more information that I often post to people when they've had their thinking taken over by anxiety:
another message I sent to a member a while back may have some helpful info:
it is pretty easy to let the symptoms scare the crap out of you and easy to attribute all manner of horrors to these things.
one of your questions was: "so what, just because you feel these things at least they are not life-threatening", I would look at like this: if the symptom actually, physically prevents you from doing things, then you need to look at it as something a doc should check out. IF it is something like twitching or sore muscles or muscles feel weak or fatigued but they still carry you around then, you should just say "hey this doesn't feel good but it can't stop me from doing my daily tasks or job or hobby or what have you. And say "I will not let my fear of these symptoms stop me".
As I alluded in a post earlier today about my first fall into the pit in '97, I had to do that to get myself out of it. I had all the med tests and was seeing a therapist. They wanted to put me on meds but I was nursing my daughter and, at the time, SSRIS were not given to nursing mothers. I finally decided that I had two choices: 1. sit around in fear waiting for MS (that was my fear at the time) to slowly remove my life from me or 2. TAke charge of this anxiety. So what I did was delve head first into a huge gardening project. Turns out it helped a great deal because it REALLY took my mind off of my bodily sensations. This allowed my mind to calm down and thereby allowed my body to relax. It wasn't over night. It took several weeks. During that time I didn't monitor the symptoms that I had been having NON_STOP for months---ie twitching, face pain, arm pain, leg pain, numbness, tingling, shooting pains, jerking limbs..... there were many more but you get the idea
What is your thing? IDK. I didn't know gardening was my thing until I tried it. Turns out I'm damn** good at it AND it was so engrossing to me that I didn't even have time to think about my symtpoms... which, imo, is key....
I eventually got into some other things:
volunteering. I got heavy into several things at my church... social responsiblity sorts of things---helping the sick (AIDS person), the poor, those who suffered miscarriages or other woman issues dealing with children. I also got every envolved with our neighborhoods homeowner's association: ie the welcome committee, social concerns committee, neighborhood socials (helped with planning parties for the 'hood) and I served on the board.
we've since moved so I'm not so involved where we live presently. However I do volunteer with a dogrescue...
So my suggestion for things to do are:
hobbies----crafting, gardening, scrapbooking, jewelry making ( I had a douzy of a headache last week that advil didn't help----made a couple of pair of ear-rings and the tension headache went away)
volunteer work..... lots of organizations you could help out in
exercise: I walk my dog 1 1/2 miles----to 2 miles a day. today was rainy and I was running my kids all over so not much of a walk today... poor dog
eat right-----yeah I SUCK at this one, myself. Although I did have a nice shrimp bisque which only had about 300 cal today...
I am not symptom-less. When I experience anxiety/stress symptoms now, however, I don't look to disease X. I look at what is going on in my life that is causing them. At this point you are likely not able to find A stressor. THis is, inpart, due to the fact that you are in the anxiety cycle of: fear/stress/symptoms/fear..... However once you are able to reduce your stress using a variety of tools, your mind will calm down and things will get easier and you will be able to manage this without BEASTY taking you for a ride.
you can get better though, you can.
adding to that some other posts to another member a while back:
I certainly don't have all of the answers.
however think about it-------------what causes us pain in our bodies? I mean what controls how we feel pain? It is our brain/nerves right? When we fall and scrape our knee, we feel pain because our nerves send signals to the brain, the brain interprets it and says, "I'm hurt". This a normal thing. Our brain interprets stuff and tells the nerves to send a pain signal back to our knee and then we feel the pain. Our brain and nerves are powerful buggers.
Let's say there is a bear approaching............. what happens---- we become hyper aware. we get the fight or flight so we can survive. We get all those lovely adrenal surges...... We have to survive. That is all well and good.
now what happens if we have our thinking go awry? What happens when we are stressed? what happens if the stress isn't relieved or realized? Our brains gets wiggy!!!! THis causes fight/flight all of the time---sometimes at a high level and sometimes at a lower level. but doesn't matter really cuz now we are "clicked" on the ON position. We never are truly relaxed. Our "fight/flight" brain is always switched on to some extent. THis leaves a body sensitized----muscles are tight, nerves are over reactive (which causes burning/tingling/buzzing) our organs aren't running optimally (ie digestions slows or speeds up).
when these goes unchecked we get in that cycle of fear-------which came first the chicken or egg?
bottom line our brains control our bodies. If our brain is scared or stressed or whatever, it doesn't send out nice calm rational signals to our bodies. Our bodies don't question the brain. the brain is THE MASTER..... Our bodies just react. That is why the answer to feeling better doesn't come from treating the physical but the mental.
and why do you only have symptoms that come and go? well some peeps have stuff all the time. Some have them come and go and some have a combo of the two. Guess it depends on the individual.
sometimes anxiety symptoms are relieved when one is TRULY occupied. BUT remember a body has to be relaxed for a while before a body calms down. So one cannot expect the brain to say----oh I"m working now and I'll just forget that I'm a mess really and give up on the aches and pains." anxiety doesn't really have an on/off switch.
back in '97 I got very involved in gardening. I mean really involved. It took about 2 or 3wks working up some new garden beds. in the end I noticed most of my symptoms were either gone or diminished. But I had an extended amount of time in which I wasn't monitoring.
I've also had times when I've been stressed and decided----Okay I'm going to get involved in something to get my symptoms to go away. guess what? it doesn't work then. cuz, on some level I'm still monitoring.
a year ago I was having, what I knew were stress/anxiety related headaches. THey were pretty bad. Well one day I went to help out at a dog rescue. I walked 7 or 8 dogs over a period of two hours or so. When I arrived, I had a headache. At the end I got in the car and drove away with the realization that the headache was gone. Within 5 minutes it was back. YEAH can you believe that.
Had the same sort of thing on Monday with a headache. took my dog to her training class with a headache... left without one. believe it or not taking my dog to obedience class relieved it.
I've even had gardening or exercise that has made me more shaky
YES I am a mixed bag of tricks like most people I imagine.
JUST like any physical malady, a mental malady needs REAL time to heal Unlike a physical malady though, with the mental WE have to make the DECISION to heal by changing our actions/thinking/behavior and continue to work on it even when it is hard. Personally I believe mental issues are more difficult than getting through physical issues **although I'm getting pretty SICK of this toe thing I've had probs with since mid may..... I'm getting tired of changing my usual routines to accomodate it***
thing is there are no easy do 1, 2, 3 and off you go. This takes time. Even more than that, imo, there is no cure to anxiety but more of changing your reactions and mindset. That doesn't mean one is miserable. It means that one must be cognizant that anxiety can, if allowed, take over during times of stress. Then all it will do is sit back and LIE and watch the spin.