What is it?

Anxiety is really another name for control and those who are debilitated by it are simply in its control. It is also said the anxiety is the fear of 4 key things – the fear of death, dying, being dead or oblivion. But, its not necessarily death of an individual, it could be the death of a relationship, a career, a business, the death of a desire or an opportunity that has been snatched away before it ever really became real.

However, anxiety is a normal, if unpleasant, part of life, and it can affect us all in different ways and at different times. Whereas stress is something that will come and go as the external factor causing it (at work, in a relationship or experiencing financial problems, etc.) come, and go, anxiety is something that can persist whether or not the cause is completely clear to the sufferer.

Anxiety can make you imagine that things in your life are worse than they really are, and prevent you from confronting your fears. Often, you will find yourself thinking that you are going mad, or that some psychological imbalance is at the core of your troubles. What is important is the recognition that anxiety is normal and exists due to a set of bodily functions that have existed in us from our cave-man days, 650million years ago when all man had to think about was staying alive or procreating to increase the size and strength of the population.

At that time, we were armed with an inner warning system designed to protect us from the perils surrounding us. This system would make us vigilant by proving us with a heightened amount of adrenaline that would increase the heart rate and increase the amount of oxygen going to our limbs so we were able to fight for survival or run from danger. This is known as the “fight or flight” response. The “churning in the stomach” feeling that many associate with anxiety is this mechanism striking, but instead of being used to avoid proximate danger, it is often unintentionally and improperly activated in a person during normal, everyday situations when stress has built up, often inadvertently.

Some people have a very particular cause for their anxiety; a harrowing incident, receiving unexpected bad news, lots of stressors or have undergone a significant life event (losing their job, moving house, getting divorced, having to deal with a medical issue). However, some people don’t have an identifiable cause for their anxiety and it causes them distress. One way of thinking about your anxiety is to imagine your stress levels as being like a paddling pool full of water. If we keep adding stressors to the pool (even tiny ones like getting somewhere on time, or having to have a difficult conversation with someone), over time the pool fills up until one day it overflows. Anxiety can sometimes seem to come out of the blue with no significant trigger. However, what has happened is that the trigger was just a very small stressor that tipped us over the edge and allowed our pool to overflow. In order to overcome the anxiety, you need a pool with lots of holes in it to reduce your overall stress levels you are experiencing. Each one of these holes could be something positive that you do to manage your anxiety, for example find something you enjoy doing like exercise, reading, listening to music or spending time with friends or family and very often anxiety needs to be dealt with by engaging in some kind of therapeutic intervention, like brain working recursive therapy (BWRT) hypnotherapy, counselling cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), neuro linguistic programming (NLP) or emotional freedom technique (EFT). There are no quick fixes, but I do recommend that you try BWRT. BWRT works in what is known as the cognitive gap, that is the split second that you have to decide to do or not to do or feel something which is going to be harmful and based on false brain messages.


Sandra

Sandra

I am a clinical psychotherapist and I have been helping people for a number of years with their mental health issues. I mostly now specialise in working with people who are suffering from anxiety, stress and mild depression. Although, I have over the years helped people deal with their fears and phobias using a number of psychological tools and techniques I am qualified to deliver. Due to the unprecedented times as a nation, we are facing I have decided that I will be continuing to work with any prospective and established clients both here and worldwide, remotely, at maintaining their positive mental health and wellbeing, whilst at the same time volunteering for Anxiety UK and working with those staff who are working on the frontline of the Covid-19 Pandemic in the NHS.

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