What is it and what can we do about it?
More and more people are reporting anxiety and many are suffering in silence. Many are also suffering in ignorance, unaware that at the root of their problem lies anxiety and that recognising and attending to it is the single most helpful and healing thing they can do. It can help us to feel better, both physically (anxiety dis-regulation is implicated in a whole host of physical conditions) and mentally, and helps to regain control over the lives that are currently blighted by this insidious affliction.
The key to understanding anxiety is knowing that it arises, not from what is happening outside of us but from what is being triggered within us. When something we don’t like happens to us we respond internally and automatically, with feelings, thoughts, impulses... If these responses make us feel uncomfortable or afraid then we automatically become anxious about them and go on to take some sort of action to stop ourselves feeling anxious. Our nervous system is so efficient that it takes care of this in milliseconds and outside of our conscious control. If what we do to soothe, or alleviate our anxiety is harmful to us (self harm, alcohol, drugs...) then we compound our difficulties and get caught in a vicious circle. We, unknowingly, develop unhealthy habits which keep us in pain. It does not have to be this way.
Identifying, understanding and working directly to change our unhealthy habits whilst identifying, honouring and building upon our healthy ones (we have these too) brings about relief and healing from this painful suffering and helps us to regain hope for the future.
Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.
About Joan Doherty
I am an integrative psychotherapist, specialising in ISTDP.
ISTDP is an evidence based, psychotherapy, effective for a broad spectrum of emotional difficulties, including chronic anxiety and depression.
I offer ISTDP ‘trial therapy’ where you can experience the effectiveness of this approach, learn to manage and gain mastery over your anxiety.