Treating Anxiety

When you're anxious, getting things done can feel like a Herculean effort. How do you make sense of the tangle of your to-do list items so you can actually do them? In this post, I'll explore some strategies for listing, prioritizing, and executing tasks.
Treating Anxiety is Not Something We Can Do Alone First of all, let me say how exciting it is to be blogging at HealthyPlace. I’m honored, and will I do my very best to live up to the privilege of being asked to join this amazing community. Speaking of community, sharing what it’s like to have generalized anxiety disorder with others who “get it” has been essential in the treatment of my own anxiety. There simply is no substitute for sharing our experiences with others like us in an environment that’s free of shame, judgment, and stigma. The healing power of being understood and accepted is truly incredible, and I intend to make it the foundation of the Treating Anxiety blog.
Many thanks to everyone who has read and commented here at Treating Anxiety over the past 18 months. This is my final post so Happy Holidays. Here’s hoping 2012 brings us peace, however small the moments in which it's found. For all the closeness the Christmas period purports to bring into our lives it can also come with a dose of loneliness, the pang of isolation, or the strange unknowing of the world that is disconnection or dissociation. To counter that sort of thing I'll be participating in a mindfulness exercise of a global scale: A River of Stones. 
All too often women are presented with the black/white thought that they can be either 'good', or get what they want. Not true! First, what do we mean by 'good'? Every girl grows up learning what this means in her family, school, and eventually professional life. Whatever your definition, whatever 'the rules' are for you, they're probably more flexible than you imagine. Even if you experience anxiety (really). Second, strength isn't being tough on yourself
I'm sharing this deeply moving, powerful short film not simply because abuse is a topic around which there cannot be too much awareness but because anxiety doesn't come from nowhere. Abuse isn't the only cause (there are many, even if you have been abused) but the effects of abuse are inseparable from mental health, whether or not you have a clinically diagnosable mental illness.
When we commit to a relationship, it comes with an expectation of emotional equivalency. If one person is pressured more than the other (a lot more than just mental health issues there) conflict can arise. Anxiety doesn't typically make for emotional consistency but freedom of expression within relationships can help.
It's easy to get into the habit of not addressing your needs when you have anxiety. I'm yet to meet someone dealing with anxiety who doesn't know 200 ways to say "I'm fine" to paint a rosy picture of life. But treating anxiety is about understanding your reality, not what a perfect reality might be or the reality Jo Normal experiences.
Is your anxiety worse in the morning? Do you think, 'why can't I just get out bed'? I'm rarely on speaking terms with breakfast. The thought of getting up, a whole new day, it can be paralyzing. I'm told it isn't this way for everyone. Nor does a cup of coffee fix it, would that it could. If you have an anxiety disorder, or experience panic, it's not uncommon to find mornings particularly tough.
Sometimes I get woken up by anxiety-causing nightmares which isn't so odd, what with the PTSD n’all (Understanding PTSD Nightmares and Flashbacks). Full-on sweating through my pyjamas in a very non-sexy manner nightmares, so what do I do? Rollover and go back to sleep. You might be tempted to ask why I cope with nightmares like that, but I doubt I’m alone in the answer.
Anger can be the match that sparks a dip in your mood or a bout with anxiety, and according to what I've been reading recently this is because the part of your brain that normally keeps a lid on angry feelings is impaired when you're depressed.