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Ok, so Im always reading stuff about living in the moment, taking it one day at a time, and concentrate on the here and now, with my anxiety. 

I do pretty good with this and it does help to get through the day with my anxiety. The problem is that there is no way to only focus on the hear and now.

I work long shifts at night. My wife is going to school and pretty much taking care of everything at home with our 3 kids. She is going to start an internship soon which will be even more of a strain. There's bills to pay. School functions, kids birthdays to plan for, vacation to plan, helping kids study, things that need done around the house, my truck is not running and in the shop. Projects at work that I have been assigned to. 

I know that my life is no less complicated that anyone on here or anywhere for that matter. So I'm not trying to whine about how overwhelming things are. These are issues that everyone deals with.

But how can I just focus on the "here and now?" 

I will be doing pretty good, in a good place. I'll get off work and my wife will start talking about something we have to do this weekend. And WHOOSH! A flood of anxiety rushes over me. It doesn't even have to be something bad. It could be talking about going out to eat together...WHOOSH! flood of anxiety.  Next week we have to take our daughter to the dentist. WHOOSH! Your mom wants to visit next week WHOOSH!

I will immediately start worrying about what we have to, what could go wrong, and I'll keep ruminating and worrying until whatever it is is finally over with.

I know this may be silly because these are everyday things and everyone has to deal with them. But for me it's hard.

I try to remain grounded in the moment and focus on what's happening right now because it helps me but how in the world can that be accomplished in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

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Can you tell your wife that you are overwhelmed when things are brought up that are in the future and that you can only deal with one day at a time? Sometimes you have to know ahead of time of certain plans so try putting it on the calendar and think about it later on when the day gets closer.  I found something that I read every day that also might help you because I tend to do the same thing and as much as I obsess about things they always work out just fine.  Here is what I read:

I stress about stress before there's even stress to stress about.  Then I stress about stressing over stress that doesn't need to be stressed about.  It's stressful.  

I hope this helps to put it into perspective.  Hang in there, you're not alone

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14 minutes ago, Bterflymom said:

 

I stress about stress before there's even stress to stress about.  Then I stress about stressing over stress that doesn't need to be stressed about.  It's stressful.  

 

This sure does hit the nail on the head! This is exactly how I feel lol.

I don't want to tell my wife that I get overwhelmed by her telling me about things in the future because I know she is overwhelmed too. She needs my help and support. I work so much so she pretty much has to handle everything.  I want to help where I can. I just don't know how to be afraid of what tomorrow brings.

Thank you so much for the reply!

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Worrywart - I see that your question in your first post is how to stay grounded now in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  One thing I use to help me with that (because I easily get the same way) is finding gratitude in the moment.  Being thankful for your situation, your kids, the things you have to do that may be overwhelming you.  The fact that you have things to do with your family, that you are going out to eat, etc etc are things to be thankful for.   It doesn't combat the overwhelming feelings, but it does help put things into perspective. And I have heard one of the best exercises to help anxiety is keeping a journal listing the things that you are thankful for.   Keep it lying around the house and whenever those feeling come up, write down 3 things that you can be grateful for in regards to that anxiety-provoking situation.   

Something to help the ruminating thoughts of what's going to happen this weekend or next week, etc could be journaling or scheduling.  For me, I find that it helps if I plan things out timewise.  When it comes to the things that need done in a day that make life seem overwhelming, I will write down the 3 things I feel are most important to do that day and only focus on those things.  If 3 things are too much, then just start with one.  Again, that helps with perspective too and helps you feel accomplished as well.

I don't know if you will find any of this useful  (I hope maybe) but I felt like I needed to share this with you.   I hope you are feeling better. 

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This is a terrific thread -- great OP and great replies by Bterflymom and BeautifulDisaster. I really love this tip from BD:

"write down 3 things that you can be grateful for in regards to that anxiety-provoking situation."

What makes this a great tool and not just a good tool is besides keeping a gratitude journal -- which itself is an excellent thing to do for anxiety and overall mood, the idea of finding 3 things you're grateful for which relate directly to the anxiety provoking situation. This makes you work a bit harder which provides a better distraction from the anxiety, and changes your mindset re the object of your anxiety. I love it.

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Hi WorryWart54.    I can relate to your feeling of anxiety.  I'm a career worrier!  I am so good at worrying, I wish I could get paid for doing it.  I came across this article, and it's a bit lengthy, but it has some good tips for working through anxiety.  I hope this helps!  Panic attacks and extreme worry can be debilitating - but there are ways to cope and work through.  I wish you all the best.

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I do the same thing a lot of the time. I think in my mind I justify doing this by saying that by worrying about the future, I'm preparing myself so that I'll be able to handle things and they'll work out better, or I can avoid a negative outcome.

Truth is, living in the now is hard. Time travel (forward or back, worry or ruminating) is actually really easy. And, I think that's because there's rarely anything in the here and now that is worrisome or troubling, and our brains are wired to look for worry and latch on to it. I've sometimes wondered if anxiety is a form of behavioural addiction...

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I think you may be right about behavioural addiction.  A lot of times I feel like I HAVE to worry about something. If I feel myself relaxing this little voice inside my head goes off saying "you can't relax, you have to worry." 

I think its much like an addict. I used to drink a lot to help with my anxiety (never do that, 4 yrs sober now). I remember thinking to myself "I can't be happy without alcohol, I can't get through the day without drinking"

 

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My boyfriend helped me with this particular anxious habit. I too would get anxious about all the things that needed doing! It didn't matter if the thing was a few days away or a few minutes away, I'd find myself really stressing out and full of anxiety, feeling like I just wouldn't be able to get through. 

At times like this my boyfriend would say to me... "How do you eat an elephant?". The answer is...one bite at a time. 

If you imagine eating a whole elephant, the task becomes totally overwhelming. You just don't believe it could ever be accomplished. Not only that you'd start thinking about all the problems that could arise during the task. It all becomes so daunting that you may not even try. 

But if you forget all of the "what if" scenarios and just focus on taking the first bite you'll be fine. The first bite is all that matters right now in the present moment. Once you've done that take the second bite. 

We eat proverbial elephants everyday. We keep putting one foot in front of the other and getting stuff done. And we do get it done! Isn't it strange that we ever doubt ourselves? Focusing on one bite at a time is a good way to stay in the moment. Sure there are always things that need to be done tomorrow, next week, next month, but when the time comes you will tackle those things one bite at a time as well. One foot in front of the other. 

You can only bite the elephant right in front of you in this moment. The other elephants will have to wait! You'll get to them and deal with them in the same way. You're only human. You can only take one bite at a time. Before you know it, it'll be 2018 and you'll have eaten hundreds of elephants and not even realised. 

***Disclamer, do not consume actual elephants. The elephants used in this story are metaphorical only. 

**** No elephants were harmed in the making of this post. 

***** lol.

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Thank my bf! 

Sometimes I still get carried off into OMG land with a million things on my mind. I don't realise I'm even doing it. I get anxious and wonder why. Then I realise what I've done! I've tried to eat too many elephants at once. Or I'm eating next weeks elephants in my head when all I have to do is focus on the one in front of me. 

Sometimes I don't catch myself doing it. Luckily my boyfriend does and he'll just say "one bite at a time babe". Then I realise what I've done and feel a whole lot better. 

He'll be glad to hear his elephant story has helped someone else?

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I don't worry about "things" as much as I worry about feeling anxious and can I handle it.  It seems to grow until I'm overwhelmed.  I take medication for it and thank goodness for that.  I need to keep busy but don't seem to have a desire to do so, not sure what that's about.  I enjoy going out and being with friends, takes my mind off myself and my anxiety.  People seem to be my cure.

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Worrying about the way anxiety makes you feel is called adding second fear & it's the whole reason anxiety keeps going for most of us. We become anxious about anxiety. I recently wrote a bit about this in a post called 'letting go' under the GAD section if anyone wants to know more. ?

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That's exactly what I do, I get anxious about the anxiety.  It grows and grows until I can't stand it anymore.  Not sure how to get to that part of this website but I would like to read it.  I found it and printed it out, thanks Lonesailor14.

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