11th February, 2016
At the core of Generalised Anxiety Disorder lies the phrase, “I should…”. What I have noticed over the past year is the amount of people who find it remarkably difficult to sit still or do nothing. There is often a guilty voice in the ear of the anxious, because the association with much needed rest is negative. Some common beliefs of anxious people are as follows:
- “Why am I sitting down doing nothing? I should be doing something.”
- “I have a to-do list, so why am I not doing enough?”
- “I haven’t got time to watch TV, there’s stuff that needs to be done!”
These are just some common examples and are a result of a stressful lifestyle that include: work pressures, family-life and unrealistic expectations of the self.
What I have discovered throughout my time working as a counsellor and researcher of anxiety, is that people also use the phrase ‘I should…‘ to avoid feeling anxious. Rather than sitting still, being mindful of the present and giving the mind and body much needed rest, people unknowingly avoid slowing down in order to side-step an opportunity to feel their anxiety. They perhaps see activities that require us to be stationary as an opportunity to fidget, worry and ruminate about their state of being.
It is ever so important to learn the skill of ignoring an ‘I should…’ and giving your mind and body the much needed rest that it deserves. This is my observation and thought for today, even though I should be getting on with updating my accounts.