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I have fought but something is fighting back!

I have fought,fought and fought my anxiety for years and I really started breaking ground. But recently Im going through a horrible time. Pushing back my worries and anxiety to a point of somewhat normal moods has created an obsessive worry that occurs all day every day. Once I release the initial thought my mind stays engaged with the worry feeling and punishes me 24 hours. Its a free floating worry that I cant seem to find the key for. All my mind wants to do is stay engaged in this pain. I have done this all my life and I have fought so hard to break the chains but my head cant let go. My worry is like a train and the thought is the passenger, I let the passenger off but the train keeps moving. What is happening to me? How can I let this go?

Reply from Sound-Mind.org

Hello,
Generalized anxiety is an anxiety that just seems to hover - it goes with you everywhere and there really does not seem to be a break at all. It helps to see anxiety as a really bad habit. For many people, anxiety has ruled so much and for so long that it has become their natural response to life. This is really about breaking a bad habit, and we all know that bad habits are very hard to break. You really must be determined and not give up. You said you were making progress and then the anxiety pushes right back, harder than before. This is typical of anxiety when trying to push it away. Have you tried accepting it? Acceptance is a really big part of overcoming an anxiety disorder. The brain will usually have a specific worry, then from there...we add other worries and it begins a chain reaction. If you allow this, you will find yourself feeling anxious all day long because you have allowed your initial worry to turn into 100's of other worries. Acceptance means that you recognize your initial fear and then make the choice not to add more to them. It means accepting anxiety for what it is, anxiety and nothing more. Anxiety thrives off of YOU not wanting it there. So part of the process is recognizing it, accepting it, and then not to make a big deal out of it. Don't push it away - instead accept that it's there and don't give it anymore attention than it deserves. Stop yourself when you recognize your initial worry, deal with that worry by responding with truth & optimism and then do not add more fears to it. Don't "what if", don't pick your anxiety apart looking for more things to worry about - instead accept and let go, allowing truth to take over. Even with panic attacks, the trick to stopping those is to accept them. For example, while standing in line at the store, feeling that rush of anxiety & panic, instead of saying "no", say "okay, I can feel this" - and do not run. When you do this, something magical happens, anxiety and panic leaves in a hurry. With generalized anxiety, you really need to get your body to relax. The mind & body are so connected, so even if you don't have many worries for the day ahead, your body may still be feeling the effects of your anxiety from days past. The muscles in our bodies have this amazing ability to remember. So even when we are all done in our minds, our body may continue - and we all know that when the body is tense, the mind can easily fall back into anxiety mode. What effects the mind, effects the body - what effects the body, effects the mind. I would definately spend time mastering progressive muscle relaxation. Through deliberate practice, you train your muscles and mind to relax on demand. If you have a hard time doing this on your own, then I highly recommend the use of a guided CD, MP3, such as Progressive Relaxation & Autogenic Training

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