Is anxiety and stress interfering in your life?
Are you feeling paralyzed by anxiety?
You likely spend a lot of time worrying about what is going to happen and imagine the worst scenarios of suffering and humiliation. Perhaps you find it difficult to take action because you are so focused on what others will think, or what you imagine will happen. These anxious thoughts lead to physical symptoms such as tightness in your chest, tension in your stomach, a racing heartbeat and sweaty hands.
Anxiety and Panic can come up in your life suddenly
Are you feeling confused about why you are experiencing anxiety now? This can happen suddenly often triggered by a present event that brings up anxiety or triggers past experiences that were fearful. It is common for the following experiences to produce anxiety;
- Grief and loss – due to the death of a loved one, separation or the loss of a job.
- Trauma and Threat – assaults, accidents, natural disaster are all examples that leave you feeling unsafe.
- Betrayal – this is one of the hardest experiences to heal from and affects our ability to trust others.
- Childhood abuse and neglect – these experiences leave scars that affect our sense of safety in the world and with others.
- Other problems can arise out of trying to control anxiety such as addictions to substances, work or relationships.
Here is a video Delyse made to on understanding being overwhelmed by anxiety and how Counselling can help. View video.
Sensitivity to Anxiety
We don’t all have the same sensitivity setting when it comes to anxiety. While everyone goes through periods of experiencing high ‘state anxiety’ – feeling fear and worry in a situation that’s scary or worrisome – some people are also high in ‘trait anxiety’, meaning that they are predisposed to worry and ruminate.
Lets take the example of giving a speech in front of a group of people. This is rated the number ! fear people hold and will raise anxiety for almost everyone. (dying is rated number 2). Someone who is not high on trait anxiety is likely to view the event as a challenge rather than a threat. They might use the anxiety as a spur – spend time preparing and rehearsing, or call on some friendly faces to be in the audience, etc.
Someone high in trait anxiety may instead ruminate on the negative predicted outcome (“I’ll make a fool of myself”), find confirmation of that prediction in the physical and emotional consequences that follow that thought, and in turn become more and more convinced that they need to avoid this situation in order to avoid the dreaded outcome.
Anxiety can take many forms
- Panic attacks.
- Generalized anxiety (persistent unfounded feelings of dread and worry).
- A phobia of certain objects or situations.
- Social anxiety (intense fear and discomfort in social contexts).
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (having persistent anxiety following the experience of a traumatic event).
Counselling For Anxiety
Anxiety and worry become constant companions that colour your view of every real and imagined situation and consequently influence what you are and are not willing to do. Anxiety also interferes with your ability to have a positive relationship to yourself. For more information on our approach to therapy read about Somatic Psychotherapy and How Therapy is Transformative
Releasing anxiety involves;
Learning to calm the body's physical responses.
Finding more realistic and soothing ways to talk to yourself about your experiences.
Taking risks to overcome the avoidance of anxiety that paradoxically only increases it.
With the help of a trained and experienced counsellor begin to change your fears into actions.
Here are some books I would recommend on Anxiety to get you started.
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