Do You Have Trouble Relaxing? You are Not Alone!
You've heard of Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare) and a show about nothing (Seinfeld), but have you heard about worrying about nothing?
Trying to Relax
Years ago, after relocating from Brooklyn, New York to West Palm Beach Florida, leaving a noisy apartment and moving into a brand new house, I felt like my dreams were finally coming true. One day, as I found myself relaxing on a Florida beach, I realized that I was not feeling relaxed at all, but this impending feeling of doom and gloom.
Instead of relaxing, I found myself wrought with anxiety. As a matter of fact, I could hear my heart beating out of my chest and remember thinking to myself that I'm going to have a massive heart attack lying on the beach.
You are Not Alone!
If you have ever found yourself having trouble relaxing, you're not alone. Throughout my years in private practice, I've encountered clients who report similar symptoms. While we all expect to worry when there is something to worry about, it can be baffling to understand why when life seems relatively good and stable, we can still experience worry, anxiety and difficulty in learning how to simply relax and enjoy the good life.
General Anxiety Disorder
According to helpguide.org, General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a common anxiety disorder that involves chronic worrying and nervousness not linked to any particular event. While it's common to worry about something that's happening, it apparently is also common to worry about nothing in particular. It's important to remember that that GAD like some other mental disorders can occur in a continuum (psychcentral.org), and symptoms can begin quite subtly.
Part of the reason that I think we have so much trouble relaxing is our current culture. Being inundated with negative news and social media may seep more into our psyche than we realize. Our culture applauds hard work and staying busy, and that thinking does not necessarily promote relaxing days at the beach.
Helping You Learn How to Relax
If you find yourself having trouble relaxing, of course see your medical practitioner to rule out any medical issue. After that, begin to address some subtle or not so subtle messaging you may have received about taking time off for yourself.
Oftentimes, we are made to feel lazy, unproductive, or self-indulgent. Next time you find yourself making much ado about nothing, maybe it's time to do something about it.