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Anxiety is the body and minds natural reaction to treat or danger, often referred to as the ‘Fight or Flight’ response. The body releases hormones such as adrenaline, which results in a number of physiological reactions to happen in the body.
There are loads of different types, including general anxiety, social anxiety, panic disorders & OCD.
It’s normal to experience anxiety from time to time. However when it becomes debilitating it is time to get help.
Some of the common symptoms of anxiety
Have you ever found yourself wishing you just didn’t feel this way, or trying to escape the sensations your anxiety can bring up. Do you acknowledge your anxiety when it strikes? Or do you resist any engagement with it and simply try to survive the sensations or ignore them?
Is it a familiar scenario to let your anxiety dictate your day, a night out or planning holidays or how you would like to live your life?
Have you ever experienced sitting having a coffee with friends but struggling to engage or concentrate as you’re so consumed by anxious feelings or fearful anxious thoughts. Or is it familiar to go to bed at night for your mind to become very active with lots of negative thoughts preventing you from sleeping.
Perhaps your fear is being judged by others, what will they think of me? Will they think I’m weak?
Or perhaps in a moment you have a real fear you are going to die. You may experience a sudden awareness of your breathing. You may have wondered is my breath shallow, is it rapid?
Is it difficult for you to know the difference between excitement and anxiety? Can they sometimes feel similar, like butterflies in your stomach? Does this prevent you from feeling excitement?
Often alcohol is consumed as a way to try and cope with anxiety, but once the alcohol wears off is your anxiety at its peak. Or does alcohol fuel your anxiety?
When we experience anxiety it can be terrifying, so why would we want to befriend something so frightening to us?
When we begin to explore our anxiety in a safe way we can begin to bring it down to size, we can then become bigger than it.
Can you imagine willingly bringing your anxiety on a coffee with you? Asking it what it wants to tell you. Getting to know what it feels like, being able to withstand the sensations.
What do you think your anxiety might be telling you? Could it be saying slow down?
What would your life be like if you were to accept it as being a part of you rather than reject or run from it?
Self Help Tips
Sometimes anxiety can just feel too powerful to manage on our own, it may not feel safe to begin to explore or to even acknowledge.
Psychotherapy can provide a safe, confidential and non-judgemental space to explore your relationship with anxiety, in a safe space you could begin to explore the triggers and responses to your anxiety. Through therapy it’s possible to gain insight into how to move forward in life with anxiety .CBT can also be an effective way to work with anxiety
‘’Every time we choose safety we reinforce fear’’
By Fran Buckley