electric_valkyrie

Anxiety without specific thoughts/triggers

Recommended Posts

So my generalized anxiety disorder usually presents with a specific thought -- "my car is going to break down", hypochondria, etc. It seems like cognitive behavioral therapy is designed for these kind of specific, intrusive thoughts, and I've learned a lot of good ways to deal with them. My problem is that recently, I've been getting more truly generalized anxiety with no obvious trigger and no worry thought -- I just get this sudden rush of the physical symptoms, and this vague but powerful idea that something is wrong. I've got anxiety medication, but CBT doesn't really seem to help with this sort of free floating anxiety, and I don't get mindfulness meditation / it doesn't help me. Breathing exercises help, but I'm sort of lost with how to deal with it. Does anyone have any suggestions for dealing with free floating, non thought triggered anxiety? Anything is appreciated!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MsLLL    194

Hi electric! 

I think the physical symptoms or intrusive thoughts are just the tip of the iceberg so to speak. The root of anxiety is always fear even if we, at the moment cannot pinpoint an exact event or obvious triggers. Things are stored in the subconscious and anxiety doesn't always present itself with exact symptoms or triggers. We just feel the consequence of what is stored away so to speak. We feel the anxiety but don't know the cause. I would say do away with the search for the cause right now, truly accept the state you are in and pass through it, no matter what shape of form it takes. 

Personally I really enjoy mindfulness, it has helped me a ton, it allows me to just be and I feel refreshed afterwards because we all know anxiety is exhausting. Breathing exercises never helped me, they made me hyperventilate, see how we are all different? :) The book DARE helps with free floating, he gives useful advice but I'm sure there is even better ones out there. 

So step one: Accept it's anxiety even if it seems different this time around

Step two:     Accept it for what it is and 'invite it in' (hard to do I know), feel that you will be okay no matter what and pass through it, the more you do this the more anxiety loses it's grip on you and overtime you will desensitize yourself, you will produce less stress hormones and the threat will disappear. 

Step three: Best Wishes from all of us:) 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MsLLL    194
44 minutes ago, Bterflymom said:

Tell me about mindfulness please.  MsLLL, not sure what that is.

I will gather my paperwork on mindfulness and anxiety since there is a little difference there. And I will post it tonight @Bterflymom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MsLLL    194
21 hours ago, Bterflymom said:

Thank you!!

Bterflymom: I have not forgotten about my promise to post tonight but I can't right now. I had a little incident with a soft fish bone being stuck in my throat. It triggered my irrational fear of chocking and I was trying to allow and accept for it all and are still in the middle of it (I'm fine, it's not a reason for concern, it's just called anxiety). A friend helped me through, thanks @Jvoth8683

I will post in the coming days! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can talk some about mindfulness! Basically the idea behind it is "be present in every moment" -- we so often live in the future, so to speak, by getting caught up in what might happen, or what we need to do tomorrow, that we don't really connect with what is going on right in that very moment. Mindfulness is about reconnecting with ourselves in the moment, and it can be helpful for anxiety because so much of anxiety is "what if" scenarios, and not what is happening right then and there. If we stay mindful, we can non-judgmentally examine how we're thinking and feeling and what's going on in that moment. 

I'm sure MsLLL can share more, but that's a brief primer to it. The idea of accepting it is a mindfulness one at its core, but unfortunately not really one that works for me. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MsLLL    194
22 hours ago, Bterflymom said:

Thank you!!

Hi Bterflymom,

so actually you and some others on AC  helped me starting this.  You had posted maybe last year how you listen to meditation cd's and how they had helped you. When I was in the middle of panic attacks I remembered that and looked up meditation on Youtube. It did help some but over time I found it was to distracting listening to someones voice and I had to learn to be still with myself. I checked out different techniques and was worried how I would manage this since people with anxiety are trying to hold on to the little control they have left ( which is an illusion but that's another story altogether), and I was worried it would spark new triggers that I haven't experienced yet. None of this happened, it helps and can be practiced at any time. You might feel silly or nervous at first but bare with it and you will feel wonderful. It takes practice, commitment and patience at first, but will be natural later.

1.)    Find a place in your house that is comfortable to you

2.)    Turn any distraction off, TV, Cell, husband....:D

3.)   Sit comfortable in your spot, I sit cross legged on the floor, with my back straight up, arms resting comfortable on my legs but do what feels good to YOU

4.)   At first you might need a focal point, as in a picture or a candle. Overtime you don't need this and you get there rather quickly

5.) Start with 5 min, sitting, breathing, allowing. You might feel your usual tension spots, for me it's shoulders, you might think many thoughts ("What am I doing here? this will never help! Another crazy new age technique, I should be doing laundry or walking the dogs"...etc.) Just let anything be as it is. Don't force your thoughts or your body. Allow for anything to come up but don't pay attention to it. Just let it flow through, know/feel it's alright and let it pass by. Overtime you will get to a place where you are just still within yourself. This is the best I can explain it.

On my paperwork it said anxiety sufferers should actively feel the tension and go to that place. I don't believe in that at all. We are tense to begin with I don't have to actively look for it. It's there anyway but doing this exercise will help you.  I feel relaxed and refreshed afterwards. You could start with 5 min daily, in the morning and at night until you get the hang of it and it doesn't seem so weird anymore. Later you can do 20 min in the morning and at night. Whatever suits you. The more you do this, and this is the beauty of it, the quicker you will get to that good place and you can eventually do it anywhere you are at. You don't even have to close your eyes. 

(I'm sure you are familiar with Ellen DeGeneres, she is a firm believe in transcendental meditation and practices it daily, I tried that for a while, it's basically what I described above but using a mantra: a word you keep repeating, it could be anything, don't fall for people who try to sell this to you online if you chose that route!), but I found the repeating of the word distracting from being still within myself. But at first it helped to get me to the place I'm in now. 

Let us know how you get on. I hope I described it well for you, it's individual for all of us and just find what suits you. 

Best Wishes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lucid    28

Hey valkyrie:)It's not exactly mindfulness but exercise and heavy physical exertion has helped me tremendously. In my experience GAD can't exist while sweating and cutting down a tree.Gl

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bterflymom    125

I don't like "going to that place" where the anxiety is, I want to run away from it and settle myself down.  I like guided imagery the best and can easily picture myself where the CD is taking me on my meditation CD's.  I never liked exercise or gym class when I was a kid so you know I'm not into it at 74.  If I stay in just living one day at a time it helps but is sometimes hard to do as well.    I know I'm a shallow breather so now I'm making myself aware when I'm doing that and then relax to the point where I breath easier and deeper.  It's all in the learning I guess.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Lucid said:

Hey valkyrie:)It's not exactly mindfulness but exercise and heavy physical exertion has helped me tremendously. In my experience GAD can't exist while sweating and cutting down a tree.Gl

Thanks, Lucid! I agree -- exercise has been really helpful for me, and I should have mentioned it in the first post. Between exercise and medication, I can get through most of the day, but unfortunately the worst worry comes in right at night or in the morning, when it's not really an option. 

 

8 hours ago, Bterflymom said:

I don't like "going to that place" where the anxiety is, I want to run away from it and settle myself down.  I like guided imagery the best and can easily picture myself where the CD is taking me on my meditation CD's.  I never liked exercise or gym class when I was a kid so you know I'm not into it at 74.  If I stay in just living one day at a time it helps but is sometimes hard to do as well.    I know I'm a shallow breather so now I'm making myself aware when I'm doing that and then relax to the point where I breath easier and deeper.  It's all in the learning I guess.

I don't like going to the place either -- that's my big concern with anxiety and mindfulness. I don't want to settle and accept the anxiety, because when I try, I usually start to sink into depression ("this is just how things are?") so I keep looking for other stuff. Staying one day at a time is good, too. Thanks Bterflymom. :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bterflymom    125

I don't like to accept it either and I try to fight it or just take my med and be done with it.  I do know that if I think of what I have to do days ahead I get anxious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now