Looking for a Treatment for Generalized Anxiety?
You are looking for a treatment for Generalized Anxiety Disorder. After all, you can’t stand it anymore. Like others with this disorder, you worry constantly about what COULD happen. The emphasis is on the ‘Could.’ You don’t worry about what is likely to happen, but what could possibly happen. You want to erase ‘worry’ from your vocabulary. You need some answers.
Reality testing is an effect treatment for Generalized Anxiety. Ask yourself how likely it is that your worry will materialize. How likely is it that you will experience a nuclear war or a shoot-out in your neighborhood?”
“Well, not very,” you might say. “But it could happen?”
To which I might respond, “Well, we also could have an earthquake and this building could collapse. Or a bird could crash through my window, getting its very long and ridiculously sharp beak stuck in my head. A rather awful thought, but one on which I wouldn’t waste a second’s thought.”
Worrying makes anxiety worse and it does not change the outcome of what is going to occur. In fact, it often makes matters worse. Worrying constantly keeps you in a state of fear and prevents you from paying attention to the things which need your attention. And with your mind elsewhere or paralyzed with fear, careless mistakes can ensue. Realizing that so much time spent on worries is taking away the joy of living is helpful. Also, constant worrying causes health problems: headaches, ulcers, Irritable Bowel Syndrome…
Learning to make lists of the worries that you can do something about is an effective treatment for anxiety. What is it that you can do to lessen the possibility that your worry might come true? For example, if you worry about having a car accident, your list might be as follows: never drive while drinking, wear your seat belt, forgo the cell phone, don’t play with the radio while driving, don’t fight with your passenger while driving, keep to the speed limit, don’t drive when you are tired…
Don’t bother worrying about the things you can’t control. Worrying about nuclear war is time poorly spent. There’s not a thing you can do about it.