Originally Posted by nycindie
Is the anxiety something you've been diagnosed with? Believe it or not, it sounds like your have a fairly mild case of it compared to some people I've known. Usually, if severe, anxiety is accompanied by a heaviness or tightness in the chest, tingling or numbness, heart palpitations, and even nausea. Sometimes constant worry is indicative of other things like PTSD or ADHD (for women), but I've read that generalized anxiety and worry can be helped by cognitive behavior therapy. And staying busy.
I'm a worrier, but it's more like a habit I learned from my mother who had acute anxiety that could completely debilitate her. When I start to worry, the best thing I've found is to shift my focus to the present moment and really get involved with the here and now. Most people don't realize how absent we are much of the time.
No, no diagnosis. My therapist agrees with you
... that it's a minor version of anxiety-- not life stopping-- and that because I am aware of the feelings and am in tune with my emotions and working through them, that's a big plus and we most likely just need to do some CBT techniques to help me cope with the worry when it comes up. I have, however, experienced the tight chest, tingling and nausea-- especially when something unexpected comes up. It's not a panic attack, but it is truly uncomfortable and at the time I could not function or deal with life and had to get to where I could be alone at home to deal. Not pleasant at all...
Keeping busy doesn't work for me, unfortunately. I can be at a music concert, with friends and my mind will still keep popping to whatever was bugging/worrying me every 10 minutes or so. This is part of the problem for me-- I've tried staying busy, working on focusing on being in the present, etc. I still think it's a good option, but apparently my technique for doing it isn't quite there yet!!
Definitely something to work on in counseling, though. The thought of having some relief from the constant, nagging worries is very nice!!
And I do realize how absent I am a lot of the time. I tend to "live in my head" a lot. Not nearly as much as when I was a kid, but honestly back then I was either reading a book, or using my imagination to imagine things the way I'd like them to be. My childhood form of escapism, I believe. Even as an adult I've had times where most of my life seems imagined, and getting into the "action" stage was harder. I've grown out of that a lot, but what's still there is the tendency to picture in my head the way I would like things to turn out. The problem with that is it conflicts with my real desire to let things play out the way they will and roll with it-- since you miss so much if you're so focused on one outcome you can't see where the path is leading.
Work in progress...