It’s normal to feel anxious at certain times in our lives, but people with generalized anxiety disorder feel excessive anxiety throughout the majority of their lives.
Even if there isn’t any particular reason to feel anxious, they are faced with overwhelming feelings of tension and stress.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder Symptoms
The most obvious sign of generalized anxiety disorder is a feeling of tension all or most of the time. Chances are that you’ll be feeling like a coiled spring that is wound up and ready to release at a moments notice. You are likely to also have muscle tension as well as mental tension.
Generalized anxiety disorder can make you feel like you are on edge and hyped up the whole time. Often you will be completely unable to relax or rest. You might not always be full of energy, but you’ll have trouble fully switching off.
Sometimes people with generalized anxiety disorder aren’t very easy to get along with. They are quick to anger and can bite your head off at the slightest provocation. Sometimes all it takes is to interrupt someone with generalized anxiety disorder when they are thinking about something else and they will become enraged. This doesn’t always mean they will shout at you, they might just feel the anger internally.
It can be incredibly difficult to concentrate when you are feeling anxious, not only when you are studying or performing complex tasks but also when doing relatively simple things like reading the newspaper or watching TV. Sometimes you might find your mind going blank in the middle of a conversation.
If you have generalized anxiety disorder then you are likely to also suffer from insomnia. While this certainly isn’t the only cause of insomnia, it’s a surprisingly common reason to have trouble falling asleep. You might also have a poor quality of sleep, waking up many times in the middle of the night or waking up feeling even more tired than you were when you went to sleep!
Generalized Anxiety Disorder Treatment
Reframe Your Worries
You might feel like your generalized anxiety disorder is caused by outside factors. Maybe you feel like you can’t cope with the stress of your job or your relationship, or running a family. Maybe you are facing a particularly difficult period in your life. While all of these situations are quite naturally worrying, people with generalized anxiety disorder tend to overly worry about them. They particularly tend to worry about things that haven’t even happened yet. This kind of “worst case scenario” worrying is a major contributor to generalized anxiety disorder and you’ll have a much better chance of getting over your condition if you learn to stop.
Try to Relax
Many people might have told you to “relax” or “chill out”. It’s not always as easy as they make it seem. Luckily, there are many techniques that we can use to teach ourselves how to relax. These include meditation, deep breathing and muscle relaxation. All of these relaxation techniques require practice and effort, but once you learn these skills, you can use them your whole life to escape anxiety and worrying situations.
Get Help from Others
Many people with generalized anxiety disorder are quite content to suffer in silence. They don’t let the people who love them know how they are feeling. This is a sure fire way to compound your problems. If you are lucky enough to have a strong support network around you, you should always let them know how you are feeling. Sometimes just the love and understanding of someone close to you is enough to make you feel significantly better. If you don’t have people around you to turn to, there are always support groups and counseling services where you can connect with others to get the help you need.
Regular exercise has a whole host of benefits and you might be surprised that one of them is reducing anxiety. Exercising helps you work out your tension and it also releases beneficial chemicals into the brain. These chemicals can significantly enhance your wellbeing and make you feel much less anxious.
Generalized anxiety disorder can be a serious condition that severely affects your life. Lots of people with anxiety feel like they are just anxious by nature and nothing can be done. It doesn’t have to be something you live with. There are lots of treatment options to reduce your anxiety and make you feel significantly better.