Are You Getting Derailed by Generalized Anxiety?

by Eric Disco
Aug 15

I’ve had a relatively good day.

Got up early in the morning to work out. Felt refreshed and relaxed during the day.

At 630, I meet up with my friend. We are going to hit the happy hour bars in New York City.

We meet up in the Barnes and Noble cafe. We chat a bit. Then we take a walk around Barnes and Noble.

That’s when I notice it: Anxiety.

My breathing becomes stilted and shallow. I feel a tightness in my chest and too much adrenaline in my stomach.

But it’s not approach anxiety. There are no women around to approach. It’s generalized anxiety.

Generalized anxiety is approach anxiety’s cousin. It’s an anxiety that you get just going about your day, doing things that normally don’t give you anxiety.

You may feel it in the morning while cooking breakfast. Or in the afternoon at work.

It can make you feel like not interacting with people. It can make you feel like going home. It can make you feel like having a few stiff drinks. (That’s a big reason people like to drink: They don’t feel anxiety while drunk.)

The fact that I’m feeling anxiety is not the worst thing in the world. In fact, it’s okay. It happens from time to time to everybody.

Feeling generalized anxiety from time to time is not an indicator of problems.

What you do when you feel the anxiety is what’s important.

If I am not consciously aware of the fact that I have anxiety, I get myself into trouble. My brain–on its own–starts to search for the cause of the anxiety.

Maybe I am not as far along in life as I would like to be. My sister has a husband and two kids already, and I’m not even married.

I’m not as rich as I want to be. My best friend already has enough money to retire, and I can’t even quit my day job.

My brain may even start to focus on smaller worries, like whether I paid the electric bill on time.

Or whether I missed an important opportunity with a girl.

And now, I am focused on this worry. I start to think about that issue.

I wrestle with it in my mind. That feeling of anxiety has given birth to some tumultuous thoughts.

Pretty soon, I’m feeling even more anxiety.

In reality, this anxiety I’m feeling may have stemmed from something completely different. It may not even be a real “problem” per se.

Maybe I just drank too much coffee. Or maybe I drank too much alcohol last night. Getting drunk has been known to leave me with a hangover of generalized anxiety.

Whatever the cause may be, this feeling comes and goes regardless of my real life problems.

When you’re not conscious of it, anxiety can easily shift your focus from the good things in your life to what is missing from your life.

There is always, always, always something to worry about, no matter how great your life is going. If you are continuously focused on what’s wrong, it can be very difficult to enjoy life and take the action you want to take.

If I am aware of this feeling right when it happens, I stop mentally searching for a cause on which to pin that feeling.


posted in Acceptance

11 responses
Kenny says:

Thank you.

Fujiki510 says:

“Getting drunk has been known to leave me with a hangover of generalized anxiety.”

I seem to get this a lot after a night of heavy drinking. A real bad feeling of guilt and worry the next day and no real concrete reason of why. I have also had anxiety while intoxicated, leaving clubs or parties to go home or to the car to wait for friends (I don’t do this all the time, but definitely more often than I should).

Nick says:

A whole slew of reasons can feed that anxiety: work stress, lack of sleep, not feeling like you got enough done, a big event coming up, even low blood sugar. The best thing I’ve found is to accept it as is. If you try to fight those nerves, you make them stronger. By being comfortable with it, you strip away it’s power over you.

Excellentpost Eric.

Speed Bump says:

This is just a terrible, inaccurate post about generalized anxiety disorder. Consult a qualified doctor for information about GAD, and let Eric be the expert on being average.

Fujiki510 says:

@ speed bump
I like the post because it shows that even the best of us, or the the people you least expect may struggle with the same things you do. And I don’t understand what you mean by “let Eric be the expert on being average.” You kinda sound like your just a hater.

Rick says:

Yea whats up with speed bump, seems like this guy def had a “bump in the road in his past”, hence the name lol. Yea don’t be a hater man. This is a common problem that many people face due to the daily grind of life. Eric is simply trying to teach you how to cope with this common problem that can effect your game, happiness, well-being, etc. I am a confident guy, and I get this sort of anxiety from time to time. It’s good positive information that’s meant to help you!

Indiana says:

@speed bumb (lol)

It’s so sommon that jalous people produce shitty comments about succesful people… :)

Speed Bump says:

Except that a cursory glance at either the Mayo Clinic or the National Institute of Mental Health will discredit most of this article. I’ll be an asshole, sure, but better an asshole than a gullible idiot who eats up anything Eric steps in.

Rick says:

Yea because your taking everyting too literal…..which is probably the problems your having with women. You obviously have some biased opinion of Eric, I just don’t get it. Why waste your time posting on somebody’s site whose work you don’t believe in. Sounds to me like a “hater”. If you don’t agree with this stuff we respect that, but then why are you even on here with all this negativity. I check out the mayo clinic all the time about various helath issues, and GAD doesn’t necessarily need medical attention. Some people experience this mildly from time to time depending on the individual, all of which are not necessarily severe but mild. AsmI mentioned earlier, life is a grind and there are so many different outside factors that effect a persons mood. This is part of being human, or any creature for that matter. Don’t really think it’s being gullible but open minded…you should try it some time

Cameron says:

I thought it was an interesting article and enjoyed it a lot.

If I may give you some advice Eric I would advise you to stop alcholol. Its such a destructive drug that does a lot of harm to your body. Personally I dont drink much (if at all) anymore and I feel great. I went to a party last night and got home at 4am, I had two beers all night and feel great today. You might think you will get bad reactions from not drinking but you’d be amazed at how many people a) don’t notice your sobre or b) respect your decision not to drink. If you just say it and be proud of your teetotallness almost noone will dare to criticise you.

Anyway, thanks for sharing with us.

Eric Disco says:

Except that a cursory glance at either the Mayo Clinic or the National Institute of Mental Health will discredit most of this article.

From the National Institute of Mental Health:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder, GAD, is an anxiety disorder characterized by chronic anxiety, exaggerated worry and tension, even when there is little or nothing to provoke it.

Whether your generalized anxiety is considered a disorder (a serious problem) depends on the severity and length of onset.

Still generalized anxiety is considered an anxiety not associated with any specific real-world trigger. Contrast this with something like a phobia or social anxiety which is triggered by specific situations.