Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sometimes Anxiety is More than Just Feeling Nervous

     We all get anxious, and there are a million good reasons for it. In terms of evolution, anxiety alerts us to the fact that something is amiss. We can then change course, and relieve the anxiety.
     In these times, though, things are seldom that simple. Our lives have been propelled way past the capacities of our physical body's early warning system's capabilities. 
     If you find your thoughts going back to the same problem over and over again, and feel a restless sense of powerlessness every time, it's possible you're heading into the territory of long-term anxiety, rather than the short-term sort that alerts us to a potential problem. 
     A common example of the more serious form of anxiety is the distress you might feel if you are out of work and running out of resources -- fast. Your mind rushes to the what ifs: what if I never find a job; what if I cannot pay my rent; what if I lose my car; what if I cannot feed my family. These are certainly legitimate concerns. But you do yourself more harm than good by placing your focus on them, instead of concerting all your energy in the service of the one thing you can control: your efforts toward finding employment. Anxiety has  way of blocking you from being able to concentrate on what is really important. The anxiety must be relieved.
     I know. I make is sound so easy. In fact, is may even sound as if I don't understand how difficult it is to put such worries out of your mind, and concentrate on finding a job. Well, I do understand. And I'd like to make a suggestion.
     There are times when anxiety can be so great that it interferes with your ability to move forward. In the example above, if you cannot stop thinking about all the disasters that might lie ahead, how are you going to find the peace of mind you'll need to present yourself as the keen and capable employee you know yourself to be?
     This might be the time to seek the attention of a medical professional for anxiety. There are a number of effective medications available for anxiety management, and they are worth investigating. 
     Please don't be afraid to ask for help. It is okay to admit that you need short-term assistance to get yourself through a difficult phase in your life. Once your problem is resolved, you will probably no longer need the medication.
     It is possible to be relieved of the anxiety long enough to break your cycle of unemployment. It is possible to return to being the you that you used to be, and to feel happy again, and secure, and calm.
     It is okay to ask for help.