More threads by David Baxter PhD

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
When Life Itself Makes Us Anxious
by Lynne Taetzsch
Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Lately I?ve found that I don?t want to get out of bed in the mornings. Now, that?s perfectly reasonable in one sense: the temps have been in the low teens here for several weeks. Most days are overcast with snow flurries or, like this morning, snow sticking to the roads, making driving a bit challenging. I only know this because I asked Adrian how the roads were when he came back from dropping Nia off at doggy daycare. I haven?t actually gone out myself yet.

Usually I can trace my anxiety to a specific cause, like some social event coming up or a gig I promised to do. At those times I know I?m suffering from performance anxiety, and that when the event is over, the feelings will pass.

But this generalized anxiety I?ve been feeling lately is harder to deal with because it is nebulous, yet all-pervasive at the same time. Instead of being anxious about a specific thing, I?m anxious about my whole life.

When I get like this, it?s very dangerous, because I will often make drastic changes just to get some relief from the anxiety. In the past some of my responses to such feelings have been to quit my job, move 3000 miles across the country, start a business, or go on a binge. Sometimes I take on big projects like saving other people. That takes me away from my own problems temporarily. But it doesn?t always result in gratitude from the people I save.

These days I?m pretty happy with my life and trying not to turn it upside down because I?m feeling anxious. Instead, I?m trying to be patient and accepting. I?m trying to do more of the things that will soothe the anxious feelings, like walks in the woods, deep breathing, and yoga. I don?t really want a new life. I just want to better appreciate this one.
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