Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder can play some nasty tricks on a person that makes them feel like they’re either losing control, going crazy or even about to die. GAD is definitely chronic and every day is filled with exaggerated tension and worry that wears on people mentally and physically, even when it may seem like NOTHING is provoking it. Sufferers of Generalized Anxiety Disorder seem to always anticipate the worst possible outcome no matter the situation. Waking up in the morning can usually be enough to provoke some serious anxiety, just thinking about how to get through the day. Then if you, the GAD sufferer, has a good day free of those nasty symptoms of anxiety and gets a break from fearing the worst at every corner, you will think, ‘Great! Things are finally changing for the better!’ Just when you start to relax, you are hit with that uneasy worrying habit and a new barrage of confusing symptoms such as dizziness, difficulty swallowing and body zaps just to name a few. ‘What happened?’ you wonder, as you aimlessly go through your day. Here are three reasons why you may be caught in that panic and anxiety cycle that only fuels your Generalized Anxiety Disorder further:
#1) You fall for the bait – A human being’s natural instinct is to protect itself, so when sudden anxiety symptoms hit, the first thing we try and do is GET RID of those two scary words that consume us, which are WHAT IF. But trying to get rid of the overwhelming scary thoughts in our minds just creates more juice for them to exist, so step one of the six steps to overcome Generalized Anxiety Disorder is complete acceptance. I know what you’re thinking, ‘It’s hard to accept these thoughts and feelings at the time they happen.’ I don’t blame you at all – it is hard, but not impossible. Do you want to know the two words that will singlehandedly overcome your anxiety symptoms strictly on their own? They are confidence and momentum, and complete acceptance builds both.
#2) You punish yourself for being the way you are every day – I got an email last night from a 21 year old named Tom. Tom can’t leave his house for more than 20 minutes, and if he does he tearfully comes running back home. Basically he fears everything from the smallest social interaction to these overwhelming symptoms of anxiety (mainly dizziness and unsteadiness), and at any moment he feels he will lose control of his mind or worse, his body. When I asked Tom why he thought he was going through Generalized Anxiety Disorder as well as being a complete hypochondriac, he answered ‘I deep down don’t feel like I deserve to be happy, and have nothing to contribute to the world.’ This saddened me to say the least. Tom didn’t believe he had ‘the right’ to experience abundance in the different aspects of his life and this pushed him into a life of fear and ultimately led him to being confined in his house, which then fed the Generalized Anxiety Disorder and panic attacks he was experiencing further. At this point, Tom doesn’t see a way out but lucky for him, I do. I’m now asking Tom to take up three things: a hobby, an exercise routine and gardening (he has no choice with the gardening). By starting small in a systematic way, Tom will be implementing these three things to his daily life which will bring new meaning to what being in public means, and this will take him out of the cycle of self- punishment and into a world that again brings… confidence and momentum, go TOM!
#3) You don’t drink enough water – We’ve all heard it before but few of us ever do what we know (me included), but with our hectic lives who has time to drink water? Like any habit, carrying your favourite water bottle around as you refill it will make your nerves much happier. Tufts University conducted a study which found that a lack of water and natural fluid intake resulted in depression, anger, and a generally negative mood. The study had examined the connection with student athletes, and this is just one of the many studies out there. Over 75% of Americans are CHRONICALLY dehydrated and the effects of dehydration can influence your anxiety levels more than you think, and most people wait until they’re ‘thirsty’ to start drinking water (which is actually too late).
Excuses were a part of my six year struggle with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder. I looked for every reason why I couldn’t step out of my comfort zone, and take small steps to create positive lasting change in my life. Don’t let excuses hold you back on your road to recovery from GAD and panic disorder, especially when it comes to the three things listed above that are preventing you from living a fulfilling life. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, if I can do it so can you!