Anxiety affects 40 million people world-wide at any given time, its cunning; it’s ruthless, and when it hits… anxiety will have you searching for the nearest escape route.
One specific subtype of this disorder is termed Generalized Anxiety. It can hit you when you’re least expecting it; this undeniable feeling can be subtle at times, yet at other times can feel as treacherous as a cavalcade of elephants plowing into you. The intensity is random; the sensation is real, and anyone that has experienced anxiety knows the impact of what this debilitating disorder can have on their own lives, and those around them.
Free-floating anxiety is the term used when it is not a result of anything specific. It can occur at any time, and any place. Anxiety is a mental illness and beyond our control, it is unexpected,however breathing exercises with a change in perception can help, or at minimum reduce the dreaded feeling of doom.
If you find yourself walking down the street and suddenly feel a sense of dread or fear which can be accompanied by the sensation of someone shoving a fist into your stomach and twisting it further and further until you can’t breathe, the first thing you want to do is to try and relax. Take a deep breath and a few more, exhale forcefully…and tell yourself this is just the symptom of an illness, like that of diabetes or high blood pressure; convince yourself that the feeling will vanish as quickly as it appeared.
Comfort yourself, stop for a tea at a nearby coffee shop, (even though you won’t feel like going in); and as you’re sipping on a chamomile tea remember ‘you’re just not feeling well, and that it will pass’. And most importantly, try to stay calm. You’re not alone with these feelings.
Once you follow these steps, and take control of this episode, not only will you make it to your original destination but you will have the upper hand on this relentless disorder.
How Exactly Does Anxiety Feel?
The symptoms differ for everyone, but one of the more common experiences is the sensation of an intense knot in your stomach, or shortness of breath with overwhelming fear of impending doom. Which of course there is no impending doom. It’s just free-floating anxiety.
Once these feelings pass, you will continue with the rest of your day, and will not give the prior episode a second thought.
However, if these episodes appear to happen far too often, and if they further increase leaving you wondering if you will ever survive, then that is a good time to visit your doctor. Inform them of all your symptoms, with the frequency and duration.
Anti-Anxiety medication and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can have a very positive effect. Being properly treated can greatly improve quality of life, and that is a good thing!
Remember, this is a disorder that affects many people and quite possibly even friends, family and coworkers.
Anxiety is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, it’s not something you need to hide.
Take control of anxiety,
Understand it – own it – rule over it – today is the day.