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Topic: controlling physical anxiety

8 posts, 0 answered
  1. not really
    not really avatar
    3 posts
    8 February 2020

    Hello! I've just joined the forums because I thought that I'd like to share with and get advice from others in here.

    I'd never even considered that I had anxiety until like a year ago, and it was strange to see a fancy medical term slapped onto what just was my daily internal conflict and worries. Up to now I've noticed a pattern for my anxiety- it usually manifests when people focus their attention on me. It's not actually very severe, because I can cope normally in everyday situations. Sometimes even, I think that I'm not nervous for something, but it turns out that I was probably subconsciously nervous, so I ended up shaking or smth like that and surprising myself.

    I found that I've experienced two cases of my face muscles twitching uncontrollably- I've searched this up and it's not due to any medical condition, because it only arises when I'm talking individually to people I don't know well. What has confused me is that my face muscles hasn't done that for everyone I've talked to individually either- I cope fine when just talking to a stranger or classmate. I'm thinking that maybe I get subconsciously nervous when a figure of authority is confronting me, or when I'm trying to confront them. Usually it happens when I smile, my cheek muscles and muscles under my eye start to twitch and I can't stop it. Then I freak out on the inside trying to stop them and they probably walk away wondering what was happening to me ;). Does anyone know how to control this?

    I've also experienced my voice shaking when I'm doing things like announcements at my school assembly. What's also strange is that the first time I did it, it went completely fine. Then the second and third times, my voice started to shake. After that I investigated a little more and tried to keep my breathing under control as I was probably not taking enough air into my lungs, and I think it's gotten better. I hate that feeling when I'm about to do public speaking and I get that heart-thumping, anxious feeling, and regardless of taking deep breaths, I feel even more nervous. I've managed when actually doing the speaking- usually totally nervous when I start, and then after maybe a break I'm completely relaxed. Does anyone have tips on how to deal with this spurt of anxiety for the beginning? I'd also ask how to stop thinking about it so much because that's how my anxiety manifests but it's a bit difficult to answer.

    Thanks!

  2. Katyonthehamsterwheel
    Valued Contributor
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    Katyonthehamsterwheel avatar
    6 posts
    8 February 2020 in reply to not really

    Hi there and welcome to the forums. You sound like you have some really great self-awareness which is cool. Have you actually got an "official diagnosis" of anxiety, or you've read about it and can relate? I ask this because I'm wondering whether you've sought any professional help at all? Or you're trying to self-manage at this stage? A psychologist can work with you to manage your anxious symptoms, and a gp can help with medication if you thought you wanted to go down that route. But you might think that's not necessary at this stage, and that's totally ok too.

    Anxiety manifests in many ways, and I can relate to the symptoms you've experienced. I often blush, stutter AND get a facial twitch, but not when talking to everyone, on every occasion. And yes, I get a racing heart if I need to do some public speaking. What helps is to work on your anxiety in general.

    So I'm not sure if this is the case for you, but as my psych explained, I always have a level of anxiety going on inside even if it's not noticeable to me. So it's like my body is on constant high alert and when something happens it hits overdrive pretty quick. Hopefully I've explained that adequately. So things like healthy eating (gut/brain connection), exercise, meditation, yoga etc are all things that are helpful in reducing our general anxiety levels.

    So then we still have certain things that make us anxious, and we work on techniques to try and deal with those, as separate issues. For example if it's authority figures that make you anxious - have a think about why that is? And if your thinking about that is rational and warrants an anxious response. I realise you said you want to "stop thinking about it so much", but it's more about standing back as an observer, and observing our own thoughts, and perhaps creating new thought patterns that serve us better.

    I hope this makes sense and is helpful for you. I'm sorry if I've just confused you and it sounds like gobbledegook. But I am happy to chat further or clarify anything if you like :)

    Katy

    1 person found this helpful
  3. - Brayden -
    - Brayden -  avatar
    5 posts
    8 February 2020 in reply to not really

    Hey there! Welcome to the Beyond Blue forums. I hope being here can help you feel not alone.

    I completely understand this situation, I don't do well to public speaking and speaking to people. When this happens it's important that you know that your only human, so when your voice trembles, it might be an indication that you're anxious. I before my day gets started I go and search up meditation on YouTube, grab my headphones and sit on my bed and relax. While this isn't a confirmed way to solve it, it can calm you and be the best way to attempt slowing down your anxiety. I hope that this tip can help you.

    Best wishes.

    2 people found this helpful
  4. blondguy
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    blondguy avatar
    313 posts
    8 February 2020 in reply to not really

    Hi and welcome too!

    I understand the symptoms you are experiencing as I used to have them a lot when my own anxiety issues started

    Katy has posted noteworthy advice above especially with your level of self awareness and her own experience. You are very proactive with your health and good on you! Can I ask if you have been diagnosed by a GP as yet?

    The initial anxiety can be a pain as the symptoms can sometimes be unsettling. You are not alone with how you are feeling..These are very common feelings to have. GP's are well versed on anxiety issues and can help us

    Annabay wrote an excellent thread topic very similar to yours about the physical symptoms of anxiety. I have placed the copy and paste link below for you...The bulk of the input is from new members like yourself :-)

    any questions are always welcome...the forums are a safe and non judgmental place for you to post

    www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/anxiety/what-physical-feelings-of-anxiety-do-you-get

    my kind thoughts

    Paul

    1 person found this helpful
  5. not really
    not really avatar
    3 posts
    8 February 2020 in reply to Katyonthehamsterwheel

    Thanks for replying! I don't have an official diagnosis because I haven't gone to see a therapist or GP, but I did manage to go to my school counselor, and she told me that I had anxiety that has started to grow as OCD as well. It was only early signs and symptoms, and it's definitely gotten better over the last half-year, I'm not completely sure why. Maybe it links to how stressed w/ school I am as well? I don't think going to a psychologist or GP is an option for me at this stage, sadly, because of the money, but I'm trying to manage my anxiety now so it doesn't worsen dramatically.

    What you said about your body being on constant high alert is interesting, and also the creating new thought patterns part as well. I'll definitely take that into consideration and look into establishing healthier living patterns and meditation. Last year in hindsight I had little to no mental relaxation time. Ironically, I didn't study much either, because I was experiencing an extreme lack of motivation, which led to me thinking about how much more work I should be doing, which then leads me back to more lack of motivation. I think my brain got a little cluttered and fatigued- the subjects I was doing weren't interesting to me anymore- and I experienced the results of that mental fatigue in my grades and overall mental health and outlook on life at the end of last year. The thing about meditation is that I never seem to be able to properly relax. Whilst I'm trying the meditation, I guess I just don't feel any short or long term effects, and my brain starts jumping to other things and other thoughts. If you have any tips on ways I can relax my mind more effectively, that would be really appreciated.

    1 person found this helpful
  6. not really
    not really avatar
    3 posts
    8 February 2020 in reply to blondguy
    Thanks for that link to the thread- will def check it out.
    1 person found this helpful
  7. Katyonthehamsterwheel
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Katyonthehamsterwheel avatar
    6 posts
    8 February 2020 in reply to not really

    Hey again

    It's great that you went to see your counselor. Please don't think I'm pushing a GP or psychologist onto you, but more for your info - lots of GP's bulk bill (that means no cost to you) students or young people, and a GP can refer you to a psychologist if needed for sessions that are also bulk billed.

    Also glad to hear that you feel your mental health has improved in the last 6 months or so. In regard to meditation it can be difficult for some people, but practice can help. So you can start for a short duration and build up. There are apps you can use, or youtube as Brayden mentioned. Or just sit comfortably, somewhere quiet and concentrate on your breaths in and out. Try to breathe nice and deep into your belly, and as you breathe in slowly, say the word "so" in your mind, and as you breathe out slowly, say the word "hum" in your mind. By concentrating on the simple words and your breathing, your mind is less likely to wander off. Bonus - the nice deep belly breaths are good for anxiety too.

    1 person found this helpful
  8. blondguy
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    blondguy avatar
    313 posts
    8 February 2020 in reply to not really

    No worries at all

    Seeing your school counsellor... shows how strong you really are...(some people dont have the courage) You made an excellent point when you mentioned 'Maybe it links to how stressed w/ school I am as well'....Yes!

    you have a great attitude

    Paul

    2 people found this helpful