Dealing With Anxiety
I have been happy for years and living with my fiancee in a fab new house, great job, qualifying this August and have an amazing family. One night I was out drinking and had a bad hangover the next morning, I was focusing on my breathing and this freaked me out, this was a month ago, I am still focussing on my breathing and have been experiencing bad feelings of anxiety, the usual sweaty, dry mouth, swallowing, heart races, and it is like I am obsessed with my breathing. It is driving me crazy. I am a student nurse so I am well aware that this is all in the mind and I am making myself feel like this. I am unhappy but do not want to tell my fiance' in case he thinks I am mad and I don't really want to tell anyone I know. I was so relaxed 2 months ago and now I am living with negative thoughts that something is going to happen (breathing thing is weird). I'm trying so hard to make this stop but like this site says it just creates it even more.
Reply from Sound-Mind.org
Yes, that "breathing thing is weird". Since you are a student nurse then you know all about anxiety. It's so hard to believe that anxiety can get the best of us with things like this isn't it?If I am understanding you correctly, you are afraid to tell your fiance' or anyone else about this breathing/anxiety issue. Sometimes holding this information to ourselves can make the anxiety worse. Believe it or not, suffering in secret is more anxiety provoking than actually having people know you are dealing with it. Of course, this is completely up to you whether or not you want to share it, but I encourage you to be open. Many people have a hard time talking about their anxiety for fear that others will see them as weak, imbalanced or "mental" and this really isn't the case. Anxiety is very common. In fact, the more you talk about it, the more you find that others have felt the same way you are feeling. Buying a house, starting a new job, going to college, etc. all these things produce stress and when there's too much stress for too long, we risk falling into anxiety. Breaking the cycle of anxiety means not allowing those negative thoughts or those negative symptoms to add more fears. Accept your symptoms as nothing more than symptoms of anxiety and don't give them anymore attention than they deserve. About the breathing...take time each day to focus on your breathing, do some breathing exercises to help you relax. Since breathing is an issue for you, taking time each day to focus on it and to learn to control it in a way that's positive will be extremely helpful in the long run. I highly recommend that you take time to master the deep breathing technique also, be sure to listen to the video at the end of that page. If you feel more in control over your breathing, and master it so that you can be confident that you can use it to relax and promote calmness, you will be less likely to obsess about it. Since you pinpoint the breathing to the next day - while suffering a hangover, it's important to make note that although stress/anxiety seems to be relieved by alcohol, this is only temporary and will only leave your nerves feeling more sensitized when the effects have worn off off. So it's completely understandable why it was so easy to fall into this breathing anxiety. Hang in there Laura. You understand anxiety & you know what you should be doing. Be good to yourself and don't add any secondary fears. Remind yourself daily of the truths surrounding anxiety.