Question: “I just feel anxious for no reason. I feel like there is something I am forgetting to do but I’m not.”
There are two types of anxiety that you may be experiencing when it seems like you are feeling anxious for no reason. Each of these two anxieties requires a different treatment approach:
- Spontaneous anxiety. This is when your anxiety comes out of the blue with high intensity, increases rapidly, and then eases off gradually.
- Anticipatory anxiety. This is often triggered by a threatening situation or a persistent negative thought or worry. This could also happen subconsciously, meaning that you may not be able to instantly identify your trigger of anxiety. Anticipatory anxiety builds up gradually over a period of time, unlike the spontaneous anxiety that can start with greater intensity.
If your anxiety feelings are triggered by any of the life challenges that you are currently going through such as life changes, emotional crisis, relationship issues, money issues or health worries etc, this means that your anxiety is likely to subside once you resolve the problem that you are going through.
In this case, try the following tips:
- Practise simple relaxation with visualisation. Breathe in and out 14 times. Do it deeply and calmly. At the same time, visualise that you are totally in control and are in connection with the present moment – where “You do nothing and leave nothing undone.” This is a realm of productive calm and tranquility. Repeat this exercise as often as possible everyday until you feel stronger and calmer.
- Try your best to find some practical solutions to the difficulty you are currently going through which may be fuelling your anxiety. Come up with 3 possible solutions which you yourself can start doing something about. Then move quickly to initiate the first one. Taking a positive action towards resolving a crisis is often powerful enough to suppress the underlying fear that is igniting your anxiety feelings.
The source of spontaneous anxiety is often buried in the subconscious mind. This means that it could be difficult to put your finger on the reasons for your anxious feelings and symptoms. My advice is this: If your anxiety persists and also seems to increase in intensity, seek professional help. Psychotherapy is designed to unearth the anxiety sources which are hidden in the subconscious but active in the physical or in reality.
The following articles can assist you further: