The reason you have become anxious is probably due to a combination of causes. For example, personality refers to the way we react and behave from year to year. Most people who seek treatment for an anxiety disorder consider themselves nervous, not only because of high anxiety levels, but because they believe they are people who are usually sensitive, emotional, and easily concerned.
However, there are advantages to being so, because being sensitive means that you are able to understand other people quickly, moreover, it probably means that you like doing things well and treating others well.
But it is good to remember that emotions and the tendency to worry are the seeds from which anxiety can arise.
Generalized anxiety disorder can appear when there is a high level of stress. During the course of life, we are all subjected to difficult and stressful situations and events, surely we will have to face difficult problems such as the illness of a loved one, an important medical exam, etc…
The most frequent thoughts in patients suffering from anxiety are:
- “I can’t control my concern”
- “Worry makes me sick”
- “My concern will never end”
- “I’m going crazy”
These concerns can increase the sense of threat and consequently the anxiety symptoms may increase further.
Sometimes people believe that worrying can be useful, for example, “if I worry too much I am prepared for the worst, and I will be able to face anything”; as if worrying is enough to make an event not happen. According to this principle, the opposite is also true, if “I don’t worry and something bad happens, the responsibility is mine alone”.
But these beliefs are rarely confirmed, they are rarely put to the test, and the individual nevertheless continues to worry. A number of things that you do and have to do with worry in the short term can actually cause anxiety disorder and long term worry.
An anxiety-prone person will always try to have everything under control, he will always make sure that loved ones are well, or they will go to the doctor every time they feel sick. I am always looking for reassurance, seeking comfort in others so that they can alleviate anxiety in the short term; but the relief is usually only temporary.
We need to identify the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that contribute to developing anxiety, this is an important part of the program.
Whenever an anxiety attack occurs, it would be useful to note the perceived symptoms, so as to refer them to the therapist, so that he can fully understand the situation and can intervene in the best way for the patient’s health. The most common symptoms of anxiety disorder are:
- feeling of suffocation
- accelerated heartbeat
The right thing to do is to stop and breathe slowly, immediately the symptoms will fade and you can begin to reflect the thoughts that flow in the mind. The relaxation process is necessary to change wrong thoughts and beliefs.
When people have been tense and anxious for long periods, it is difficult to change these behaviors, they have created a new “normality”, they do not know how to be without anxiety. However, a
high level of tension is undesirable since anxiety and worry or other symptoms can easily be triggered by small increases in the excitement caused by even trivial
After finishing the relaxation, one might feel momentarily dizzy and misunderstand this reaction as a sign of some other problem.
Secondly, one could immediately return to the old habit of tension. We must set up a relaxation system, this is a skill and, as such, it improves with practice, we must not despair if we do not reach deep levels of relaxation during the first sessions. You must let go of the tension in the specific muscles: do isometric relaxation in everyday situations, in fact, most exercises do not imply any obvious change in posture or movements. In the early stages of training, you may need to do these exercises several times a day to counteract the tension and maintain a state of relaxation, particularly when you feel anxious. In the end, it turns out that you are doing the exercises without thinking, they can become a habit you intend to use
automatically to counteract the tension.
There are some important points that must be kept in mind when doing isometric exercises: you are asked to hold your breath for seven seconds while you are in tension,
the most important thing is to concentrate on tensioning slowly for about seven seconds and then release the tension slowly.
Some people report that they cannot relax, but since we all share the same biological nature, there is absolutely no physical reason why relaxation should work for some people and not for others. The reason why relaxation is sometimes not achieved is usually due to some psychological factors or insufficient practice; in this case, the individual uses the symptom that he needs to treat as an excuse not to relax. About 1 person in 10 reports that, when he relaxes, he comes into contact with feelings that do not like or feelings that scare you, these feelings indicate that you are in contact with your body again and analyze sensations that could be kept under control for many years. Relaxation is an important part of recovery, unfortunately, however, many people expect too much too soon from relaxation training; but one cannot expect to annul years of habitual tension in a couple of relaxation sessions. Impatience is one of the symptoms of anxiety, so it is necessary to understand that this reaction is a sign that shows that you really need to continue with relaxation techniques. You need to set long-term goals, rather than monitoring improvements day by day, you need to realize that fast, easy-to-tension care that requires no effort they do not exist. The longest-lasting effects of treatment occurs when an individual takes responsibility for his recovery and commits himself to practice a relaxation strategy every day.
People can respond differently to the same situation, the emotional response and the
behavior is related to the way of thinking or interpreting a given situation or
All people who have suffered from anxiety for many years often tend to expect the worst. The way an individual reacts to events is largely related to the expectations and assumptions that the individual holds about particular situations; some of these expectations and assumptions may not be useful.
Expectations such as:
? “I know something terrible is going to happen.”
- “I can’t concentrate and this is affecting my whole life.”
- “I will always be anxious.”
- “My concern will drive me crazy”
… Anxiety is likely to increase.
Generally, these expectations and hypotheses were built over a number of years,
so much so that sometimes they seem automatic, they, however, have profound implications on how we feel upset and how we actually behave.
It is important to recognize that thought patterns are useless habits and that habits can
be modified with effort and practice; identifying unnecessary thoughts associated with anxiety is the first step to change the way of thinking.
Very often these people worry that their anxiety symptoms may be really
signs of a serious underlying physical illness, not yet recognized. They believe that the symptoms are actually dangerous, even if they are objectively harmless; the problem is that the label applied is wrong. It would be useful to think that the more you worry about it, the more anxiety you get, and even more intense will be the unpleasant bodily sensations. Useful thoughts are generally:
Be reasonable, not catastrophic
don’t be self-defeating
be logical not illogical
be flexible, not rigid
Challenging anxiogenic thought.
Identifying and challenging useless thoughts automatically is not always so easy, four kinds of questions would help:
-What are the tests for what I thought?
- What alternatives are there for what I thought?
- What is the effect of my way of thinking and doing?
- What mistakes of thought am I making?
Some examples of common misconceptions include:
To think in terms of everything or nothing, the use of ultimatums, attention to words as always, never, everyone, nobody, everything, or nothing. Ask yourself if the situation is really as clear as you think.
Changing the way of thinking seems easier than it actually is. After identifying the useless thoughts that contribute to creating anxiety, it is necessary to learn to look at each of the
these thoughts objectively and then look for a realistic view of the situation. To eradicate the mistaken beliefs rooted by now, one may need to write down the concerns and what is feared
and then assessing whether the fear is justified or whether it is an unrealistic view of a
situation. The objective to learn to change the way of thinking is not to try to
to convince oneself that things are better, on the contrary, the goal is to be able to recognize when a thought is useless.
These rules are not necessarily true and, during childhood, there cannot be much
flexible, only with adulthood do people tend to be able to develop more flexible rules, learning that it is not all black or white.
However some beliefs may remain inflexible, even in adulthood, if the basic assumptions are either belief are unrealistic, then you can have intense and long-lasting levels of anxiety or depression. Fortunately, hypotheses and basic beliefs can be changed largely
in the same way as automatic thoughts.
- identify the beliefs
- Search for repeated themes in the monitoring of thoughts or in the diary
- ask yourself “If this were true, what would it mean to me?”
- critically examine beliefs and their effect on feelings and behavior
- consider the advantages and disadvantages of faith
- give yourself more time to change ideas and beliefs in automatic thoughts
– identify alternative beliefs, useful beliefs
Through the program, you will be asked to write the thought for each situation or
the circumstance in which one feels anxious or worried.
Individuals suffering from generalized anxiety are very concerned, we all worry in some way about problems that could arise at home or at work, due to an illness or injury that afflicts ourselves or our family, due to difficulties in relationships with others, or even financial pressures. Individuals with generalized anxiety will realize that they worry too much about these things and that concerns are often unrealistic. Unfortunately, it is this kind of concern that can interfere with daily functioning, and it can
increase anxiety and tension levels.
Excessive concern or mulling over events that have not yet occurred can do feeling worse than necessary and can also increase the feeling that the situation cannot be met. One may have a strong feeling that something catastrophic is about to happen, but in reality, the concern does not lead to productive or constructive action.
On the contrary, problems remain unresolved, fears do not remain, and useless beliefs of events or situations continue unchallenged. One can ask oneself wondering:
- “How likely is it that the feared event will happen?”
- “Is it imminent?”
- “Is there anything you can do about it?”
If you answer in the affirmative, the problem must be addressed using an efficient problem-solving strategy.
We need to determine if the concern is driven by indecision; many individuals with a generalized anxiety disorder are anxious because they could do something wrong or make the wrong decision.
It may be useful to think of moments when one was not troubled by worries, probably in these times, we were intensely involved in an activity that we liked very much or that occupied all our attention. You have probably already noticed that it is difficult to abandon fallacious thoughts, the best solution is to identify the concern, and then focus attention on something else.
Attention should be focused on something pleasant, using one’s feelings as a starting point to recognize problems.