to the normal irritations and difficulties of life becoming heightened and harder to deal with.

If a loved one is ten minutes late, a person with generalized anxiety fears the very worst; something’s dreadfully wrong, after all, they’re ten minutes late! There must have been an accident.  Feelings of fear and anxiety rush in from these thoughts, and the vicious cycle of anxiety and depression runs wild.

Some people with generalized anxiety have fluctuations in mood from hour to hour, others have "good days" and "bad days". Some do better in the morning, and others find it easier at the end of the day.

These anxiety feelings and moods feed on themselves, leading you to continue in the pattern of worry and anxiety -- unless something powerful breaks it up.

Physical symptoms may include headaches, trembling, twitching, irritability, frustration, and inability to concentrate. Sleep disturbances may also occur.

Sometimes there are elements of social phobia and/or panic attacks.  There may be heightened self-consciousness in some situations or you may fear not being able to escape from enclosed spaces.

If you are feeling like this, then you do need to do something.  It is very unlikely that you are going to feel better without help.  Please talk to your doctor.  There are both medicines and talking therapies (working with counsellor, for example) that can help.

In the meantime I hope the simple one minute meditation below will help you regain your composure when you feel overwhelmed!


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