Talking about anxiety

When we think about anxiety, we tend to think about it in two ways, either you have it or you don’t. Not everyone realises that we all have anxiety, it stops us from doing silly things like jumping out of a plan without a parachute. 

We all need anxiety in our lives, but when it starts to take over our world and becomes something that stops us doing everyday things, then it’s an issue we need to look at.

When you think of someone who suffers from anxiety, you don’t think of someone like Ryan Reynolds the Deadpool actor. He famously announced on a talk show back in 2018, that he has anxiety, yes, the one that stops you from doing silly things but also the other type, the one that “takes you to the darker end of the spectrum.” Which I think is a great way to describe it.

Anxiety can affect us in lots of different ways. One of them being generalised anxiety - this is where it stops you doing something that you normally don’t mind doing. It’s characterised by excessive, uncontrollable, and irrational worries. 

Social anxiety is when it stops you wanting to be sociable, it’s as simple as that. You don’t want to go out to places, meet friends or new people. You feel like you don’t want to put yourself in any social situation where you must talk to someone. Social anxiety also has irrational thoughts and worries. These are called automatic negative thoughts.

Health anxiety is yet another way of anxious thinking - this is where you think something is wrong with you, health wise. You may go to the doctor for reassurance but then you convince yourself that the doctors got it wrong. This is called catastrophising. An example of this is when you have a headache (just a normal headache) and you convince yourself it’s a brain tumour, not just a headache. The automatic thought pattern is to think the worst-case scenario first, and not to allow the rational side of the brain to counteract that.

Anxiety can strike at any time in your life, and it can seem to do so for any reason. Therapy is a great way of taking back control of these automatic negative thoughts. We can work together to help you move forward and away from anxious thinking.

In my therapy sessions, I will take the time to unpick what has been happening to you in your world, and find out where your anxious thinking has come from, 
what your triggers might be, and how we can start to recognise them.

Therapy is how we can take back control of those anxious thoughts, rather than letting anxiety control them. It can be hard work but, with the right help, it can be overcome.  

If this sounds like you, and your anxious thinking has started to impact on your everyday life, not allowing you to do the everyday things you want to, then maybe now is the time to seek help

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Bournemouth, Dorset, BH6 4EH

Written by Genevieve Smith (MNCS,) Working with Anxiety, low self esteem & Relationships.

Bournemouth, Dorset, BH6 4EH

My name is Gen, and I’m a psychotherapist/counsellor. I write a weekly blog post for my website.

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