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How can I curb my anxiety?

(74 Posts)
sluttygran Fri 02-Mar-18 16:05:23

I know I’m being very stupid, but over the last few months I have been worrying more and more about my daughter and her two little ones age 4 yrs and 5 months.
Every time they get a cough or a sniffle, or an upset tummy, I can’t help imagining that they have been stricken with some rare and deadly
disease, and I can’t sleep or think straight until they’re quite well again.
As youngsters seem to have some sort of virus more often than not, I am doing a lot of worrying!
It seemed to start last September just after DGS was born by CSection. He came home then had to be rushed back into hospital after having an apnoeic attack - he turned blue and frightened us half to death! Apparently this is quite common with Caesarean babies, and they get over it very quickly.
Since then I am feeling ill with worry, which is daft as I’m a trained nurse and should know better. My daughter, who is an excellent mother, has pointed out that she can’t take the children to the doctor with every little puke or sniffle, although she is quite understanding of my anxiety.
My GP was less than helpful - he laughed and said how about I concentrate on my own health instead.
I’m sure you’ll all be thinking what a loony old bat I am, but I feel better for just having written it down!
Am I alone in this, or are there other super-anxious grannies amongst you lovely ladies?

MissAdventure Fri 02-Mar-18 16:11:32

Mindfulness is supposed to be very good for anxiety.
It doesn't matter if its silly or not, if you're feeling awful and anxious then that is an issue.
I hope you can get some help from people here who have managed to control anxiety, as I've heard it can be really unpleasant. Good luck!

Atqui Fri 02-Mar-18 16:21:44

You are not alone if that is any consolation. All the things in the news just add to the anxiety too. I am just the same and have been thinking of taking a course in mindfulness.People try to be helpful and suggest you stop worrying as it won't help, as if we could just stop! We would if we could wouldn't we? I hope you manage to find some peace

Grannyknot Fri 02-Mar-18 16:29:01

Acknowledge that you are catastrophising and move on to other thoughts ...


janeainsworth Fri 02-Mar-18 16:29:36

You're normal Slutty.
Either that, or you and I are both crazygrin
Chill wine

Lazigirl Fri 02-Mar-18 16:42:21

It sounds as if you had a worrying time after your GC was born, and sometimes such events can stir memories of childhood anxieties. The brain's a funny thing! I am a world class worrier too sluttygran especially about my family, and I always catastrophise. I also trained as a nurse but I learned the art of worrying at my mother's knee. Trouble is if you have some medical knowledge you can use it to ill effect! I have found mindfulness meditation quite useful in practising staying "in the present" and not worrying about future events which usually don't happen - but it does take discipline and regular practice to change a lifetime's habits!

DanniRae Fri 02-Mar-18 16:42:45

I agree with Grannyknot about catastrophising because once you are aware that you are doing it you can tell yourself to stop and make your self think of other things. I know this because I have only recently realised that I do it and always have. In the past a situation would arise and I would instantly turn it from a minor problem into a "catastrophy".
I really hope this helps you and send my best wishes x

Seaside22 Fri 02-Mar-18 16:49:18

Oh me too, glad I'm not alone.Just recently, the more I've mentioned my anxiety, the more people are owning up to feeling exactly the same, they are just better than me at not letting it show, I seem to have one of those faces that carries a worried expression.If I get overwhelmed, and can't relax I take a couple of Kalms tablets, they seem to take the edge off, and of course try to keep busy.Think worrying comes with the territory though.

Nonnie Fri 02-Mar-18 16:52:31

I have been doing this every since my DS died unexpectedly last year. I insist that all family let me know when they get home after a journey and when they are on a flight I insist on knowing all the details. When 2 DSs were on the same flight I was in a very bad way.

Anxiety has nothing logical about it, don't listen to anyone who tells you not to think like that, you can't help it. I think that if it goes on for a long time you should go back to your GP and tell him/her how it is affecting your life. I think they don't take such things too seriously the first time you mention it and you have to go back and push it a bit.

A totally different situation a few days ago which was really stressful and caused loss of sleep was reduced by opening a Word document and writing down everything I was feeling, whether rational or not, some of it was even in red. It helped me so why not give it a try?

Morgana Fri 02-Mar-18 16:54:38

I am also a worrier! Think that with our own kids, we were just too busy to do so much worrying. Try the meditation, mindfulness etc. as suggested. Rescue Remedy always used to be one of my 'go to' remedies. Just try to enjoy the littlies.

lemongrove Fri 02-Mar-18 17:01:05

This needs to be addressed, as it isn’t normal to be so worried.My entire family including all grandchildren have health problems ( some which are very serious indeed.)
I do worry for their future and how things will turn out, but ultimately I can’t do anything about it, so concentrate on helping in little ways and in enjoying their company.
The future ( for everybody) has to take care of itself.Once you come to that realisation, you begin to get more peace of mind.What will be, will be.

lilypollen Fri 02-Mar-18 17:04:44

We have to face up to the fact we live in an anxious world. There's so much angst on TV and in the press that the happy things get forgotten. Sit down and think dispassionately and you know you're being illogical but it is finding the strategy to rise above it. I think mindfulness is the way to go and I should give it a go. All the best sluttygran you are not stupid.

loopyloo Fri 02-Mar-18 17:07:05

Sluttygran, I so feel for you and having been a nurse you know what can go wrong. I worry terribly. I think having interests of my own helps and having a life apart from my daughter.
Exercise, going out for walks, but not when there is snow on the ground. Watching comedy, not listening to much news.
Doing something practical, even knitting.
Wishing you all the best.

Peep Fri 02-Mar-18 18:45:19

Me too. I read that having grandchildren is so nice because you don’t have to worry about them! Really? I wish my overactive mind would take that on board then.

varian Fri 02-Mar-18 19:07:35

When we visited my late Mum she always asked us to phone when we arrived home. I say that to my children now. I don't think I'm neurotic but it's difficult to explain. When they lived abroad I did not constantly check up on them. I just left them to get on with it..

Fishpieplease Fri 02-Mar-18 19:37:13

Lemongrove....thank you for your post..real pearls of wisdom.

sluttygran Fri 02-Mar-18 19:54:30

Thank you all ladies for your thoughtful replies. I find it very comforting to hear that I’m not the only over-anxious nanna. I’m not sure there’s a cure, but I shall try some mindfulness and attempt not to catastrophise!
Bless you all ! flowers

Treebee Fri 02-Mar-18 20:06:21

I find anxiety is the downside of loving. My DD and family used to have a pond in their back garden and I got myself in a stew imagining my grandchildren falling in and drowning. I told my DD of my concern then just had to put it out of my mind. They’ve now moved to a house without a pond. But I agree that trying mindfulness might help with your anxiety. FutureLearn run a very good couple of free online courses.

BlueBelle Fri 02-Mar-18 20:10:06

Sluttygran you are not alone I thought I was, so glad it seems we re not I think it started when my very healthy son in law died ten years ago now I see danger where there is none and every illness in my mind may become something dreadful (not about me don’t have any fears or worries about myself) just my kids and grandkids I do try and hide it for the most part and I don’t think any one knows much but living alone doesn’t help no one to chew things over with

varian Fri 02-Mar-18 20:18:31

Children and grandchildren are "hostages to fortune". The more we love the more we have to lose, but we should not focus on the dangef of loosing those we love. Just enjoy what good fortune has given us.

Baggs Fri 02-Mar-18 20:33:37

It's a pity your GP wasn't more helpful, slutty, but perhaps he meant that excess worrying was bad for your health.

I hope you don't mind my saying that I find posts like yours quite helpful in the sense that when I think I'm worrying too much about something I can come on Gransnet, read posts like yours, and realise that nah, I really amn't a worrier by some people's standards. I hope you find something that helps flowers

(for them as don't know, amn't is a Scottishism that I happen to like)

Bellasnana Fri 02-Mar-18 20:51:59

I understand exactly what you are feeling, sluttygran, except that, in my case, it was my children I worried about all through their childhood. As you say, every illness had me imagining the worst, and the doctor would be sent for.

I think I made life quite difficult for my poor DH, who was the calmest of men and never panicked in a crisis. However,it was only when he was diagnosed with a terminal illness that my GP realized I needed help. I now take medication for depression and anxiety which have helped so much that I wish I had been prescribed them years ago.

I still fret about things, but not nearly as much, and I have learned to take one day at a time and not think too far ahead.

It’s no use telling you not to worry because it is easier said than done.

lemongrove Fri 02-Mar-18 21:03:35

Thank you Fishpie
There are fears, and there are groundless fears.Getting older seems to bring on anxiety about life generally, but better not to give in to it if

janeainsworth Fri 02-Mar-18 22:05:25

But fears about one’s grandchildren aren’t groundless, Lemon.
It’s not really helpful to pretend that unpleasant things don’t happen to children.
We read and hear about such things all the time.
And telling slutty and her fellow-worriers not to ‘give in’ implies some sort of weakness - as I said further up the thread, worrying about one’s family certainly comes within the spectrum of normal behaviour imo.
I don’t live near any of my DGCs and in a way that makes it harder - it is certainly not out of sight, out of mind, and it’s easy to imagine, when you don’t have day to day contact as some grandparents do, all sorts of anxiety-provoking scenarios.
The antidote for me is to keep in reasonably close contact via FaceTime, Facebook etc so I have a reasonable idea that they are all ok but it’s not easy!

BlueBelle Sat 03-Mar-18 05:43:14

My daughter is supposed to drive my grandaiughter 30 miles early this morning She’s very very level headed but I know she won’t want to disappoint my granddaughter we are so snowed up cars were crawling yesterday and it’s been worse over night I ve been up and down all night imagining them stuck in snow drifts or worse, I m praying they won’t be going anywhere I know my daughter isn’t foolish I wish I could have more faith in life
I was always a bit of a worrier but probably no more than most now as I get older it overtakes me sometimes
Certainly the world situation and constant bad news doesn’t help
Lemongrove what you say is totally sensible but it’s not so easy to just say whatever will be will be, if you have taught yourself or you have that sort of personality to manage that way it’s truely good for you but not so easy as it sounds for others I felt a bit dismissed by your posts I m sure none of us want to give in to our fears whether theyre real or imaginary I d much rather be laid back and think practically but I m just not made that way