7 Horrible Symptoms of Anxiety Summed Up and Simplified - Carl Vernon
Anxiety, Depression, Fear, Happiness, Health & Diet, Health Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Social Anxiety, Stress

7 Horrible Symptoms of Anxiety Summed Up and Simplified

Headache. Neck ache. Sore throat. Fever. Fatigue. Sleeping problems. An itchy toe. You name it – any symptom can be related to anxiety.

I was in and out of the doctor’s surgery.

I didn’t have a clue if I were coming or going – and I don’t think the doctor did either.

The constant need for reassurance was the overriding issue.

If you’re stuck in a cycle of anxiety (fear), it’s likely you’ll be visiting the doctor often. It’s also very likely you’ll be hitting the internet to see Dr Google for answers.

You might stay stuck in the cycle because you’re not finding the answers you’re looking for.

Because I know how deep the need for answers and constant reassurance goes, I want to give you some quick answers to typical anxiety-related symptoms and disorders that you won’t hear from the doctor.

Health Anxiety

Getting straight to the point, health anxiety is the fear of death. If you’re familiar with my DP Rule from Anxiety Rebalance, you’ll know that our two primary fears are Death and People. When you start dealing with these fears, health anxiety becomes much less of an issue.

Social Anxiety

At its very basic level, social anxiety is caring too much about what people think. When we feel like crap, we prefer to do it in the comfort of our own homes. Longer-term issues with social anxiety arise because avoidance feels good (at first). As time goes by, social anxiety gets worse when we appreciate a reclusive lifestyle isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. When we get comfortable with the fact that EVERYONE deals with the same issues, including social anxiety, we stop feeling so isolated. We also improve relationships with others – and in turn, drop the social anxiety.

You Care Too Much Book

Panic attacks

In short, panic attacks are bullies that we create when we’re dealing with high anxiety. We become hypersensitive to all our bodily feelings, and when something is off kilter, even slightly, it can cause us to panic (have a panic attack). When you start managing high anxiety better by implementing all the proper lifestyle and mindset changes, panic attacks move on – like all bullies who don’t get attention.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Summed up, OCD is created because we feel out of control in at least one area of our lives. OCD is a way for us to try and get that control back – even if it means coming up with pointless routines that don’t mean anything. So if you hate your job, for example, and feel like there is nothing you can do about it, you might develop OCD as a way of coping with it. Getting back in control (or at least feel like you’re in control) will stop the need for compulsive behaviour.

Constant Worrying Thoughts (Overthinking)

In a nutshell, constant worrying thoughts are brought about by the ‘what if’ type thoughts we produce when we’re anxious and stressed. ‘What if this. . . What if that. . .’.  One thought leads to the next and, before you know it, a small problem has turned into a monster. Learning to control our thoughts will stop the monster from getting out of control.

Depression (Depressive thoughts & low mood)

Very simplified, depression and low mood is a lack of energy and willpower. Being highly anxious and stressed zaps our energy. Energy gives you the get-up-and-go you need for the things you want (and need) to do in life – even the basic everyday things take energy. You can’t do anything without energy. When you’re ready to start working on upping your energy levels through various methods, like good diet and exercise, it helps combat the negative and depressive thoughts.

Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia put briefly, is when you play with the wrong odds. When you’re agoraphobic, the fear of leaving your comfort zone (usually your house) becomes the overwhelming fear and prevents you from living a normal life. The fear is based on bad odds. When you appreciate that the odds are heavily favoured towards leaving your house and going to live your life as you want to, the door gets opened and a new comfort zone is built.

Anxiety Rebalance
Anxiety, Fear, Happiness, Panic Attacks, Stress, Success & Wellbeing

Why Do I Get Anxiety When Driving?

When high anxiety becomes a feature in our lives, driving anxiety is commonplace. Why do we get anxious when driving, and how can we overcome it?

For the everyday, ‘normal’ driver, bombing up and down the motorway at 70mph (70mph tops, of course) isn’t an issue.

But if you’re dealing with high anxiety it’s a different story – and it all comes down to the story we’re telling ourselves.

We’ve all got that little voice in our heads. That little voice sounds very different when anxiety is your focus.

When driving home from work, a balanced person’s little voice is saying things like ‘what shall I have for dinner tonight’, and ‘will I get back in time for my TV programme.’

When you’re highly anxious, that little voice is saying things like ‘I hope I don’t crash the car’, and ‘what if I get stuck on the motorway – what the hell am I going to do!’

When you’re balanced, thoughts are about everyday things. When you’re highly anxious, thoughts are connected to our survival instinct. (i.e. not dying.)

High anxiety makes us focus on our survival, and that creates a whole raft of irrational thoughts.

These irrational thoughts become our sole focus, continuously fuelling the fear cycle.

It’s exhausting!

The more we allow the cycle to continue, the worst the fear gets, until we might reach the point when we don’t want to get in the car.


What can we do about driving anxiety?

It all comes down to small steps.

One small step is all it takes to start something new - Carl Vernon

You’ve got to retrain your brain so it knows that driving is a normal everyday activity.

So the first step is to rationalise your thoughts.

Driving carries a risk, but so do all modes of transport.

You have to decide if you’re willing to take the risk of driving.

If you put your rational thinking cap on, it will tell you that millions of people drive every day without issue. In other words, when you’re thinking rationally, the right decision is to drive.

The second step is to have to look at where you are right now.

If you’ve just started to experience driving anxiety, you’re in a different place to someone who’s not been able to get in a car for the last year.

Based on where you are right now, you have to decide what the next small step of action is for you.

That step should take you a little further outside of your current comfort zone.

That might mean you:

  • Take a friend out to drive with you.
  • Drive a little further outside of your comfort zone.
  • Go on the motorway or an A road.
  • Drive past the place that makes you anxious.
  • Sit in a car.

Pick the option that is right for you based on your current situation.

For example, if you haven’t been able to get in a car for the past year, just sitting in a car might be the thing that expands your comfort zone.

Each small step that you take should push you a little further outside of your comfort zone.

Like a snowball, with each step you take, your confidence is growing. You’re telling your brain that the thing you’ve been too nervous to do is OK.

**VERY IMPORTANT**

The key to making this process work is appreciating two things:

  1. Like a snowball, you have to continue your momentum.
  2. Accept that you will be challenged by the feelings of fear and anxiety.

When we expand our comfort zones, anxiety hits back and tries to stop us. It’s easier for anxiety (your survival instinct) to keep you in a little box. The job of keeping you safe is easier.

But you and I know that is no way to live.

You have to first decide that you are willing to face up to the challenge, and accept that you will feel anxious and challenged.

It means that you might feel like you’re going backwards at times.

Sometimes you’ll feel like you want to give up.

Use your rational thinking, and don’t give up.

To help with the rational thinking here, when making the decision whether or not to give up I want you to consider the prospect of never driving again.

What does that mean to you?

A loss of a job?

Your independence – gone?

A feeling of being trapped?

Allow the fear of these things to drive you to make the right decision. (Pun intended.)

Allow the prospect of these things becoming a reality to push you that extra step when you need it.

Keep making those small steps, and with each step keep expanding your comfort zone – just a little each time.

When you’re brave enough to face up to the challenge, you’ll be surprised by how quickly you can change things.

In other words, the challenge is worth it.

Anxiety Rebalance