It’s early. You slept in because you struggled to get to sleep last night. You rush around trying to get yourself (and children) ready for the day ahead. Maybe you feel as though there’s something stuck in your chest like you didn’t swallow properly, but you haven’t actually eaten anything because who has the time, right?
You’re finding it difficult to breathe and you’re wondering if you have asthma. Then a wave of nausea crashes over you and heat rushes from your head to your toes. You are now convinced that you’re having a heart attack.
For some people, this feeling passes and they laugh off the fact that they thought it was serious. Others will go straight to the ER believing they are about to die. The situation is serious either way. This is anxiety.
Whether you had to see your doctor to determine it was anxiety or you came to the realization on your own, you cannot go on like this. Something has to give.
There are all different types of anxiety. For some, it starts in childhood and for others, they don’t experience anxiety issues until adulthood. This also means there are many different causes. Maybe it’s post-traumatic stress syndrome or
No matter when it starts, there will be a cause. Finding that cause will help you control your anxiety.
Forty million adults in America are affected by anxiety according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. That’s just over 18% of the population. Despite the fact that anxiety is something that can be treated, less than 40% are being treated.
There are all different ways to cope with it, some healthy and others not so healthy. Some people might take medication, others may exercise, and then there are people who drink, use drugs, or turn to food. Even the healthy ways of dealing with anxiety aren’t going to help you correct the underlying cause.
So, what do you do? Here are some steps to try to get to the cause of your anxiety.
Find a quiet place to sit down and prepare to get connected with your anxiety. What does your anxiety feel like? What type of symptoms do you experience? Who triggers your anxiety? What typically triggers your anxiety? Write all of it out.
Now take a look at everything that you have written down. When you see a word or phrase that jumps out at you or is a trigger, highlight it. These will be words that provoke a feeling. Once you have completed this exercise, you should pick the top three words that cause you anxiety.
For this part of the exercise, you should allow your thoughts to flow freely. You should think about memories that you associate with the three chosen words – early memories and strong memories in particular. Don’t self-edit, just let it all pour out.
It’s time for the final review. In most situations, there’s a single theme that prevails. You will have a variety of themes, but one will repeat. That repeating theme is most likely
The final step is healing. Anxiety is exhausting. Re-frame it as a lesson you are learning. It’s up to you to determine where you go from here. For most people, finding the cause of
How else can you truly recover from something if you don’t know what is truly causing it? This exercise is something you can repeat as often as necessary.
Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Medical advice should always be obtained from a qualified medical professional for any health conditions or symptoms associated with them. Every possible effort has been made in preparing and researching this material. We make no warranties concerning the accuracy, applicability of its contents, or any omissions.