Giving you back control of your anxiety
One definition of anxiety would be a psychological state characterised through emotional, cognitive and behaviour practices where the sufferer experiences severe feelings of fear and concern. Yet this is to miss the real sense of dread that anxiety can bring on.
Most of us will have experienced anxiety at some point in our lives. Perhaps before an exam or before a medical procedure, we may even have experienced very unpleasant feelings of anxiety such as those brought on when in the dentist’s chair. Yet, for most of us the feeling subsides quickly when the stimulus is removed. However for those suffering from anxiety disorders, these concerns, the fear, the sense of impending doom do not disappear and their lives are affected as a result.
Typically suffers describe the hear thumping in the chest, feelings of nausea, being unable to breathe and aches and pains. Often they are unable to identify a specific trigger for these feelings and this can lead to sufferers withdrawing from public places for fear of an attack.
Anxiety is a normal and perfectly sensible body system it is an early warning system preparing us for an emergency or (threatening situation) It increases blood flow, stops the digestive system and so forth. Yet in people with anxiety disorders this system has become over sensitive to the point to which the sufferer sees threats everywhere. A vicious circle of thoughts starts.
My heart is pounding and I have this sense something is going to happen, perhaps I am going to die, their anxiety builds and the body reacts by increasing the symptoms ready for action which causes more anxiety and so on.
However, there is hope, talking therapies and other treatments offer the anxious client ways to control and understand their anxiety, putting them back in control. It is said knowledge is power and this is certainly the case with anxiety, knowing the mechanism that it uses and allow you to intervene and switch off the vicious circle. You learn to use relaxation and breathing to lower the symptoms that are making you anxious. You learn to spot the crisis developing and take steps to change your behaviour or habits relating to the process. All of this helps reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety.
Through talking therapies, you can look at possible triggers for your anxiety, look at your thought processes and how you react to different situations. From there you can choose to change your behaviour related to anxiety. You can also work through particular problems or issues which are making you feel anxious and problem solve to find a solution that will work for you.
So we have seen that while anxiety has unpleasant symptoms and it is difficult to cope, you can with help and work learn to control and then conquer your anxiety.
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About Graeme Orr
I am an Accredited Member of BACP offering counselling for both individuals and couples on the Southside of Glasgow.
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