Do bad dreams and thoughts keep you from falling asleep? Usually the mind has a tendency to wander towards potential negative ideas and situations… Many find themselves thinking about how things can go wrong “As my children play in the driveway I begin to panic as they run in the direction of the street or as I sit in the passenger seat in Orlando traffic I gasp and close my eyes as brake lights shine in front of me”. Though it is not severe anxiety, these worrying thoughts have tremendous physical and mental effects. Anxiety can cause panic attacks (an overwhelming feeling of dying), paranoia (feeling like someone is out to get me/hurt me), and excessive worry and fear (about almost everything). The key to understanding whether these issues are typical nerves or an anxiety disorder is whether the episodes are temporary or never-ending. Anxiety disorders do not stop and without treatment, they only get worse.
It takes a large amount of conscious effort to stay positive and think happy thoughts. There are some people who struggle with the never-ending stress and worry. Their mind begin to view these feelings as imminent danger. A rush of adrenaline worsens the problem because you know you are overreacting. You begin to worry that you are starting to have a panic attack, which only increases the body’s reaction. Before you know it, you are actually having a full-blown panic attack: tight throat, shaky hands, racing heart, chest pain, rapid breathing, and muscle tension. It can feel as though you are having a heart attack and fear for your life. These severe symptoms can impact one’s career, social life and family life.
Anxiety doesn’t always have to involve full-blown panic attacks. It can be a silent condition. There are times when we worry about every little tiny detail. We may think about whether people are judging us, evaluating us, criticizing us. Did I use the right words? Did I just make a fool of myself and sound stupid? We end up not meeting our own ridiculous standards and then feeling disappointed in ourselves. We want to be perfect (whatever that means) and better (again, what is that mean?) than everyone else to be worthy, but we all know, in reality, that’s not possible. We don’t have to let these emotions control us, but guide us in the right direction. If we are experiencing anxiety you may want to pay attention to what those signs are trying to let you know and then change the route. Life can get better and though there will still be bad days/moments, talking to someone about your anxiety issues will help you have more good days than bad. It’s time we take care of ourselves and take a moment to breathe. Remember, living with anxiety takes a strength most people will never understand. It’s time to take control.