What to know about Anxiety vs Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety is something we all experience at times, like those jittery feelings before a presentation or a first date, a natural response to stress, a feeling of unease or worry often accompanied by physical sensations like a racing heart or shallow breathing. It’s a common human experience However, Generalized Anxiety Disorder takes things up a notch. It’s like that pesky worry button in your brain getting stuck in the “on” position, causing excessive and uncontrollable apprehension or worry about various aspects of life, such as work, relationships, or health.

Anxiety becomes a disorder when it interferes significantly with daily life. In the case of GAD, the worry becomes persistent, often lingering without a specific trigger. Imagine having a mental hamster wheel spinning with ‘what-ifs’ about various aspects of life. This constant fretting can be mentally and physically exhausting. Supporting yourself through this journey is crucial. So how do we respond to these experiences whether it’s the daily anxious thoughts or the clinical diagnoses of GAD?

One of the many tools explored is the gift of mindfulness. Mindfulness helps redirect your focus from future anxieties to the present moment. Engaging in activities that ground you, like practicing deep breathing or engaging in hobbies you enjoy, can help manage the whirlwind of thoughts.

Another important tool that needs to be over emphasized is self-compassion. Imagine how beautiful and serene our lives would be if we can treat ourselves with the kindness we would offer a friend? I know this is easier said than done but not impossible. When client’s go on a spiral with negatively impacting words towards themselves, my question is can you say those same words to your children when they are facing a hard time or when they make a mistake? 9 out 10 times, they say no. So, our work in session focuses on how we can treat ourselves with the same gentle, caring and supportive hands we use towards our loved ones.

Remember, seeking professional help is a sign of strength, not weakness. There are therapeutic interventions, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), that can equip you in identifying the root cause of anxiety and also providing practical coping strategies in managing those anxious thoughts effectively.

To sum up, anxiety is that occasional flutter, while GAD is like an unwanted roommate overstaying its welcome but with mindfulness, self-compassion, and professional guidance, you can tackle the challenges that come your way.

So, let’s work together to help you find that restful peace that you deserve.



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