Anxiety Support
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Hyper-awareness of self?

Ive been struggling with anxiety for years. and only recently has it progressed to full blown panic attacks and depersonalization and high anxiety and lots of fears and avoidance behavior.

However, i have been experiencing this "hyperawareness" for several months now. Things like "am i really alive?" and being aware of normal bodily functions and processes. Like breathing, and blinking, and my hand movements and talking and looking around and all of these things.

It happens in states of high anxiety. today it happened after waking up from a nap. I was disoriented from sleep and my anxiety flared and i suddenly began having existential questions and experiencing the derealization and hyper-awareness of myself.

I've become aware of my conscious mind and sometimes the thoughts produce panic and i don't like being so aware of something that has always been the same. It's like I've opened a box of information that ill never forget.

Any tips?

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You should try to find a purpose in life, something to strive for, whether that be progressing morally as an individual, academically, socially etc. Hyper-awareness and that feeling of 'why am i here' is caused by people with a stagnant mindset that refuses to accept the challenges that reality has given to them. It sounds harsh but really you just need to face your fears, over time you will progress and lose the feelings of paranoia and anxiety.

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seriously, this is one of the most unsupportive responses. THIS IS NOT a good answer. How is this helping????

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would you rather I suck up and say what she wants to hear? no because that's evading the issue.

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The reason your answer is so ridiculous is because it explicitly says that a stagnant mindset would pose the question of 'why am I here?' OR 'what is my purpose?' And that only a stagnent mind would be fearful of accepting the challenges they might find in asking themselves such a question. This is just ignorance, inexperience or too quick of an answer to really think about what you wrote!

Anyone posing that question not only has a open, pondering and very active mind - not stagnant at all. But anxiety and existential crisis' or panic attacks associated with such questions do not equal a fear of moving forward in life with a purpose! Speaking from experience it can be quite the opposite actually. Sometimes you've moved so fast physically in the normal motions of life, then something happens - maybe trauma, stress, increased introspection, intellectual or spiritual awakening - and your body and mind are no longer in tune with each other. This can be a very positive experience for some people and a very debilitating experience for others. For instance some people who deeply meditate also have these experiences, but they seek them. For others, it may be the minds way of coping with trauma. It's not asked for and so it is scary!

Such a short sighted and shallow answer to give for something that may be more deeply rooted.

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B22_Health very well said.

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What do you do, or what does it mean maybe, if you seek it but at the same time it causes you crushing anxiety? Like you said I seek and trigger these experiences but it's never pleasant, like reaching a level of awareness that I shouldn't be on. Like reading my own programming and seeing im only a puppet, that sort of thing. Often it comes at the wrong time too, like when I'm at work etc, it's not really practical... Feels like it's the price you pay for the knowledge that comes from it, but it would be nice to be able to control it.

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This is exactly how I feel right now. How are you doing since writing this?

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At least someone has a good insite ...:-)

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What a sick!!!

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Beautiful reply!

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That is about the dumbest fuckin answer i have ever heard. I guess you can cure cancer by learning to paint and take a vitamin too. Smfh

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What a uneducated stupid answer!!!! You need to educate yourself on the subjects before writing such an insulting and ridiculous answer!!!! Have you any idea what a negative effect this could have on someone that is already suffering and crying out for support.You idiot!!!

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I am experiencing the exact same thing right now. Mine started about a month ago and I've had anxiety and depression for about 8-9 yrs!! I've actually started feeling that I can't sleep at night either because I reallybdo have something wrong or because I've become so aware of every single thing my body is doing that I suddenly can feel when my body relaxes and can feel if I'm breathing, and also feel sometimes that I can feel myself slipping into the unconscious state where your limbs become paralyzed. Its like what people who do yoga or meditation thrive for and to me who has always felt nervous and tense, it is the most horrible experience in the world and I'm literally jolting myself awake out of my sleep each and every time I fall asleep feeling like I'm slipping into death and most times exhaling air as if I was holding my breath while drifting off!! I have felt this way for over a month and so u can imagine how mynl lack of sleep is also making it so much worse now. Idk if I'm coming or going, can't think straight, cant tell if I'm awake or dreaming and even have started to dream while awake when extreme exhaustion sets in as if I'm hallucinating! I'm having a sleep study done to see if there is actually an underlying problem but that's not for another month and I don't get the results til the end of February so meanwhile I'll continue to hope that I can continue to stay alive this way considering I'm a single mom of 3 young kids and have no help and basically need to be here for my kiddos!!

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Sounds like symptoms of sleep apnea. I have been experiencing this too. Anxiety and loss of breath waking me up. I bought a mouthpiece so that I can get proper oxygen to my brain and so that I can breathe.

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Hi. I can understand your the anxiety and distress you feel due to what is called sensorimotor obsessions - I always feel it helps to name disorders in order to help de-mystify them. This disorder is linked to both OCD and anxiety disorder. One of the issues is that we become obsessed with obsessing, as the sufferer quite often feels that the obsessing with the various bodily functions will never end. The first thing to realise is that none of the obsessions are dangerous to you. At times all of become aware - or even hyper aware of issues with parts of our bodies. But the focus shifts as we realise that we dont need to focus on that body part or function. We disengage by accepting the 'obsession', taking away its power to dominate through fear. We separate the thought from the fear. We all know that your heart will not stop beating just because you hear it beating. The link between a thought and a feared outcome is broken. That approach will help overcome this illness. Other things that might help are - distraction techniques and learning to breathe correctly during an attack. Like general anxiety, sensorimotor obsession functions on a false reality. You will not die, or become seriously ill as a result of the various obsessions you may have. Once you accept that you will be able to gradually extinguish the obsessions. I say gradually because they are part of a learned behaviour and have to be 'unlearned' again - that is the OCD link. As I said - once you have exposed and named this illness it loses its ability to control our lives. I wish you well.

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Hey,

I'm currently going through the this sensorimotor OCD blinking phase. 

It's horrendous and I honestly wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Feels like I'm going insane. It came on almost a month ago after experience a period of depersonalisation following a panic attack. Was online and stumbled across something about blinking and lo and behold I caught the bug.

This obsession occupies my mind from the moment I wake until I sleep. Do you have any advice on how this should be combatted ? I'm so deliberated at this point...

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This was so incredibly helpful and I want to thank you. I have all the same symptoms as the original post: hyper awareness of self, anxiety, panic attacks. I'm working to 'un-learn' the response of obsessing and detach the fear I feel towards it. Sensorimotor obsessions will not control my life!

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hey I am hyper aware right now too-aware of my cobscious mind and this helped me a lot, (too distinguish fear from thoughs) I'm just scared it will never stop or that I'll never find the normal state I was in before(which ai think the girl before beautifully described) I'm not really anxious (not all out scared and paranoid-sometimes I forget in moments at a time the feeling of alienation or how hyper-aware I am/ instill like things, I can talk to peopl I can "function" even better than sometimes when I have bad "OCD" but I feel so outside my body (not like I've ever felt beforeI'm really scared. (I have OCD too so it's cool to know it might have something to do with obsession-that connection not totally new thing, I was even really relaxed first wanted to have the weekend(meet peopel) finish my essay and then when I go to school see the psychiatrists (if it hasn't gone away) just distract myself but I'm scared to be alone with my thoughts and like scared of being alone too long (although I also really need my alone-time, like usually to get my rest but now I can't, any solutions for me? haha a kin p functioning psychotic break perpsn ?

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Thank you very much hidden..i have been experiencing this anxiety feeling for the past four years after the birth of my last baby..i went to church service one night and i started feeling sharp pain in my rib...i ate all the garlic i lay my hands on ..but still.i even went to check my blood presure which read 110/70..i got home safely,and i got a call whilst answering to the call..my breath seized...as if i am getting a heart attack..after i was rush to the hospital..and the doctor checked me and said my vitals are ok..and ask me few questions and said there is nothing wrong with me..i sufferd this feeling of heart attack ,numbness ..fear of something is about happen for 3months..and always repeat its on my birthdays..

Now for the past 6months after my birthday..i have been getting truamer..,shortness of breath..numbness..in one leg..another time my hand..my facial mussels.

Sometimes as if i am passing out..but my doctor always says nothing is wrong with me..

I am going insane

Please i need help...

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You are not alone. I've been experiencing depersonalization for about two years now. It began when I was award of my hand on the steering wheel as I was driving. I ignored the feeling. Then it progressed to feeling "not there or here," dreamlike state as if I was about to lose my sense of self. I thought I was losing my mind. However, I noticed that when I was involved in reading, watching TV, in church worshiping and listening to the message, or even sometimes talking on the phone...anything where I focused on something else I was not aware of being highly award of myself.

I went to see a therapist which helped tremendously. She went over some material from a book with me and gave me a copy to take home and read (which I just looked for but can't find). This did help me a lot to be in control of what I think. I feel that my problem started ...being criticized and being made fun of by colleagues...I began zoning out purposely. Then I began taking care of my mother (a bright spot in my life) but was complicated by other family issues and a church that initially didn't want me there. It became so stressful. That's when I became super aware of my hand on the steering wheel. I over analyze, over think, conjure scenarios in my head that never come to pass, worry about what others feel and think about me, etc. ALL A VERY BIG MISTAKE.

I am improving and sometimes now I go for days not having these super awareness, dreamlike state of existing. One thing that's been helpful is knowing that I am not going crazy and that these feelings will pass. Also, not worrying about what people think about me or say have helped. Strangely as it may sound, these abnormal feelings are normal for those of us who have high anxiety.

I do pray a lot and read the bible. God is the One sure thing in my life and nothing can happen to me unless He permits it. I am in His hands, so are you.

I hope my sharing helps.

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Thank you!!!

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Do you know the name of the book? My husband has been struggling with Anxiety and Panic attacks for 10+ years and in the past 6-7 ok months has experienced Depersonalisation and Derealization along with OCD. It's very heartbreaking to see someone you love dearly go through this and there's nothing physically you can do to help them :(

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One is The Anxiety Cure and I think the other is Shamelessly Free. However my therapist did not give me the authors' names. I will try to get it for you.

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yes exactly !! when I read a book, talk to people etc it goes away (focus on something else) but I really don't want to have this for such a long time :O but thankyou for sharing, I prb have to give in and say I have anxiety now man shit :((()) I a

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I know this is 2 years old, but I've recently been feeling more hyperaware of myself and everything around me, and in researching it, I was brought here. This response, as well as a few others, has helped me SO much. I feel less insane, and having a direction to go in is a huge weight lifted. I also wrote the book names down and will be looking into those myself. Your sharing definitely helped, as did everyone else's, and I thank you so much!

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You are welcomed. Any time you want to vent, if I'm on, I will reply.

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I actually finally got the right diagnosis, I have complex ptsd. Which I know and understand why, but don't know what it all entails because my system shut it out when ever it did knowing it couldn't handle all of what ever all is. About 3 yrs ago I started having what I now know were triggers to different things. I did not know, but some that know me were noticing small things with me. Than last year later, I started wondering about small things. Then wham, more. Then finally an answer that I first said absolutely no, that was only for military and I have done nothing like they do. Then through out some time things were explained and now it is a way of life and continuous learning.

I have no clue if that could be anything with u, but thought I would share

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yeah i kind of get that i hadnt even realized that this wasnt normal for most people and it blew my mind because im a weird person compared to everyone else i didnt realize that this was one of the reasons and it just completely suprised me it exaushts me to have this but i dont remember a time of not having it so i didnt even know thank you for making this post and making me realize that

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I have been dealing with the same thing. I have been dealing with Anxiety for 5 months now. I was having a panic attack about 2 months ago and experience the depersonalization and extreme self awareness during it. Every since then, when I have anxiety my mind jumps to these thoughts. It is the most uncomfortable and terrifying thoughts I have ever had. When my mind starts to think about them my whole body feels like its in pain because I am so terrified.

I have been doing so much research to find out how to stop it because it makes me feel like I am an insane person. Truthfully, the only thing that has helped my is reading about how common it is. Reading your post alone eased my mind so much because I feel less like a crazy person and it helps me to accept that there is nothing wrong with me, it is just a side effect of my anxiety. It really helps to normalize what I am going through even though it feels so far from normal.

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There is a book out there called Pass Through Panic by Dr. Claire Weekes. I am like you in that I feel better when I read of hear that what I have is common. Try the audio version if you can. Her voice is very comforting.

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That's interesting BB106, in that as many times as I have read Hope & Help for your Nerves, I have never read Pass Through Panic. I will have to pick that up as well. Her writing are phenomenal . Thanks for your input x

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I needed to see this. I eat a handful of prescription pills for breakfast because they can't figure out what's going on with me. I'm not the only one.

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Hi Too-alive, and what is going on with you? Anxiety as well as medical issues? You certainly aren't the only one who feels lost. Come back on the forum, there is always someone here to listen and support you. You are never alone...

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Hey everyone: it's so reassuring to hear others who have experienced the anxiety I have struggled with silently for a long time. About three years ago when I started college, I began to feel this horrible fear that I was not fully in my body, thinking about the atomic makeup of my body and feeling like a machine, essentially feeling like I had no concrete "truth" to cling to, like a floating being with no tether to reality... and yes, it's a fear that many do not understand which makes it even more uncomfortable. After a few experiences of sexual assault, these feelings seemed to aggravate as I drifted farther and farther from feeling at home in my body. However, I've found this anxiety to be a gift in disguise as it has forced me to engage deeply with the questions that haunt me, to find a sense of grounding in spiritual and existential inquiry, to love more deeply and to live more consciously (as the hyper conscious mind must). As many have said, finding something to ground yourself in, whether it be a purposeful profession, a form of worship, a loving intention in life, will help to soften the fears that our highly functioning human brains confront. They will gently knit a tether to a bigger purpose, which you can hold on to instead of suspending in the unknown. We are approaching the paradox of being a conscious being in an era of unprecedented access to information and virtual realities that can disconnect us from ourselves. This is a constant battle but I trust you will gain from it, and develop a higher sense of life purpose in the process. Perhaps ask yourself, like I do, what is this fear calling out for? What do I need to feel at home in my body - to feel at peace in this present experience? So much love and gratitude for all of you.

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I know you posted 2 years ago, but i wondered if you had gotten anywhere with this issue. I have had this feeling since i can remember, i remember being about 5 years old and being curled up of the stair landing outside my bedroom scared to death of my own existence, really feeling hyper aware that life isn't a game, its real, too scared and filled with dread to go to sleep and that always seemed to be when it happened; when i was alone in a dark room with silence apart from my own screaming dread. i have found the best way to deal with it, is avoid it, and when it starts to stop it in its tracks. I instantly turn on light, have something that feels undeniable real like eating something delicious, stand outside in the cold or rain, if possible talk to someone, kiss someone you love and talk to them about something menial, i normally read before i go to bed now, or just wear myself out, it always easy too when I'm sharing a bed. But i suffer really badly from anxiety and depression now and wondering if this is something i need to share and investigate further as it feels like such a similar feeling dread that i am feeling every day.

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I have felt this way my whole life. How are you doing at the moment?

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Thanks for your reply, i think really it will be with me for the rest of my life, at the moment i think im trying to pretend im just normal, ive completely scribbled out my life, moved and started again, some things have got better some are stuck where they were. I found out that the awareness is classed as depersonalisation, bit there doesnt seem a lot of information on what to do about. What if it is us actually being more aware than a disorder?

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What matters most to you right now?

I wonder what it is overall we are actually aware of? I have toyed with the hypothesis that everything we do is somehow linked to our basic instinct to survive and I wonder how this feeling of dread about our own exsistance is in aid of that. I was reading something a while ago and feel this best puts it into words;

“It’s not that I want someone to take care of me, it’s that I’m exhausted and occasionally over whelmed by self doubt. I’m steering the ship but I don’t know what I’m doing, none of us do. But it would be so nice to believe someone else out there did and maybe that they could take the wheel for a while. It’s a seductive feeling. It would be great if it were real. But I guess I’ve got to count in myself. Which isn’t great news.”

An awareness that it’s only us, all on us and there are no second chances. Ultimate self doubt.

I appreciate your reply.

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You seem to have a good out look. What do you do when you get this feeling if u dont mind me asking? How do you cope and do you think something brought it on?

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It’s interesting that it came across that way :)

Usually when I feel this it happens randomally, last night I was looking at my pupils in the mirror watching them expand and contract with light just cause i could and the more I stared the more the feeling came. It sometimes almost feels like that everything That happens is a direct result of what I do, as though I have ultimate control but then I feel I also have none at the same time, someone called it reading our own program Manual. Our basic survival instinct is dead bent on keeping us alive, I think I’m terrified of making a wrong decision I don’t feel I could ever make a right one. Does responsibility terrify you? It scares the hell out of me. Take the trolley problem, in a world or self driving cars scientists have wondered what would be the right decision a vechile could make in a situation where it couldn’t stop in time, there was no where to swerve and it had to either kill 5 people on the left or 2 people on the right. Of course anyone would say the right side with two people is the better answer but it’s almost impossible to know how someone would react in the moment, I think if I was in the driver seat in this situation I would run into a wall if possible because I don’t think I could ever live with myself after killing anyone. My survival instinct of self preservation is broken, that’s what I think this feeling is trying to tell us. My self worth is so low that I feel lesser than everyone else, the more I work on this the more I think I will not have this feeling anymore or it’s what I’m hoping. For the moment I try and distract myself by doing something else just like you described. Confidence is key in this, as true confidence is knowing no matter what happens you’ll be okay. Affirmations help too, “ my sister loves me and wouldn’t leave me without making sure I was okay” “ I have emergency money if all else fails and even after that there are other places to turn to.” “I am an active contributor to those who matter to me and those I work with.” “I am doing enough, I am enough.” “None has it figured out, The is no cure all there is only what we doing to move forward to the next thing.”

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Im reaally glad you posted this guys, you cant believe how happy iam, i've been trying to explain this for months now and i couldnt.. i really thought that im the only one suffrring from this... im crying of joy right now, reaaaly thank youuuuuu

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Hi Aminem and Welcome to the Anxiety Support Forum. In this group you will find that you are NEVER alone. You will find a wonderful group here of men and women of all ages who share their story about the journey with anxiety. Join in anytime and tell us more about you and how we can help. It's a nice caring group :)

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I" experience that exact same awareness not just my bodily functions but every single fiber around me i was just talking to my son about me noticing every little thing he said its an awakening! Its the part of the brain that we dont use as human it was said we only use 10 percent so aniexty or whatever you want to call it awaken another percentage that we dont use i belive every word he said & as for the person that said except your fears or whatever he/she said it was harsh & untrue if you never walked a mile in someone shoes how could you saysomething you havnt experienced yourself before

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Hey everyone! I've been having OCD intrusive thoughts since i was a child (12 years old). That's for about 15 years now. But i experienced strange thing almost 2 months ago. First one day while i was laying on the bed i became aware of blinking and i couldn't stop thinking about it whole day and tomorrow. It drove me crazy. I told my family and they just couldn't get it! That stopped soon luckily but some days it appears again. Anyway i always wanted to cure myself from ocd problem and i started thinking about thoughts and why are they coming in such a bad pictures and impulses. And then i realized that i can't stop it and control it and became afraid and nervous. I just can't describe that feeling. However soon i experienced the strangest thing in my life. Everything suddenly became weird and strange to me. For example one day i looked at my sisters face like i've never seen her before. Suddenly she became like strange to me and i became so afraid. I kinds tried to explain it to her because she asked me what? why are you looking at me like that? Also other people at street suddenly started being strange to me. It's like i came from another planet! Later i found it on google and find that disorder called hyper awareness and depersonalization and derealization. Also i developed hyper awareness of thoughts and talking, like i'm super aware of every word i say and think about it's meaning. It all started when i wanted to erase intrusive thoughts from my mind and i said myself they are just words and then a question appeared what are words and i became scared. I don't know how to explain this feeling well but i hope someone understand. Also sorry for my bad English if i made any mistakes.

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I've never visited a psychiatrist but i'm planning to do it soon. I'm just afraid that i couldn't explain the problem well and that he/she wouldn't understand. Lately i've been feeling very depressed about that and feeling like there's no point at anything. Sometimes i feel like old Greece philosopher questioning everything. I don't wanna do that. I want to be happy joyful girl again without these obsessions. I just want live an ordinary life like any other person without stupid irrational fears and anxiety. It seems that i let my ocd progress all these years till i can't stand it anymore. Please if anyone has any advice or experience to share feel free to comment

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I've had and still kinda have the same or at least something very similar:( Have you made any progress?

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Ya, many of us have experienced this. I have for sure. I read a lot of about all this and I am no expert. I can only go by experience and I have had it for many years. Decided that this year, this all ends for me since I teaching myself to be positive as much as possible, being blessed for all I have, stay away from negatives as much as I can and help others too. One of the best ways apparently is to recognize the feelings of anxiety, face it at its strength, observe it and let it move on. Not simple but it will lose its intensity after a while. Face what bothers you and accept what it is and realize its not there to hurt you but to protect. That is what anxiety is. Its built-in protection for fight or flight. I am in the mist of this as I write this and they say it takes some time so it's not overnight but does work eventually. I can see this because its like anything else you fear, like flying for example. If you do it enough it becomes less a issue. I hated flying since my first experience was in really bad weather. Now, it seldom bothers me. So, I am taking that approach. Hang in there and I hope this helps you! Best of luck and stay positive and in the moment!

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