Could use advice about anxiety
My anxiety levels have been a little high lately. I'm trying to improve my health in hopes of overcoming PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). I've recently read that even light drinking can exacerbate my condition, so I became a teetotaler. I've also read that stress is a major factor in this disease. And I think that winding down with a drink in the evening was one thing that was reducing my anxiety. Grrr..

Anyways, I think feeling anxious about things is just part of my nature. I am very sensitive to people. I get quite defensive about constructive criticism. I'm a perfectionist, and so when I am criticized, I take it very personally. My current boss tends to really push my buttons, even while my job is going well. She just kind of overreacts to things. The process of her addressing questions and difficulties involves her being overly critical and short with everyone. Whenever this happens I just start running around in circles with anxiety, feeling defensive, and imagining scenarios where I "let her have it".

This kind of thing always happens to me where I work, so I think that either God wants me to suffer in this way, or I need to change my approach. Perhaps both!

But it's frustrating that I keep feeling like my health suffers for these situations. I had similar situations going on at work when I miscarried a couple years back, and I worry that if I do finally start ovulating again, all the stress will cause another miscarriage.

Any specific prayers or suggestions for dealing with this kind of personality defect?
I don't have much advice for dealing with stress, but I urge you to stop seeing yourself as having a personality defect. It is not intrinsically bad to be a perfectionist or sensitive; these are good qualities that are getting out of hand for you in some ways. Don't beat yourself up for that on top of everything else.

If you have the time and energy, try taking a nice brisk walk to wind down. It's quite relaxing in the evening (I think), helps you enjoy your dinner and sleep well, is good for your body and gives your mind a chance to work through things.
....what Satori said.

and you don't have a defect, but you're awfully good at working yourself up into a lather.

....cut it out.


takes one to know one, Inion - I used to be like that, and it honestly just about killed me.

look at it this way - you have so many good things about you - concentrate on those.

and a good way of dealing with those fantasies..... delicious ( in a perverse way) though they may to imagine her as a little kid getting mistreated in some way.

Sounds weird, but if you do it enough, it actually works and you start feeling sorry for her.

Anxiety doesn't HAVE to be part of your just feels that way.

I have lived with very stress-inducing people before, and one thing that helped was having a safe outlet. Sometimes a friend's behavior would truly be out of line, but my first thought would be "oh shoot, I shouldn't be angry. It is always illegitimate for me to be angry." That brilliant strategy led to frustration and resentment, as one might imagine. Things got somewhat better when I found someone with whom I could talk about the situation without badmouthing and without risk of hurting my badly-behaving friend. Just hearing someone else say that it was understandable that I would feel frustrated or annoyed with this person's behavior was helpful. It finally sank in that being frustrated or annoyed didn't mean that I hated the person or that I was totally devoid of virtue, it just meant that I was feeling hurt or disrespected in some situation. Then I could just acknowledge it and move on without letting things ferment.

Trying to figure out this person's behavior patterns and the probable reasons behind them helped too. It's almost funny how predictable people can be. Knowing what's coming and why can also makes it easier to cope.

As far as more general stress-busting things go... sometimes just sitting in a chair listening to the sound of my own [deep] breathing and trying to still some of the mental chatter can be helpful. More visual forms of prayer, or prayer as a form of "just being there" helps too. I don't know about you, but I tend to stew over things, so just putting a stop to that whole endless percolating process can make a big difference.

Best of luck to you! If you happen upon any particularly good ways of dealing with the situation, please share! :-)
Exercise or physical exertion of some kind.  It distracts the mind and removes the physical effects of stress.
Quis is right, exercise is helpful. Remember, anxiety is not always maladaptive.  Find one of those Life Events Stress checklists online and do it  - I think the last year has probably been full of changes for you, right?  Stressful life events?  Please take that into consideration before you start feeling guilty, OK?  :) 

The thing with your boss. It might be helpful if you try to figure out why she pushes your buttons.  Is it you specifically?  Is it related to some particular issue?  Is she a control freak?  Does she just like watching you squirm?  Try to figure out why it happens without feeling anything about it.  If it is bad enough, find another job.  There are some jobs you leave, and others from which you escape.  If she's just a jerk, then why put yourself through it?  If you really hate it there you'll feel better as soon as you start looking for something else.

It seems like you're worried about having an anxiety problem.  It might make you feel better if you learned more about the differences between situational and chronic anxiety.  You can find the DSM IV online and read the diagnostic criteria for Generalized Anxiety Disorder and kind of use that as a guideline.  If you're still worried, talk to a therapist - not a primary care doctor because they have one eye on the clock and another eye on the prescription pad and it's too early for something like that.

If like most people your anxiety is situational, you will do yourself a huge favor by learning to control it so that it doesn't become chronic.  Have you ever meditated?  Learned how to be aware of your breathing and pulse?  That can help you identify situations in which your anxiety level increases.  Keep a journal of these situations - they're probably things you already avoid because they make you uncomfortable.  Then after a week or so, look for patterns. 

Excercise is good.

So is humor; laughter helps.  Funny movies are good and funny people who'll help you to laugh a little are even better.  :)
Oh my Jesus, I surrender myself to you. Take care of everything.--Fr Dolindo Ruotolo

Persevere..Eucharist, Holy Rosary, Brown Scapular, Confession. You will win.
(05-14-2009, 04:58 PM)Jacafamala Wrote: So is humor; laughter helps.  Funny movies are good and funny people who'll help you to laugh a little are even better.   :)

I'll second that one.  I have panic attacks (not so often anymore thankfully.)  Being able to find something to laugh about really helps to get rid of the anxiety.  Find a funny movie.. .

I too will sound in on the physical activity.  Stress activates the body's fight or flight mechanism as this is what is required in a natural setting.  Sitting in a chair unable to release the "aid" your body is trying to give you causes your body to redouble its efforts.  Get out and do something when you can.  Also make sure you are getting plenty of sunshine or at least Vitamin D.  Low levels of vitamin D have been implicated in hypertension, elevated VLDL triglycerides, and impaired insulin metabolism.
(05-12-2009, 07:40 PM)Inion_Coinin Wrote: This kind of thing always happens to me where I work, so I think that either God wants me to suffer in this way, or I need to change my approach. Perhaps both!

God doesn't want us to suffer.  He may give us opportunities for growth to work on parts of our selves that need improvement, but it is our own faults if we do not improve.  This is the perfect opportunity for you to work on using your tongue and your thoughts only for building others up and for the greater glory of God.  Remember that all are children of God...Jesus lives in the heart of each of us, and you wouldn't want to let Jesus "have it," would you?

Pray, pray, pray!    :pray2: 

God will give you the graces you ask for with a sincere heart.

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