Anxiety is a normal feeling in day to day living that you cannot completely escape. However, if you discover that the anxiety is persistent and even interferes with normal activities, then you may be suffering from General Anxiety Disorder (GAD).
This condition affects adults as well as children. It is characterized by tension, chronic worrying and nervousness. The anxiety might be less than a panic attack, but it lasts much longer making it impossible to relax. The worry or unease is not connected to anything in particular; it is a general feeling that envelops your entire life. You go through life expecting the worst from every situation.
General Anxiety Disorder versus ‘Normal’ Worrying
Fears and worries are natural occurrences, but when they are excessive and intrusive, something is amiss. If you are suffering from general anxiety disorder, the anxiety comes in the way of your normal activities, job and social life. The worrying goes beyond your control and you end up always upset and stressed. You find something to worry about in every single situation, and even when others have moved on you are constantly stuck with negative images. Additionally, you realize that this has been taking place on a daily basis for at least 6 months.
Symptoms of General Anxiety Disorder
Some of the emotional symptoms of GAD have been mentioned above. You might notice further changes in your behavior and even physically such as: Difficulty in focusing or concentrating on something. You are not able to relax and enjoy a quiet time. Overwhelming feeling that makes you postpone activities. Constant tension and restlessness that causes your muscles and body to ache. Insomnia caused by constant thoughts running through your mind. Diarrhea, nausea and stomach problems.
When general anxiety disorder occurs in children, they constantly worry about the future. They take blame for situations that are not even in their power and criticize themselves excessively. Such children need frequent approval and reassurance.
Self-help GAD Therapy
The most effective way of treating general anxiety disorder is dealing with your mentality. Chronic anxiety is self-generated, although it is common to feel like it comes from outside. The situations surrounding you can trigger the worry, but you can maintain it from within. When you worry about future problems, you’re under the false impression that you will lessen the impact of such occurrences by preparing for the worst.
The truth is, this worrying hardly ever solves a thing. It only wears you out, drains your energy and denies you any meaningful sleep. Don’t cause yourself anxiety by imagining situations, and you will find yourself at peace. Other techniques that will ease your general anxiety disorder include:
- Relaxation Practices
Anxiety has adverse effects on your body. It makes the muscles tense, heart race and you breathe faster. In extreme cases it can raise your blood pressure. Regular relaxation techniques will reduce your vulnerability to stress and anxiety. When the feeling of worry sweeps over you, take deep slow breaths from the diaphragm. You can also practice quiet meditation to ease your mind.
- Learn Sensory-based Remedies
Expose your five senses to rejuvenating activities. Look for a beautiful view and take it in. Listen to soothing sounds of nature or your favorite music. Smell the garden flowers, scented candles, fresh air or a perfume. Tantalize your taste buds with a delicious meal or a beverage of choice. Get a relaxing massage or a dip in the hot tub. As your senses are engrossed in these pleasures, your anxiety will melt away leaving you at peace.
- Make Lifestyle Changes
Tame general anxiety disorder symptoms by reducing your intake of sugar and caffeine. Avoid skipping meals and make complex carbohydrates a key part of your diet. Regular exercise like jogging or aerobics will not only ease tension but will also enable you to get enough sleep, which is also an essential part of relaxation. Avoid alcohol at all cost as this will only lead to an addiction