People from all walks of life occasionally experience anxiety and chronic worry, but when worrying and being anxious starts to overtake your life, it’s time to get in the driver’s seat and make a change.
It can be difficult for people to know if and when worry and anxiety gets out of control. Let’s face it: If you’ve always been a bit of a worrier, it may seem normal to lay in bed for hours at night thinking about the next day’s tasks, and feeling fatigued day in and day out.
If you suspect that you no longer have a say in your life, and that the amount of anxiety and worry you regularly experience has crossed the line, getting professional help can help you get back control of your life.
Symptoms of chronic worry and anxiety can include:
- Worrying constantly about the little things in life.
- Obsessing over small or big details.
- Feeling tired.
- Feeling restless or on-edge.
- Being unable to focus.
- Feeling irritable.
- Having muscle aches or feeling tense.
- Being unable to sleep.
- Being frequently short of breath or feeling an increase in your heart rate.
Have you been a passenger in your fight against worry and anxiety? Some people gain control with these self-help tips:
- Give yourself permission to worry—but only during a certain period of the day. Set aside a specific place and time where you can release anxiety about life situations. For the rest of the day, train yourself to become anxiety-free, and reserve worrying for the same 15 minutes each day.
- Write it down. When anxiety pops up throughout the day, instead of obsessing over the thought, put it on paper and give yourself permission to think about it later—but not now.
- Try reasoning with yourself. Go through a few “what-if” scenarios and ask yourself, What’s the worst that can happen? Is it realistic to worry about something that isn’t that bad? If the problem isn’t within your control, what will you gain by worrying about it? If it’s a serious concern, is there someone who can help you out of the jam?
If you suspect that the worry and anxiousness in your life has gone from occasional bouts to commonplace, or you’re tired of dealing with uncontrollable worry, consider getting professional help. These are some of the signs that usually mean a person needs help:
- The anxiety you deal with is taking over your life, and it’s affecting your relationships or your job.
- You notice that you’re feeling depressed.
- You’ve started using drugs or begun to drink to numb the feelings of anxiety or worry.
In some cases, it can be very difficult for people to “cure” anxiety and worry on their own. If you’ve already waited for your symptoms to take care of themselves, or you’re suffering in your family relationships or your career, make an appointment with your doctor or call the professionals at Appleseed Community Mental Health Center. Often, treatment will include getting behavioral therapy (helping you to think and respond differently to life situations), changing certain lifestyle factors, and taking medications if necessary, and it will help you get your life back.