No matter if we are young or older, anxiety can hit us at anytime. The pressures of life are but one re-occurring theme, but more importantly are the pressures that we put on ourselves that need to be managed. Many people journey from stress to relaxation and seem to manage it whereas others just journey to the other side and get stuck there, seeing nothing but angst.
As a perfectionist, it took me years to let go and accept that my best was good enough. I would keep trying to improve and improve whatever I was working on. This wasted huge amounts of time but also, never brought me pleasure. A friend of mine once said, ‘just do it’ don’t try and perfect it, just get it out there first, then build on improving it once money starts to flow. I took me even longer to hear her, but now I understand. There was something in me that I needed to find and when I found it I was able to let it go and move forward away from perfectionism.
There has been research done that attributes nail biting, hair pulling and skin pulling with perfectionism. These actions are caused due to irritation, boredom or dissatisfaction. My mother was an prime example of this. With her father passing away at an early age, she went to work when she was only 15 and never realised her dreams.
A study showcased in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry adds evidence to a theory that perfectionism rather than anxiety is at the root of these behaviours. Researchers surveyed 48 participant on their ability to regulate their emotions. Half of the participants had these disorders and half didn’t. Those with the disorders scored as organisational perfectionists, with a tendency to over plan, overwork themselves and get frustrated quickly without high levels of activity. Researchers placed subjects in situations designed to provoke four different emotions. They showed a movie of a plane crash to incite stress; they showed a movie of waves to incite relaxation; they presented a puzzle to elicit frustration and to evoke boredom they made participants sit in a room alone. People who had the disorders engaged in the body-focused behaviours during all the situations except the relaxing movie.
Anxiety is more than stress or worry, basically those feelings can go away. With anxiety it is something that remains. In Australia on an average, ‘one in four people – one in three women and one in ﬁve men – will experience anxiety at some stage in their life’ Source: Beyond Blue.
There is reason to believe that some people with certain personalities such as perfectionists, shy, those lacking self esteem, those who try to control situations may tend to suffer anxiety more than others.
Reasons Why Someone May Experience Anxiety
- a stressful work environment
- family or relationship challenges
- pregnancy or birth
- trauma or abuse
- death or loss
- financial hardship, loss of job
- health issues
How Anxiety Manifests
- panic disorders
- OCD – obsessive compulsive disorder
- PTSD- post traumatic stress disorder
Beyond Blue have a checklist that they offer to see if someone may be in need of their assistance. This is available at https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/anxiety-and-depression-checklist-k10
People with this disorders may be unable to stop worrying about relatively unimportant things, and often feel that things are much worse than they really are. Anxiety can interfere with your enjoyment of life. It can also affect work, relationships and self-perceptions. A treatable condition, learning about it is an important first step.
We all go through some form of anxiety based on what is going on in our lives and if not severe and is manageable, my advice ……………….Don’t Worry be Happy.
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