Your A to Z of Complementary Health & Healing

When you worry too much

Worry is a normal activity for all of us, but if we take that worry to new heights and let it control our daily functioning or interfere with our lives, then it can become disruptive.  Thoughts like “he is late and should have arrived half an hour ago. He must have been in an accident”, or “I can’t sleep, I feel that there is something terribly wrong” may all be symptoms of a condition called Generalized Anxiety Disorder. 

Those who have Generalized Anxiety Disorder go about their daily lives consumed with exaggerated worry and tension, even though there is little or nothing to provoke the fears.  They fret so much that their job, social life and other general activities are affected by their uncontrollable worry.  These people tend to expect the worst from life and have been worrying almost every day for at least six months. 

In addition to these exaggerated thoughts, they complain of muscle aches and pains, have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep and suffer from stomach problems. They may also be jumpy and restless and tire easily. 

The emotional symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder include irritability, difficulty concentrating, a fear of losing control and an inability to relax. 
Psychological therapy is a very effective way to treat generalized anxiety disorder. Many studies show that therapy is as effective as medication for most people and it doesn’t have any physical side effects.
There are also a number of self-help measures that can be used to deal with generalised anxiety disorder. It is important to accept and flow with the anxiety instead of attempting to resist it.  Try not to allow it to control your thought patterns.  Rate the anxiety on a scale from one to ten, one being the lowest and ten being the highest and view it without judgement. The more you step back from the anxiety, the more you can observe it. 
Question the fear and ask yourself whether it is true or worthy of the anxiety. What we fear the most generally never happens. A certain amount of fear or anxiety is normal but it may also be beneficial to look at the positive aspects of your life instead of only the negative.
Another way of dealing with tension and anxiety is to apply methods where you can calm your thoughts and feelings. Listen to soothing music or find a place in nature where you can sit and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Spend time outdoors breathing in the fresh air or prepare a tasty meal.  All these activities will help to stimulate the physical senses of touch, taste, hearing and sight and assist in reducing the levels of anxiety.