GAD is a chronic state of tension that affect 6 major system in your body. Think it isn’t a big deal. Think again. Left untreated over time, it can result in tension headaches, insomnia, Fibromyalgia, panic attacks, chronic fatigue syndrome, ulcers, poor circulation (cold fingers usually), diarrhea, constipation, stomach cramps, tachycardia (rapid heart rate), inflamed colon, and increased blood pressure. While this list is not exhaustive, it should wake you up to the detrimental effects of untreated chronic anxiety.

How do you know if you have GAD?

Only a licensed healthcare professional can render an official GAD diagnosis, but the tell tale signs are usually:

  • Can’t control the worry
  • Feeling ‘on edge’
  • Feeling ‘worn out’
  • Can’t concentrate
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Restless sleep patterns
  • Insomnia

Did you know that you can change your response to your worries, when you treat the worries as simply ‘noise’ in your brain? It is possible to shift your perspective. Remember Dr. Dyer used to say, “When you change the way you look at things; the things you look at change.”

How do you do this?

  1. Listen for your worried thoughts. (Can you take action or are they just noise?)
  2. Decide that you want to stop the noisy thoughts.
  3. Reinforce your decision by self dialogue, like “I can choose what I want to focus on.”
  4. Visualize a STOP sign.
  5. Slowly count backward from 10-1.

Now, if there are worries that you can take action on them, take action. Sometimes, worry is just your mind trying to get your attention. When you take action on that particular worry, it goes away.

I hope you found this helpful. This is just one technique to deal with worry. More to come later.

~Lisa Schiro, M.S., LPC

K-Counseling & Anxiety Treatment, LLC