I wake up and my first thought is, “what is wrong?” Then I go through a little list in my head: appointments? Yes, crap; my husband, he seems fine; my son, he was fine the last time I saw him.

It doesn’t take long before thoughts are swirling around my mind, sweeping away rational thoughts and making me feel incapable of handling my day.

My next task, to combat the worrying, is to cajole and beg myself to get ready to be out in the world.

This is life with anxiety.

Worry Versus Anxiety

Anxiety Disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the U.S., affecting 18.1% of the populations.

What is anxiety? What is the difference between “every day” worries and the illness that is anxiety.

Anxiety and Depression Association of America (AADA) reports that only 1/3 of those suffering from anxiety disorders receive treatment. ADAA also provides a chart that helps one tell the the difference between every day anxiety and a disorder.

Everyday Anxiety

worry about paying bills, landing a job, a romantic break-up, other important life events

Anxiety Disorder

embarrassment or self -conscious in and avoiding social situations for fear of being uncomfortable social situation judged, embarrassed or humiliated

seemingly out-of-the-blue panic attacks and

test, presentation, performance or other the preoccupation or fear of having another significant event.

Realistic fear of a dangerous object Irrational fear or avoidance of an object that no longer poses a threat. 

Now you know the basic differences between every day worry and anxiety. Worry involves thinking about every day things while anxiety picks various, non-likely events to concentrate on.

I wake up and my first thought is, “what is wrong?” Then I go through a little list in my head: appointments? Yes, crap; my husband, he seems fine; my son, he was fine the last time I saw him.

It doesn’t take long before thoughts are swirling around my mind, sweeping away rational thoughts and making me feel incapable of handling my day.

My next task, to combat the worrying, is to cajole and beg myself to get ready to be out in the world.

This is life with anxiety.

Worry Versus Anxiety

Anxiety Disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the U.S., affecting 18.1% of the populations.

What is anxiety? What is the difference between “every day” worries and the illness that is anxiety.

Anxiety and Depression Association of America (AADA) reports that only 1/3 of those suffering from anxiety disorders receive treatment. ADAA also provides a chart that helps one tell the the difference between every day anxiety and a disorder.

Everyday Anxiety

worry about paying bills, landing a job, a romantic break-up, other important life events

Anxiety Disorder

embarrassment or self -conscious in and avoiding social situations for fear of being uncomfortable social situation judged, embarrassed or humiliated

seemingly out-of-the-blue panic attacks and

test, presentation, performance or other the preoccupation or fear of having another significant event.

Realistic fear of a dangerous object Irrational fear or avoidance of an object that no longer poses a threat.

Now you know the basic differences between every day worry and anxiety. Worry involves thinking about every day things while anxiety picks various, non-likely events to concentrate on.

Getting Past Anxiety

First, take a moment to pick out anxious thoughts you’re having. This may take some practice. Listen to what you’re telling yourself. For example, if you’re telling yourself you can’t go out in public because you’ll fall apart, this is a thought that needs dissecting and redirecting. In this case, you might tell yourself to take several deep breaths and focus on your five senses (taste, touch,smell, sound, and sight).

If you’re still not feeling calm. Try stepping away from the crowd to a quiet place and just sit, breathing deeply, for a few minutes.

Getting Out

Something that always helps me is getting out of the house when I feel anxious.  This is tricky because I have agoraphobia (fear of leaving the the house).  I remind myself of all the good reasons to leave the house:

  1.  I’ll feel better
  2.  I’ll get out of my head
  3. Seeing new sights excites my brain and distracts it
  4. Just being out among other people makes me feel more connected

Usually, if I can make myself grab my purse and head toward the front door, I’m golden.  Its just a matter of talking myself into it.  I’ve conquered this fear enough times that I know I’ll feel better if I just leave the house so its not terribly difficult to talk myself into going.  The key for me is to think of the reward for going (feeling better) and concentrate on that while I’m getting ready to leave the house.

Sometimes I feel anxiety over meeting with people; I worry about the flow of the conversation and wonder whether or not I should put my “fake-it-til-I-make-it” face on.  At theses time I picture the person in my head saying positive things.  I picture us laughing and talking easily.  I also think of three or four subjects I can bring up if the conversation starts to drag.  So even though seeing people can be difficult, it is almost always worth it and helps my self-esteem.

The last type of anxiety related to getting out is performance anxiety.  Perhaps, like me, you have to speak in public.  My biggest defense against this type of anxiety is to practice, practice, practice.  I also get in a zone where it just feels like me and the couple I’m marrying.  Then, truthfully, I go on auto pilot during the wedding ceremony.

So there is everyday worry and anxiety disorder. Both can be dealt with using grounding, getting out of the house and practicing to avoid performance anxiety.

The last thing I use is a reward system.  I decide before the event what would be a good reward for myself for getting through an anxious time.

Every time you are able to push anxiety aside, your confidence blooms and becomes easier to do so the next time.

 

Getting Past Anxiety

First, take a moment to pick out anxious thoughts you’re having. This may take some practice. Listen to what you’re telling yourself. For example, if you’re telling yourself you can’t go out in public because you’ll fall apart, this is a thought that needs dissecting and redirecting. In this case, you might tell yourself to take several deep breaths and focus on your five senses (taste, touch,smell, sound, and sight).

If you’re still not feeling calm. Try stepping away from the crowd to a quiet place and just sit, breathing deeply, for a few minutes.

Getting Out

Something that always helps me is getting out of the house when I feel anxious.  This is tricky because I have agoraphobia (fear of leaving the the house).  I remind myself of all the good reasons to leave the house:

  1.  I’ll feel better
  2.  I’ll get out of my head
  3. Seeing new sights excites my brain and distracts it
  4. Just being out among other people makes me feel more connected

Usually, if I can make myself grab my purse and head toward the front door, I’m golden.  Its just a matter of talking myself into it.  I’ve conquered this fear enough times that I know I’ll feel better if I just leave the house so its not terribly difficult to talk myself into going.  The key for me is to think of the reward for going (feeling better) and concentrate on that while I’m getting ready to leave the house.

Sometimes I feel anxiety over meeting with people; I worry about the flow of the conversation and wonder whether or not I should put my “fake-it-til-I-make-it” face on.  At theses time I picture the person in my head saying positive things.  I picture us laughing and talking easily.  I also think of three or four subjects I can bring up if the conversation starts to drag.  So even though seeing people can be difficult, it is almost always worth it and helps my self-esteem.

The last type of anxiety related to getting out is performance anxiety.  Perhaps, like me, you have to speak in public.  My biggest defense against this type of anxiety is to practice, practice, practice.  I also get in a zone where it just feels like me and the couple I’m marrying.  Then, truthfully, I go on auto pilot during the wedding ceremony.

So there is everyday worry and anxiety disorder. Both can be dealt with using grounding, getting out of the house and practicing to avoid performance anxiety.

The last thing I use is a reward system.  I decide before the event what would be a good reward for myself for getting through an anxious time.

Every time you are able to push anxiety aside, your confidence blooms and becomes easier to do so the next time.

 

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