Anxiety is prevalent in our society and we see its’ affects everywhere, in our relationships with our spouse, our children, our job and the way we live our life in general. Anxiety is a mood. When it becomes a mental disorder, that is, characterized by excessive, uncontrollable and often irrational worry about everyday things that is disproportionate to the actual source of worry, it is diagnosed as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
Mark Twain said it this way, “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened”.
Anxiety effects our health because when we are in a state of anxiety, it puts our body in stress and we have a fight or flight response to an event or thought, (a stimulus). When that happens it releases adrenaline into our system and we experience an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. The fight or flight response was originally meant to help protect us from real and imminent danger. We had to decide immediately whether to stay and fight or run to get away from the danger. It never was meant for long periods of time, like in the case of anxiety.
Treatment for anxiety disorder is learning to be aware of our thoughts and taking responsibility for what we are thinking. Don’t let our thoughts run wild. Be aware of irrational fears and the need to control the outcome of everything. The truth is, the only thing we can control is ourselves and that is a full-time job. Everything else is a variable.
Breathing exercises are helpful in lowering anxiety levels. Take deep breaths and say to yourself, “Relax” as you exhale. Concentrate on relaxing your whole body and practice it at least three times a day for 10 minutes.
Also, there is a great book named Feeling Good, by David Burns that helps with learning how to manage your destructive thoughts and change them to think more positively.
We all worry about things at some time in our life, but if it is effecting our quality of life and we have no joy or peace, then be proactive and get some help. Life is too short to live in a state of anxiety all the time.
Vickie Parker, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
To read more of my blogs or schedule a counseling appointment, visit my web site @ vickiemft.com