Have Mental Health Questions? Ask a Psychiatrist Online
Hi there! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am a psychotherapist... I hope to be of some assistance to you this evening!
I am sorry to hear that you are struggling so with your worry and anxiety, yet it isn't uncommon. As you mentioned, you are working on getting your diabetes under control, and on getting healthier which is a great step toward feeling well.
Health is circular; when we feel good in all areas of physical, mental, emotional health, life becomes a higher quality experience. When one is out of balance, it can affect the whole. You seem to be dealing with the physical and emotional aspects, so lets see where you stand with the mental aspects--- your thoughts.
We are truly a product of our thoughts, yet many folks don't really realize just how much control we have over them. Many folks are victims to their thoughts... and learning to control them is an important step to managing anxiety.
Yes I need to control my thoughts. when thoughts come in my head i tend to keep on worrying about them. recently death, thinking about death since i was worried about my health. just little things seem to get me worrying.
Self talk is a key. What are you telling yourself about your circumstances right now, unconsciously? Are you fearful in some way?
yes fearful that i dont want to lose control of my mind. physically things are fine spiritually things are fine, relationships are fine, but just personally worrying a lot.
right now slight internal tremor trying to stay calm, when i got to work things go nuts. job is not tough, really not stressful just allows me time to think about a lot of things that seem to make me worry.
Ok... so there are a few things that come to mind that sometimes help to stop this cycle. First, reminding yourself that you are safe and not in any immediate danger. Taking deep breaths in and slowly releasing them while focusing on your brow and forehead area, and slowly releasing any tension in your shoulders, brow, forehead and neck area. This is just a starting point.
Once you get centered, there are some tricks to learning something called "thought-stopping". When your thoughts get rolling in a destructive way, picture a bright red stop sign popping up in your line of sight. This means it is time to stop and get your thoughts headed in a more positive direction.
i do do deep breathing but after awhile i just go back to worrying, then headaches come, pressure, internal tremors. i need to program a command that would stop the immediate worrying
Action is the antidote to anxiety. It is important to ask yourself a few quick questions: Is there anything I can do RIGHT NOW to fix this worry? Any step I could take to fix the issue? If there is, then do it. If not, then I will have to file it away, flick it off my shoulder for the time being. "Fix it, or forget it for now... so let's take one of your worries, specifically, and see how we can "program" this differently. Give me one of your biggest stressors right now...
For example this morning i was going to start taking L-Theanine to help calm me naturally, all i could do before and after is worry that it either wouldnt help me or would hurt me. i guess maybe a control issue. in the back of my mind i knew it was safe but,kept worrying, later i read online that anxiety could be the cause of lack of oxygen to the brain, so i started worrying that maybe there was an issue, was i breathing properly, maybe that is why i would wake up in the night, kept focusing on that issue. i know i should ask myself questions which in turn would change my perception which would in turn change my focus but it is hard for me recently.
Yes, challenging your own thought process is important here; asking yourself "who says?" and "Prove it"... disputing these thoughts in your own mind, as you might with a friend when they begin a pattern of irrational thinking. There is a term for what you are doing: Catastrophizing. You are imagining catastrophe at every possible turn. The reason is that you are trying to keep yourself safe from harm in being able to predict bad things that might happen. But, what you are REALLY doing is AVOIDING the fact that you cannot control uncertainty in life.
i am a thinker and but also a worst case scenario guy who is looking to change.
This avoidance of feeling scared is why you are overcompensating for your fear by being hypervigilant. Bad news there; you cannot escape death.. none of us will get out of this alive! ;-) What I think you first need to do is stop avoiding the feeling of fear of death... easily said, right?
yes you are correct about the catastrophizing yes what do i need to do next.
Avoiding uncomfortable feelings about your own mortality must stop, and you must face them. You are flesh and blood, and have a start date and an expiration date, and none of us know when that will be. Even if you worried for the rest of your life, you won't avoid it. You will have to slowly feel the fears you have about this, and come to grips with it first. Think about this... no amount of worry will ever keep any of us alive. Right?
i understand that, death is inevitable, hopefully a long ways down the road, so what are the baby steps i can take to get out of this worrying issue.
Stay in this moment, right now. If you catch yourself moving ahead to the future, pull yourself back to this moment, right now. Force yourself to become aware of simple surroundings; the feel of your body on the chair, the sound of the keyboard typing, the sounds and smells around you. Stay in THIS moment. This is your new mantra! Stay there for the next minute, and say to yourself, be here. Now.
I have an awesome link that I am attaching with EXACT instructions to begin with; it is from helpguide.org .... this article addresses exactly what you are asking: http://helpguide.org/mental/anxiety_self_help.htm
What I suggest that you search online is the term "mindfulness". This is the term for staying in the present moment to learn to control your wandering thoughts. You have way more control over them that you may think, but it takes practice to learn how to do this... but the key is facing any uncomfortable emotions that you are trying to avoid, by worrying about how to avoid them!
Here is the home link: http://helpguide.org/topics/anxiety.htm with some fantastic information, and here is one on the idea of mindfulness: http://www.helpguide.org/harvard/mindfulness.htm
You can challenge your thoughts once you identify them, and if you start a downward cycle, you will begin to intentionally tell yourself that you are once again thinking irrationally... and that you can change this by immediately choosing something that you are grateful for to focus on. If you start thinking about what might go wrong, immediately turn your attention to something that might go RIGHT.
You may think that your heart will start fluttering soon; stop, and say (out loud if necessary) that you will now work to calm your heart with slow breaths into a steady and slow rhythm... and that your thoughts are YOURS to control. They are like wild horses, and you are there to rein them in. Take control--- dispute them, argue with them and challenge them. They are only thoughts, and you CAN change the channel to a happier and calmer one... just like a television with a remote control.
Tell yourself that you will not allow your thoughts to control your life; think purposefully about your blessings, and your health, and take any reasonable steps to be healthy...but work on accepting mortality. Some folks use religion, spirituality, and some use basic science to comfort their fears. However it works best for you will be the way to conquer it. But, you will have to accept and overcome your fear of dying before you can truly live.
Here is another article on the subject: http://overcomingworry.net/ There may be some good information there, as well.
ok let me take a look at some of the links, one looks familiar think i looked at it before. How do i continue this conversation another day? speak with the same person and go over notes?
All you have to do is type "For Heidi LPC" at the start of your question, or just click back on this conversation and re-open it. I truly hope some of this will give you a starting point, and we can move forwards from there! Thank you for your question today---- you WILL get this under control! :-)
(It will be under your "my questions" tab).... have a nice evening--- and no catastrophizing tonight!! ;-)
will a copy of this chat go to my email?
Once I close it and save it, you will just have to come back to the site to access it.
ok Thanks Have a Great Evening!
You, too!! :-)