As a Christian I tried to overcome this constant anxiety through singing praise and worship songs.  When I sang I felt peaceful, but the nervous sensation rarely ever went away.  I prayed and prayed that God would take away my restlessness and anxiety.  I asked others to pray for me as well.  I read Scripture and memorized Bible verses pertaining to anxiety.  But despite everything I did, the anxiety would not go away.  I knew that as a Christian this was not the way God wanted me to live.    

In the Fall of 2015 my anxiety was so severe that the doctor ordered me to take a one month break.   During this time all I could do was rest, read, and pray.   A few weeks into the break I was sitting on the patio when I suddenly noticed that I felt peaceful.  Even the restlessness had disappeared.    In that moment of clarity I realized that a large part of my anxiety was due to stress.   Looking back, I was totally blind to my crazy lifestyle.  I was working long hours, finishing a Masters degree, and doing lots of volunteering.  My schedule had practically no down time.  Even the weekends were busy with many activities. 

The anxiety center has coined a term for the type of anxiety and restlessness I experienced:  Stress Response Hyperstimulation (http://www.anxietycentre.com/anxiety-blog/10-signs-body-becoming-overly-stressed/).  Other people might call this Burnout – when you’ve basically “burned out” your health due to constant stress and busyness.

Consequently I began to create breathing space in my overly scheduled life.  I made it a priority to spend a few nights a week at home instead of volunteering or studying.  I incorporated a Sabbath day, which is a complete day of rest into my week.  It took almost a year for me to fully recover but today as long as I continue to balance my life with work and rest the severe anxiety that I used to experience is gone. 

If you are suffering from unrelenting anxiety, like I was, there is hope for you!  Even though there are many different factors that contribute to anxiety, Stress Response Hyperstimulation may be a factor that is affecting you more than you realized.   

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My Journey with Burnout

In the Spring of 2015 I began to experience constant anxiety and restlessness from the moment I woke up to the moment I fell asleep.  It was the same type of anxiety I would get before writing a tough final exam.  My stomach hurt all the time.  My jaw ached from being clenched tight.  Sometimes I even looked like Commissioner Dreyfus from the Pink Panther movies as my left eye twitched uncontrollably.  

My constant anxiety and inability to relax made absolutely no sense to me.