textWorry and anxiety


Worry as a protective mechanism

Individuals with generalized anxiety disorder feel they can’t relax and think that they always have to be on alert for danger.

Worry has become their protection mechanism. They often startle more easily than others and have difficulty concentrating. Many also feel persistently joyless, frustrated, and frequently depressed. Their sleep patterns can also become regularly disrupted with their inability to sleep becoming yet another reason for worry and concern.

Many with generalized anxiety disorder appear fine on the surface, seem to go about their day normally, may seem calm and relaxed, or may be perceived as the last person to have an anxiety problem.

It’s their internal life (thoughts, beliefs, and emotions), however, that undergoes intense and persistent turmoil.

Generalized anxiety disorder usually comes on gradually and can begin at any age, though the onset of it is more frequent between childhood and middle age.

Those who experience incessant worry for six months or more are typically diagnosed as having generalized anxiety disorder.



Generalized anxiety

Individuals with generalized anxiety disorder are always anticipating doom, disaster, and the worst-case scenarios.

They worry about their health, money, family, work, and the world in general. Their reason for worry is often hard to pinpoint. Even the thought of getting through another day can bring on anxiety.

Individuals with generalized anxiety disorder feel that they can’t stop worrying, even though they know the subject they are worrying about isn’t that serious.


Acute or chronic fatigue; headaches;

muscle tension, stiffness,

debilitating pain; general aches and pains;

difficulty swallowing or feeling like there is something stuck in their throat;

trembling; uncontrollable twitching;


hot and cold flushes; profuse sweating for no apparent reason;

poor concentration, day dreaming

light headed-ness or dizziness.

Chronic anxiety

This type of anxiety condition is characterized by symptoms that come and go over an extended period of time (from a few months to a year or more). Examples include, an individual who has symptoms come and go at different stages of their life (as early as 4 years of age), remain as an ongoing backdrop to their life, or have been on and off of medication throughout their life.


1  Spontaneous anxiety or panic – anxiety or panic that occurs regardless of where a person is.


2  Situational or Phobic anxiety or panic – anxiety or panic that occurs because of a particular situation or location. This type of anxiety condition is characterized by symptoms that appear because of an acute stressful event (s), circumstance( s) or emotion (s). Examples include a relationship difficulty (fighting within or the break-up of an important relationship), career challenge (job loss or important job promotion), illness or death of a loved one, or educational stress (intense workload).


3  Anticipatory anxiety or panic – anxiety or panic that occurs because of a thought that something “might” happen or a situation that “might” occur.


4  Involuntary anxiety or panic – anxiety or panic that occurs involuntarily, by itself, or “out of the blue” that hasn’t been preceded by spontaneous, situational, or anticipatory anxiety.


Inherited tendencies  –  DNA  Often there is a history of other family members having  been described  “anxious.”  There should be caution in  blaming the family DNA for the tendency to anxiety. Poverty, social  conditions, cultural factors etc may  be part of the  explanation.

Learned behaviour.  Humans are creatures of habit. Much of behaviour is learned. Some learning may then become a habit.  If habits can be formed, then habits can be changed and new ones  built in their place.

Some ways of managing anxiety

Change mind set

Cognitive behavioural therapy, Mindfulness therapy, relaxation training, thought field therapy etc.


Brain activity causes  changes in the body chemistry which in turn affects the body’s responses. can be recorded on sensors.

Hypnotherapy and self hypnosis

It may be utilized in conjunction  with some of the mind set methods.


Medication can be  most useful . Generally   the best outcomes occur when  it is used  together with some of the  above.



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Building resilience


  • Break  your goals down into  manageable   smaller  steps that will  mark your progress and create small wins and successes.
  • Develop at least one alternative or contingency pathway  to your goal with a workable  action plan.
  • Be prepared in knowing when and how to  “re-goal” to avoid the trap of false hope.
  • Recognize  when persistence toward a goal is not feasible,     regardless of the chosen path. If the original goal is   blocked, then be ready with a follow up plan
  • Acknowledge your achievements in the process of working  toward goals, rather than  focusing  only on the final attainment





Starting the day

Have realistic plans for the day. Have sense of direction or purpose. Be active.  Use self talk to move from a negative thought to a positive thought. Accept that you do have choices. They may not all be you would like, make the best choice that the situation allows.

 Dealing with thoughts

The mind is active. Turn the negatives to positives. Smile or laugh ( even if you do not feel pleasure or joy). A smile has power to modify thoughts.

Take deep, slow breaths to  halt intrusive thoughts.


It is good to have hopes and dreams but the future will be different from the past. Worrying is lost energy. Make  the present day work for you.

Reward yourself for the efforts as well as the successes.

Do not expect too much or too little of yourself or others.



Life does not stand still. There are gains and losses, good and bad times. There is a constant need to change.

If you are planning for change ( or have changes forced upon you ), decide what the best changes  are. List steps which you can take for positive outcomes, list the steps in order of what must come first before other things can happen, list obstacles which might get in your way, consider your resources, decide on a time to start and a time to review progress.

 Dealing with places

Familiar places may set off  thoughts of past happenings. If you can not avoid those places then have a several  plans for managing the emotions which might  arise.

 Dealing with people.


Resist  the need to act according to others expectations. You can create changed thinking by changing your perspective.

Blaming self or others will not change the past. Guilt is not productive.

End of the day

Make a summary of what went according to your plans

Make a list of what went “wrong”,  think back over these things and try to identify triggers.

Make a list of what went right and consider how you made it happen.


My thoughts become my words

My words become my actions.

My actions become my character

My character becomes my habits.

My habits becomes my destiny.



resilience is about balance 


These pages are about using your mind.
In a way you become your own therapist. No one knows yourself better than you.
No one has a greater interest in your well being than yourself.

Anxiety, worry, depression, stress, overload,decision making etc can all takes its toll.
Our ways of coping often disappear during these times when they are most needed.
The skills may be still there but are not accessible. You may want to develop new skills.

These pages are designed to help you identify and use existing mind skills or learn new ways of dealing with life changes.

There are self help exercises which you might find useful. These are set out in italics

Change is constant -Sometimes you can choose what changes you want and the time and the pace it will happen. Other times change happens when you are not prepared or other people or circumstances take over your life.

Unplanned change.
Unplanned change can occur at any time and in any form. Relationships break down, health issues occur, financial stresses happen, work may change or a job may be lost. The possibilities are endless. Whatever these are you need too react to the change.
Take stock of your resources
The following  describes some ways of managing change. There is no right or wrong way.   Take what works for you  and shape it to serve your needs.

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Planned change
Steps when planning for change happen
1. write down and state clearly the end goal. i.e get a different job, break an old habit , lose weight etc.
2. write down what you plan to stop doing and what will you put in its place.
3. write down the steps which will lead to your goal.
4. Write down the obstacles which might get in the way of change.
5. consider how the changes may affect others in your life.
6. Arrange the steps from simplest or easily achieved to the harder steps.

7.  Decide on a time to start
8.  Decide on a time/date when you will review the progress.
9. Rewrite the plan to incorporate the progress to this date.
10. How will you reward yourself for the effort as well as the achievement.

By changing your beliefs you can control your destiny
Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.
Mahatma Gandhi