Feel out of control – stress and anxiety

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    I have been off work for one month now due to stress and anxiety and whilst I thought this time off would help to make me feel better, I feel no improvement. In fact, I am becoming more anxious. I feel out of control of my emotions. I spend a lot of time crying and wonder why I am like this. I can’t make decisions, I keep changing my mind, my mind feels full of chatter and I am finding it hard to ‘still’ my mind. The days pass and I think the time is wasted as I have achieved nothing. I know I am very unhappy at work, and have been for some time, but I can seem to get myself into a place where I can look at what other work I can do. Can anyone give me any advice on how I can move forward?

    Buddhist Wife

    Hello Cindy,

    I’m really sorry to hear what you have been going through. I have an anxiety disorder as well, so I can sympathise with how devastating it can be.

    What, if any, treatment are you receiving at the moment?


    I’m sorry that you have anxiety too. I am not having any medical treatment, and do not want to go down that path. I am trying meditation/mindfulness, which helps, but it feels like I am making very slow progress. Maybe I am expecting too much too soon. But I have never felt like this before so it is really hard for me to know what to do for the best. You are right to say how devastating it can be – I am shocked at how anxious I have become, even over what seems to be the smallest of things. I do feel that this will pass, but I just wish this would happen sooner rather than later.

    Stephanie Lynn

    Cindy you need to wake up, take a deep breath because you can, look out the window feel the beauty of the sun and the aliveness of the earth. Know that right here right now you are exactly who and where you need to be. Take a shower, dress for sucess feel good about yourself.! Make yourself the best cup of coffee youve ever had, drink it with a smile!!! Make your surroundings clean and tiddy, beautiful and shiny!!! Open a window!!! And remember Dont play the victim, you create your life, take responsibility. So look up and look forward because today is a beautiful day 😉

    With Love Stephanie Lynn


    I completely understand what you are going through I have been there and still working my way out, what I have found through reading and expiriance is that taking time out and RESTING/giving yourself a break is really important, which can be really hard when you feel so anxious as doing nothing is the hardest thing to do lol, but lack of giving yourself space and time to relax in the past I think builds up and creates all of this anxiety, so the anxiety is sort of alarming you to slow down in a way.. when I first expirianenced anxiety at that level I couldn’t even write myself a cover letter when applying for jobs, I just simply couldn’t think straight and I felt like I had totally lost my mind, I even spent about an hour deciding what to wear for the day everyday and the tiniest things I couldn’t decide on, so it’s understandable that your not in the mind frame to apply for more work; I also think that not having much to fill out your day gives you more to stress and think about as your not really preoccupied with anything else, so I think it can make anxiety worse in the beginning but I usually make and did make to do lists everyday to ensure I kept myself busy. At the start it didn’t matter what I did though, the anxiety was still the same and sopmetimes still is, like my day just goes before my eye’s and i’m like what did I do and where did the day go?! to the point where it feels like I have stood still while the world passes by, even when I was/am really productive; it always just seems like our day is wasted because we are stuck inside our heads the whole time and we miss every thing that is going on around us. but it takes time.

    Not sure about what you should do, but what I have done myself is take time away from a stressful job (as it was contributing to everything for me) and try your best to look for a job that is a little more low key or at a place you feel comfortable explaining what you are going through. Remove the biggest stressors in your life including work, relationships and environment if it’s possible to do so and take it easy for a short time, do what you want and have a break. That’s what I have done, invloive yourself in things you are interested in aswell, that can really help 🙂

    I believe it’s ok to take a step back sometimes to absorb the noise and craziness and just rest and reflect, doesn’t mean you have to be jobless by the way.. Do things you enjoy and write in a journal about how your feeling and whats going on for you; you get a lot of answers by journaling I have found personally, they say the best time to journal is write before you go to sleep as that is when your sub conscious mind is most active and you end up writing things and thoughts that are right at the back of your mind which could be contributing to your anxiety. I have made many discoveries by journaling.

    Hope that has helped in some way.. 🙂

    hope your feeling well/better x


    Thank you for taking the time to reply. I know you are right in what you say and I know I am fortunate to live in such a beautiful world, yet at times I don’t feel it. I am working hard not to be a victim and know that I can create my own life … and yet, it is so hard. Every morning I wake up and I do feel grateful for my life and my family yet cannot understand why I feel the anxiety and stress I do. I have found a wonderful book called You are here by Thich Nhat Hanh and have been reading and working through it. It is helping. thank you.


    Thanks for the reply. It echoes so accurately what I have been going through. Your advice is very good, and I am adopting much of it already. I do see the beauty in life and am blessed to live very close to beautiful countryside and the sea and have spent time walking and enjoying nature. You are right about wasting time, so I have starting trying to structure my days – just like I would at work. I feel like I am on journey as I am discovering so much about myself – but with this comes uncomfortable feelings around the fear of facing up to the need to make changes in my life if I am to move on. This brings a new anxiety to me and a strange loneliness as I feel I am changing whilst others around me stay the same. I am searching for another job, but like you have experienced, I struggle to fill in job applications and write covering letters. However I do feel more positive than I have for a while, so something must be changing. Thank you for taking the time to reply. Your words have been really helpful and are much appreciated. x


    Be patient with yourself cindy. It takes time to reverse the downwards spiral and get it moving up.

    If you can, I would work on being “in the present” as much as you can. If you are surrounded by nature, this is a great way to start – take a moment just to notice your surroundings. Listen to the wind, the birds, the sea, whatever is just there. Allow yourself to exist simply in that moment, breathe, and fill your thoughts with the natural world around you. The wonderful thing about nature is that it is never still – there is always something to see or listen to/listen for. You will find other thoughts entering your head, and some of them may be anxious thoughts. You can allow them to come, but try just to acknowledge them, without judgement, and then let them go, while you shift your focus back to nature. The more you practise this, the easier it will become, and eventually you may find that simply the act of looking at a tree or taking a step outside has a calming effect on you.

    I would also highly recommend, if you can, considering trying something like yoga or martial arts. A physical activity which takes a ‘mind, body, spirit’ approach can be hugely beneficial for helping to quiet and focus the mind, as well as giving you the physiological benefits that exercise brings (endorphins are a wonderful medicine!) I practise Goju Ryu Karate, which is a traditional (not sport) style, and I find it wonderful for creating balance and focus, and taking away anxiety and stress. After several years of training, even the act of arriving at the Dojo is enough to quiet my mind and calm me!

    Wishing you well,



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