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Understanding Anxiety and overcoming automatic reactions.

Posted Oct 01 2011 6:02am

With my second successful day of managing my anxiety completed, I am sat here at my desk listening to Celldwellergreat wind down music at 3:30am ;) – wondering how on earth I did it exactly? I don’t remember doing anything out of the ordinary.

Maybe that’s just it. Perhaps I have been overcomplicating the whole situation, assuming that I need some special program or fancy breathing techniques to get through the day, when in actual fact all I needed to do was take a step back from myself and my overactive brain and allow myself to relax for once. I do tend to overcomplicate everything in my life, I have never believed in doing things the easy way and have been known to make situations that could have been solved easily into some impossible mission, thus setting myself up for failure. I guess this would be true for anyone with a negative personal outlook?

Having said that, the anxiety is what makes it hard to relax in the first place, I automatically tense every muscle in my body when I become even slightly stressed. I am doing it now even as I type, every muscle group in my legs are tense - and achy because of it – and all of this added tension is pushed down on curled toes, my jaw clenches and relaxes at will, my shoulders tie themselves in knots and my hands become tightly clenched fists when idle and my finger nails dig into my palms. That’s how I sit when I am anxious, as bizarre as it sounds, it’s no wonder I’m always achy when you think about it. I also have the tendency to pick at the corners of my nails with my thumbs or bite down on my tongue when my hands are busy.

So how do you stop an automatic reaction?

I have some control over this tension once I become aware that I am doing it but as soon as my mind wonders off I go again. Does anyone else with anxiety have this problem? How do you overcome it?

I think maybe I should start scribbling down what triggers an attack and what doesn’t on a daily basis to help me understand my patterns, assuming there is any that is. It might give me a better understanding of where I am and what I could do differently; whilst helping me track any changes in my behavior. It’s certainly got to be better than sitting here in bewilderment wondering what I had done to reach a state of calm.

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