Red Responds: Anxiety is Taking Over!

Jan in Clifton writes:

Anxiety is taking over my life! I have been very unhappy on and off in my job of 14 years. I think I am just burnt out, I work in Senior Housing. I have been to counseling to help with my self-esteem and to change jobs, but I have allowed my bosses to make me feel like nothing, which I am not. My counselor left me hanging for a scheduling problem, the person I thought cared about me has disappeared, yet again after two years of long distance drama.


A relative spotted a job he thought would be perfect for me and sent my resume to a huge company. They interviewed me, flew me out to another state to meet other people, but now it seems like they made me scurry to interview and are making me play the waiting game. I can’t stop over-thinking everything. My friends are supportive, they tell me to go for it – if it’s offered – and leave the jerk behind for good. But, my stress level is through the roof. I try and meditate, walk. I cannot seem to calm myself down. There is a commute involved and a lot of changes, which I think will be good for me. But I feel like I cannot calm myself down. Do you see this job as being the one and will I ever meet anyone normal? I feel like I am falling apart.


Dear Jan,

You really are thinking yourself into turmoil!

You are taking steps to take back control of your life, and you do recognize many of major stressors in your life. When you can identify what causes you stress, you can learn to deal with the stressors more productively. Walking and meditation are also positive ways to try and reduce your anxiety, so keep up the good work!

I really hope that you can learn to add the phrase, “Bleep Happens” into your vocabulary. You are taking things that happen in your life way too personally – as if these things are directed at you rather than just outside influences that peripherally affect you.

Because you have the need to mentally break things down, do so with broader vision. Your counselor had scheduling issues (Bleep Happens). Now, you can look at this as being abandoned in your time of need, left hanging, or betrayed. That is an emotional reaction that feeds the inferiority complexes you’re making such strides in correcting. Have that moment – then take it a step further. Your counselor is unavailable to you, but apparently felt that you not only could deal with this, but also believes that you have progressed to the point where this would not be damaging to you – or other arrangements would have been made. This is a good thing – unspoken positive affirmation.

I agree with your friends. Your relationship no longer serves you – dump him. You have essentially outgrown this relationship. Choose to look at it as lessening your stress, and freeing you to find that normal person and establish a healthy relationship.

You have a relative who has enough faith in you to pass out your resume. That says a lot. If the people around you don’t see you as failing, why not embrace the idea that their faith in you is reasonable and sound? Change can be scary, and anything new has an element of risk. But, if you have faith in yourself, you will not fail. This is a good job, Jan. While you may not get the exact position you applied for, this company wants you to work for them. You may not hear from them for another couple of weeks, but when you do, an offer of some kind will be made. This isn’t some game – they see the potential in you. Roll with it. You’ll be fine!

Things are changing for you, and change does have a way of kicking up stress and anxiety. Emotional energy is still energy – if you feed it, it grows. When you focus on anxiety, you are likely to become more anxious. When you focus on fear, you are likely to become more fearful. So, when you find yourself over-thinking, take a deep breath and choose not to finish that thought process. Give yourself five minutes, and then ask yourself if that thought process was rational or reactive. If it was reactive, apply “Bleep Happens,” and pat yourself on the back for taking control of your emotions.

Calmness is a state of being that first starts as a state of mind. So when you feel yourself freaking out, ask yourself if you are really afraid that you’re falling apart, or are your fears and anxieties coming through because you are finally pulling it together?

Brightest Blessings,
Ext. 9226

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