Anxious Feeling, Anxious Thinking
Anxiety is an emotion that everyone experiences at some point in their lives. In appropriate situations anxiety is normal and healthy. It prompts a freeze, flight or fight survival reaction in response to a threat.
Sometimes it can be really difficult to appreciate that these feelings are designed to protect you and keep you safe. A sense of danger or being out of control can lead to a triggering of your internal alerting system to be switched on and remain at a high level for an extended period.
This can leave you with a sense of ongoing dread, vulnerability and inadequacy.
Experiencing the distress of anxiety does not make you weak or worthless. You are experiencing a reaction that impacts and debilitates your physical and mental health.
Importantly you are not alone. Some figures say 15% of the UK population are affected by anxiety. That figure is higher as often people will try to cope on their own and not seek help. Counselling for anxiety provides additional support to help you overcome this limiting life issue.
When anxiety grows in intensity and duration then this can lead to you experiencing a variety of increasingly debilitating reactions. Panic attacks, feeling out of control, inability to cope or handle interactions with others.
It may also impact on sleep patterns, feeling irritable, exhausted and despairing. In turn this will affect how you feel about your self along with your relationship with work colleagues, friends and family
Anxiety may be triggered in response to something specific, generalised or non-determined. Frequently your internal dialogue will be self-defeating, critical and despairing which in itself is distressing.
Fortunately the cycle of anxious feelings and thoughts can be interrupted through anxiety counselling and the use of targetted therapeutic techniques. The more they are checked and challenged the more they are weakened.
It is important to see your GP who may prescribe medication and discount any other medical conditions. Use your support network to provide reassurance and to encourage you to participate in social activities. Also to remind you of your positive attributes, skills and resources.
The adrenaline your body produces may lead you to carry out activities at a faster pace and feel skittish. You maybe sleeping less or more and experience physical pain in the muscles. When a certain threshold is reached then it leaves you feeling mentally and physically exhausted.
To counter this exercise is useful and important so as to utilise the adrenaline, help elevate mood and aid as a distraction.
Take time out be mindful of self, observe your state of being, viewing the anxiety at a distance rather than being overwhelmed by it. Consciously scan your body from the feet up to the head and relax the muscles. Deepen and lengthen the breathing.
Use discreet distraction techniques, examples include putting an elastic band around your wrist and gently stretch it letting it snap against the skin, tapping parts of the body can help too as well as walking and deep breathing. Be active, if at work take breaks, go out at lunch time, do things that engage you.
Releasing the Grip of Anxiety
Take actions and contact me to start therapy to address yours anxiety issues. Together we will examine your history of anxiety, how it has changed over time and look at the patterns. You will be able to express your feelings, fears and doubts in the session so sharing and giving voice to your concerns.
We will focus on the here and now by identifying your feelings and thought processes. This is done by attending to your internal dialogue and determining if it is self-critical, controlling, self-defeating etc.
By exposing the thoughts that reinforce anxiety they can then be countered. Your negative thoughts are not you.
The thoughts and reactions are typically historical in nature and frequently based on the fear of failing, being overwhelmed and out of control. Whilst those limiting thoughts are not true or factual, repeated thousands of time in the background they reinforce and grow the fear.
Challenging those limiting thoughts through here and now observation and replacing with valid positive thoughts the self-image is reappraised and then the activity that triggers the response can be tested, firstly gently and in a safe way.
By using a Transactional Analysis and Cognitive Behavioural approach over time the anxiety response can be interrupted and challenged. In this way therapy for anxiety can reduce and diminish those anxious feelings and thoughts.
In some instances an external stimulus maybe too overwhelming. This could be a busy, hostile workplaces where the demands are too much. In these instances it may be better to look at what you can do to make changes, ie leave and get another job, rather than things being done to you.
Therefore anxiety can be a message to make changes in your life to achieve positive outcomes.
By working with me at my practise New Direction Solutions in southampton we can make a therapeutic alliance so you can lead a more happy and content life.
For additional information visit https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/