Treating Anxiety

What is anxiety?

Many people struggle to control their feelings of anxiety day to day, it can develop into a problem early on in life, or it can become an issue people start to experience in later life. It can grow over time or develop almost instantly after an emotionally upsetting or frightening experience, such as a physical attack or being deeply emotionally hurt. This fear-based issue has become a very common problem and it is seemingly on the increase, it has sometimes been cited as a modern-day mental health epidemic, in some cases it can severely impact a person’s life, and ruin not just their mental health but damage their physical health as well. Anxiety is feeling that is a core part of our survival skills, and it is usually very good at keeping us safe or preparing us for impending danger, when it is doing its job effectively, it helps us by moderating our level of exposure to unsafe actions or experiences, or it motivates us to prepare for future possible threats, such a installing a burglar alarm or buying house insurance. Fear is a reaction to a current, known threat that stimulates our fight or flight response this usually prepares us for imminent danger, but anxiety is only an emotional response, for a possible or future perceived danger, it’s a fictitious fear stemming from our imagination not any actual or immediate danger. An over active anxiety response is triggered by our imagination, and is turned into worrying and anxiety-based nervousness, this imagined threat response will exaggerate the possibility of danger, this disproportionate response when there is no imminent threat, can arouse endless distressing thoughts and stimulate even higher levels of anxiety leading to physical reactions like panic attacks Our internal monitor or subconscious tends to remember our past fearful experiences, and saves it as a kind pattern, if we find ourselves facing a similar probable set of circumstances, it identifies a conceivable matching pattern , and our subconscious recognises a possibility of a threat and the anxiety it transmits warns us by making us feel anxious and alerts us to the possibility. So, when we feel anxious, the anxiety we feel is helping us understand the risks and in turn help us to make improved less risky choices, and keep us away from harmful situations. This fear response can also be activated in what we see as embarrassing social settings, or emotionally unpleasant experiences and situations, that could diminish your social or economic standing in society

Physical conditions that can lead to elevated anxiety

Before seeking therapy for any anxiety disorder, it is always a good idea to see your Doctor to rule out any possible physical reasons for your anxiety, some medical conditions that can affect your emotional stability are such medical problems such as Endocrine disease hyperthyroidism some heart problems and also some side effects of medications can lead to psychological changes. If there is no known physical reason associated with your anxiety issues, then the next stage is a diagnosis and possible medical and psychological treatment options, or a referral to a psychologist or psychiatrist. Physical problems that can be linked to anxiety may include: Cardiovascular disease Diabetes type 1 and type 2 hyperthyroidism A number of respiratory illnesses, such as emphysema, asthma and obstructive pulmonary disease Drug or alcohol addiction Prescribed medications (IBS) irritable bowel syndrome Brain tumours Constant physical pain Hyperthyroidism Endocrine disease

How do people develop problems with anxiety

One thing to keep in mind is that people can be similar to each other in some ways, and yet very different in others, why that is important to remember is that when life challenges us humans, different people will react and be affected by life experiences in different ways. For instance one person who experiences an upsetting traumatic event, may take a little bit of time to adjust emotionally and then get on with life with no major detrimental after affects, and yet, someone else facing the same traumatic event could be left struggling to cope with everyday tasks for years, until they eventually recover, a different person may never fully recover, and be plagued by constant anxiety issues or other mental health problems like depression. People are not weaker minded or inferior beings, if they develop mental health problems after a traumatic event, or prolonged exposure to long periods of high stressed situations like bullying or working in a stressful environment, no one really knows how they would cope until they experience them themselves. Developing problems with anxiety disorders can happen in childhood or later on in life, for instance children’s anxiety responses can be partly learned from parents or other influential adults who also have difficulties dealing with their anxiety. When parents show symptoms of anxiety, like panic attacks or becoming tense or upset about normal everyday life events, the child recognises the distress and can themselves become distressed, they may not show it, but it is still being processed internally, in time the child can also learn to be anxious in similar situations or develop a heightened sensitivity to being anxious. Over protective parents can over exaggerate the dangers in the world and make the child nervous and insecure, this can in time can develop into higher levels of anxiety. At any age experiencing traumatic events such as being physically, sexually, or emotionally abused, will often affect a person’s confidence, by lowering their self-esteem and ability to stand up for themselves, they can lose confidence in their abilities, and become very anxious and insecure in time, even to the point of become self-criticising and self-demeaning, in severe cases they can develop serious self-hate issues and feel suicidal. That’s just a few examples of how life can affect people in ways that damages them emotionally, as always its complex.

Common Anxiety Symptoms

How people respond to feelings of anxiety can be complex and vary from person to person, and the symptoms that are displayed may be expressed differently, although they will generally have a common theme. Not only does Anxiety effect people psychologically, but it also triggers physical symptoms, in some cases felt as hot or cold sweats or tightness in the chest, a dry mouth and shaking, or as a combination of other types of physical reactions. Symptoms expressed physically Excessive sweating Elevated or racing heart rate Tightness in the throat and dry mouth Shaking of hands, arms, legs, whole body Stomach pains and cramps Fatigued and constantly tired Headaches, dizziness and fainting Nausea and sickness Increased urination and loose stools Symptoms expressed emotionally Over thinking and constant worrying thoughts Inability to focus or concentrate Feelings of impending doom Feeling irritable and panicky Unable rest effectively or sleep Loss of appetite Unable to make choices Feeling an urge to run away from normal situations Feeling dissociated and detached from everything around you, as if you were watching a film without the emotional connection or physical presence Feeling helpless or lost

Anxiety-driven responses

Any anxious thoughts that raise your level of concern to a point that effects how you emotionally react, is considered to be an anxiety driven response, this response is quite typical, and almost everyone feels high levels of stress and anxiety from time to time in life. There is an important consideration to remember about feelings of anxiety, if they are relevant to your situation, for instance before someone gets married there may be some expected increased levels of anxiety, after all it is a huge decision to make about their future life. Most people will understand feeling anxious at this time as being a normal reaction to the circumstances around such an important event. However, if there are valid hidden concerns such as an increasing lack of trust in the partner, or unresolved issues with the partners past actions, or uncertainty about the future of the relationship, the person will probably start to feel elevated levels of anxiety as the wedding day approaches. Trying to ignore these anxious feelings will be going against the alarm razed by your subconscious and may lead to further amplified anxiety responses and feelings of helplessness, and in some cases even lead to emotional difficulties , cumulating in variety of possible changes of behaviour, such as fluctuating moods, panic attacks low moods and a possible constant level of irritation with everyone around amongst other possible behaviours. Trying to ignore these valid concerns and anxious feelings will be going against the alarm razed by your subconscious, and may lead to further amplified anxiety responses and feelings of helplessness, and in some cases cumulating in variety of possible changes to their behaviour, such as fluctuating moods, panic attacks low moods and a possible constant level of irritation with everyone around, everyone is different so the reactions will fluctuate form person to person. If the high feelings of anxiety are groundless and not actually based on any realistic justification or fears, it becomes an overreaction to the situation, in all probability the persons own insecurities are secretly fuelling the uncertainty and worry, actively over producing the anxiety response. When the anxiety becomes over-active, just like an over-active imagination, it can start to work against you instead of helping you, There often a complication with an over active anxiety response, the fear driven response becomes a symptom that is often highlighting a deeper emotional conflict, in the example of the wedding scenario, it could just be the feelings of anxiety amplifying the persons insecurities and highlighting a possible fear of commitment, or the situation is activating another unresolved emotional. therapy can often help people discover what hidden insecurities or experiences are causing their thoughts and feelings to over exaggerate the anxiety they feel. Examples of known anxiety disorders are: Generalised Anxiety Disorder Social Anxiety Disorder Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD)

Problems living with anxiety

If anxiety was so simple to treat, we could cure it effectively by now and no one would have this problem to deal with, but unfortunately the truth is that many people in this world do struggle with constant anxiety issues. Unfortunately In some cases, anxiety issues like social anxiety disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) does not always respond well to therapeutic intervention and medication, this can be due to a number of complex internal forces that maybe involved but remain unresolved or hidden and undiscovered, unfortunately in that case it is often more about managing the anxiety rather than resolving it. In the long term, high levels of anxiety can in some cases lead to physical health problems, such as bowel issues like IBS or high blood pressure and abnormal heart rhythms, it can also increase the mental health risks such as developing major depression or addiction, so continuing to address anxiety issues should be considered a high priority. Working as a therapist I know that it is possible with therapy for clients who have been living with anxiety issues for many years, to eventually make good progress and decrease their levels of anxiety, so if you have been struggling with anxiety issues for a long time it is worth trying, especially with therapy meditation and mindfulness.

You may need therapy for your anxiety if:

Your feelings of nervousness are a constant everyday problem Your mind is constantly overacting and worrying over nothing You stay away from normal everyday situations because you feel uneasy Your often worried and feel anxious and powerless to change how you feel You frequently experience panic attacks or fearful reactions to normal events It’s getting harder to be happy or relaxed and its effecting your life more and more You feel nervous and start to withdraw from your normal social groups. You start to lose confidence and feel unable to do what you would normally do

Facing reality is better than avoiding it

Another important consideration is being truthful, it is no good someone telling you after you have had a very bad car accident, and feeling uneasy about driving again, that there is no need for you to worry, and everything will be okay from now on. Even if you want it to be true and try to just believe it, deep down you know it’s not true, and that knowledge will make you feel anxious which is an normal reaction when trying to avoid the reality. But, if someone comes from a place of truth, and tells you that although it is possible to have another serious accident, it is statistically unlikely, and draw on the fact that as a driver you have more wisdom after the accident, to help you avoid another similar event from happening in the future, that will probably be a better way of dealing with tackling the underlying feelings of anxiety, rather than trying to tell someone everything is OK when it is not. I find that it is often more productive to re-enforce a positive outlook with a foundation of truth, after a negative experience, than just looking to ignore the facts.

The architect of your anxiety response’s

Our imagination is probably a significant factor in human evolution, without it, humans would probably still be living in caves, all the remarkable advances in the sciences and arts have been made possible by people using their imaginations to solve problems and create ideas and dreams. Our imagination can impact on any part of our life, from sexual arousal and confidence to relationships and feelings of anxiety. Even our physical abilities can be either enhanced or reduced just by how we think and feel. Have you ever been scared of the dark or frightened by a film or book? Alternatively, been worried when your child is late home, then you can start to understand the power the imagination has to influence our thoughts and emotions and ultimately how we live life. With help from therapy such as psychotherapy/counselling or hypnotherapy, it is possible to influence the way you utilise your imagination, or how your thoughts and feeling affect your life. We generate images and thoughts automatically within our minds, it is a constant process we cannot stop, even when we sleep our mind is still working developing dreams and going about other tasks. If we try not to think of something, doing so can have the opposite effect. If I ask you not to think of a blue balloon, as soon you read the words blue balloon, your mind has provided you with the impression in your mind of a blue balloon, so if you had a fear of blue balloons your anxiety level would go up slightly, talk about spiders to someone who has a phobia of spiders and they will usually feel an emotional response and feel uneasy. So anxiety is not just a silly response, but a complicated effect of several thought processes that include the imagination, our memory, and any personal experience of being afraid, it also has a welcome positive influence that helps keep us safe, anxiety often stops us from doing actions that could put us in danger, like driving too fast or crossing the road without looking. So, you could say that there is good anxiety, as well as bad, good anxiety, helps keep us safe while a bad overprotective anxiety response, could place limitations on a person’s ability to live life. So in conclusion, anxiety is important to us, and is often a positive and very helpful addition to our lives, it usually works very well at keeping us safe, by creating uncomfortable feelings that can bring our attention to focus on any possible imminent threats or make plans for facing possible future concerns, that’s probably why people buy insurance, to offset some anxiety regarding future uncertainties.

Trying to solve the anxiety puzzle?

Problems with Anxious feelings One of the things that can work against you when trying to reduce your levels of anxiety is an unrealistic expectation; most people feel anxious in certain situations, so feeling anxious is normal, but if you think you should not be feeling hardly any anxiety, or think a normal amount of anxiety is actually an unrealistic level, then every time you do feel anxious you will think you are failing to make progress. people are often puzzled when trying to work out what is a normal level of anxiety to feel, the problem is trying to define normal is almost impossible, how do you calculate it, who or how many people do you use to measure from, and how do you quantify the results in a meaningful way. Having unrealistic expectations regarding your levels of anxiety, or what progress is expected over a certain time period can in some cases actually reduce the prospects of success, and even make matter worse. Often when the unrealistic improvement does not materialise, they can feel like failures or worthless and make progress even harder, In that scenario therapy can be very helpful by challenging their beliefs and expectations, allowing actual progress to be recognised, helping confidence to grow and personal development to be continued How much anxiety should we be feeling at any given time? What does a reasonable level of anxiety actually feel like? What’s normal?

Reducing your Anxiety

Somewhere on this page it is possible to find a way of allowing you to feel calmer and for a short time you will find some relief from anxiety, by implementing these suggestions every week, you can reduce the long-term effects of stress and anxiety on your life. There are more in-depth explanations that will explain in more detail the psychological and physiological state and the Cognitive & Behavioural Elements of anxiety, but I hope this short and simple explanation has given you some idea about your anxiety. There are some ways below to help yourself control stress and anxiety, using the simple methods included here will usually help.

Meditation helps people treat anxiety

Meditation has been used for thousands of years, and it has been proved to work to lower anxiety and stress, it can also lead to more profound long-lasting internal changes that for many people over time provide them with new personal insights, it will also allow them to rest and heal physically. (YouTube is providing many quality meditation instructions for free) The good news is you do not have to sit cross-legged or chant and learn complex, in-depth techniques for it to be effective, almost anyone can do it, very often in a way that is right for them.

If relaxation is good for us why can it be so hard to relax?

Working as a therapist, I often encourage the use of meditation to clients so they can benefit from the reduced stress and anxiety that people often sense in their life, when people regularly use meditation there is usually more value to it other than just feeling a sense of relaxation. The use of meditation can affect many areas of our thinking mind and our physical self; it is an excellent way to help find relief from stress and anxiety. by allowing the mind and body to rest and recover with meditation, it can be very worthwhile to do but it take practice and some commitment from to give it the time to be able to help you as well as it can. There are many ways to do meditation, and it can be as simple as sitting or lying down and just counting and breathing, it can be more complex and involve sitting with crossed legs and saying a mantra, I always think that whatever works will do, and everyone is different so the best method to use will be very different from person to person. There are many free examples of guided meditation on YouTube and free videos teaching methods of meditation, there is a very large repository of youtube and there are many free examples worth tryout to see what works for you. Hypnotherapy is another excellent way to relax, and again there are hypnosis relaxation videos and mp3 files available to use online. Meditation is helpful for stress and anxiety Reduced stress Reduced anxiety Reduced digestive problems Reduced high blood pressure problems. Increases self-awareness.

A cautionary note about meditation

With any deep relaxation, including hypnotherapy there is a possibility, that some people can have an adverse reaction, especially if you have PTSD, or have suppressed emotions, or repressed emotional experiences. The results can be diverse in its intensity, it may just feel slightly uncomfortable to the person, or they may become extremely upset seemingly for no apparent reason, or start experiencing overwhelming negative emotions, If your mood has changed after meditation for the worse, or you cannot face trying to meditate or relax again, it is best to seek some guidance or therapy to help uncover the reasons rather than just ignore it.

Breathing exercises for anxiety

Breathing is essential to us, and the way we breathe can have an effect on how we think and feel, if you sit down close your eyes and take four deep slow breaths you will feel more relaxed. You can also use ways of breathing to influence how you think and help calm you in situations that may trigger anxiety. How to breathe correctly is essential.

Exercise is good for anxious feelings

The good news is that there is no need to join a gym, and you can find many ways to find physical activities to help you exercise. Sometimes it’s just about being more active, so going dancing or walking, swimming and any sport will help you keep fit. Instructional DVD’S about how to exercise is also helpful. Exercise helps reduce stress by using up the body's natural chemicals to help you feel good naturally.

Reduce caffeine

Some people find that caffeine can make them feel restless or fidgety, if it affects you that way, you may want to reduce or stop drinking high caffeine drinks such as coffee or cola and even tea, and high energy drinks are also usually high in caffeine. Caffeine in some people reduces the ability to rest, hinders sleep and keeps the mind working, yes it can help you keep going, but at a cost, nothing wrong with having the odd drink but people who are suffering from anxiety or stress tend to overdo the amount they drink, try to count how many high caffeine drinks you have a day. High doses of caffeine can cause anxiety, dizziness, headaches, and anxiety, It is considered that taking 200-300 mg of caffeine a day to be a safe amount for adults. However, some people can become dependent on as little as 100 mg of caffeine a day. It could mean that it is possible to develop withdrawal symptoms and experience symptoms like tiredness, irritability, and headaches if they stop all caffeine suddenly. You may think your caffeine intake is low but it can be added to medications and supplements, and some foods, so you may not be fully aware how much you really ingest in a day,try looking at the ingredients in over the counter pain medication and energy drinks and see the amounts included, you may be surprised. The old saying you are what you eat is true in many ways, by cutting out processed foods and eating your five a day fresh vegetables and fruit you will help your body find the energy and minerals it needs, by eating healthy food you are going to be healthier physically and mentally.
Anxiety image showing man in isolation
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woman with anxiety issues

Treating Anxiety

What is anxiety?

Many people struggle to control their feelings of anxiety day to day, it can develop into a problem early on in life, or it can become an issue people start to experience in later life. It can grow over time or develop almost instantly after an emotionally upsetting or frightening experience, such as a physical attack or being deeply emotionally hurt. This fear-based issue has become a very common problem and it is seemingly on the increase, it has sometimes been cited as a modern-day mental health epidemic, in some cases it can severely impact a person’s life, and ruin not just their mental health but damage their physical health as well. Anxiety is feeling that is a core part of our survival skills, and it is usually very good at keeping us safe or preparing us for impending danger, when it is doing its job effectively, it helps us by moderating our level of exposure to unsafe actions or experiences, or it motivates us to prepare for future possible threats, such a installing a burglar alarm or buying house insurance. Fear is a reaction to a current, known threat that stimulates our fight or flight response this usually prepares us for imminent danger, but anxiety is only an emotional response, for a possible or future perceived danger, it’s a fictitious fear stemming from our imagination not any actual or immediate danger. An over active anxiety response is triggered by our imagination, and is turned into worrying and anxiety-based nervousness, this imagined threat response will exaggerate the possibility of danger, this disproportionate response when there is no imminent threat, can arouse endless distressing thoughts and stimulate even higher levels of anxiety leading to physical reactions like panic attacks Our internal monitor or subconscious tends to remember our past fearful experiences, and saves it as a kind pattern, if we find ourselves facing a similar probable set of circumstances, it identifies a conceivable matching pattern , and our subconscious recognises a possibility of a threat and the anxiety it transmits warns us by making us feel anxious and alerts us to the possibility. So, when we feel anxious, the anxiety we feel is helping us understand the risks and in turn help us to make improved less risky choices, and keep us away from harmful situations. This fear response can also be activated in what we see as embarrassing social settings, or emotionally unpleasant experiences and situations, that could diminish your social or economic standing in society

Physical conditions that can

lead to elevated anxiety

Before seeking therapy for any anxiety disorder, it is always a good idea to see your Doctor to rule out any possible physical reasons for your anxiety, some medical conditions that can affect your emotional stability are such medical problems such as Endocrine disease hyperthyroidism some heart problems and also some side effects of medications can lead to psychological changes. If there is no known physical reason associated with your anxiety issues, then the next stage is a diagnosis and possible medical and psychological treatment options, or a referral to a psychologist or psychiatrist. Physical problems that can be linked to anxiety may include: Cardiovascular disease Diabetes type 1 and type 2 hyperthyroidism A number of respiratory illnesses, such as emphysema, asthma and obstructive pulmonary disease Drug or alcohol addiction Prescribed medications (IBS) irritable bowel syndrome Brain tumours Constant physical pain Hyperthyroidism Endocrine disease

How do people develop prob-

lems with anxiety

One thing to keep in mind is that people can be similar to each other in some ways, and yet very different in others, why that is important to remember is that when life challenges us humans, different people will react and be affected by life experiences in different ways. For instance one person who experiences an upsetting traumatic event, may take a little bit of time to adjust emotionally and then get on with life with no major detrimental after affects, and yet, someone else facing the same traumatic event could be left struggling to cope with everyday tasks for years, until they eventually recover, a different person may never fully recover, and be plagued by constant anxiety issues or other mental health problems like depression. People are not weaker minded or inferior beings, if they develop mental health problems after a traumatic event, or prolonged exposure to long periods of high stressed situations like bullying or working in a stressful environment, no one really knows how they would cope until they experience them themselves. Developing problems with anxiety disorders can happen in childhood or later on in life, for instance children’s anxiety responses can be partly learned from parents or other influential adults who also have difficulties dealing with their anxiety. When parents show symptoms of anxiety, like panic attacks or becoming tense or upset about normal everyday life events, the child recognises the distress and can themselves become distressed, they may not show it, but it is still being processed internally, in time the child can also learn to be anxious in similar situations or develop a heightened sensitivity to being anxious. Over protective parents can over exaggerate the dangers in the world and make the child nervous and insecure, this can in time can develop into higher levels of anxiety. At any age experiencing traumatic events such as being physically, sexually, or emotionally abused, will often affect a person’s confidence, by lowering their self- esteem and ability to stand up for themselves, they can lose confidence in their abilities, and become very anxious and insecure in time, even to the point of become self-criticising and self-demeaning, in severe cases they can develop serious self-hate issues and feel suicidal. That’s just a few examples of how life can affect people in ways that damages them emotionally, as always its complex.

Common Anxiety Symptoms

How people respond to feelings of anxiety can be complex and vary from person to person, and the symptoms that are displayed may be expressed differently, although they will generally have a common theme. Not only does Anxiety effect people psychologically, but it also triggers physical symptoms, in some cases felt as hot or cold sweats or tightness in the chest, a dry mouth and shaking, or as a combination of other types of physical reactions. Symptoms expressed physically Excessive sweating Elevated or racing heart rate Tightness in the throat and dry mouth Shaking of hands, arms, legs, whole body Stomach pains and cramps Fatigued and constantly tired Headaches, dizziness and fainting Nausea and sickness Increased urination and loose stools Symptoms expressed emotionally Over thinking and constant worrying thoughts Inability to focus or concentrate Feelings of impending doom Feeling irritable and panicky Unable rest effectively or sleep Loss of appetite Unable to make choices Feeling an urge to run away from normal situations Feeling dissociated and detached from everything around you, as if you were watching a film without the emotional connection or physical presence Feeling helpless or lost

Anxiety-driven responses

Any anxious thoughts that raise your level of concern to a point that effects how you emotionally react, is considered to be an anxiety driven response, this response is quite typical, and almost everyone feels high levels of stress and anxiety from time to time in life. There is an important consideration to remember about feelings of anxiety, if they are relevant to your situation, for instance before someone gets married there may be some expected increased levels of anxiety, after all it is a huge decision to make about their future life. Most people will understand feeling anxious at this time as being a normal reaction to the circumstances around such an important event. However, if there are valid hidden concerns such as an increasing lack of trust in the partner, or unresolved issues with the partners past actions, or uncertainty about the future of the relationship, the person will probably start to feel elevated levels of anxiety as the wedding day approaches. Trying to ignore these anxious feelings will be going against the alarm razed by your subconscious and may lead to further amplified anxiety responses and feelings of helplessness, and in some cases even lead to emotional difficulties , cumulating in variety of possible changes of behaviour, such as fluctuating moods, panic attacks low moods and a possible constant level of irritation with everyone around amongst other possible behaviours. Trying to ignore these valid concerns and anxious feelings will be going against the alarm razed by your subconscious, and may lead to further amplified anxiety responses and feelings of helplessness, and in some cases cumulating in variety of possible changes to their behaviour, such as fluctuating moods, panic attacks low moods and a possible constant level of irritation with everyone around, everyone is different so the reactions will fluctuate form person to person. If the high feelings of anxiety are groundless and not actually based on any realistic justification or fears, it becomes an overreaction to the situation, in all probability the persons own insecurities are secretly fuelling the uncertainty and worry, actively over producing the anxiety response. When the anxiety becomes over-active, just like an over-active imagination, it can start to work against you instead of helping you, There often a complication with an over active anxiety response, the fear driven response becomes a symptom that is often highlighting a deeper emotional conflict, in the example of the wedding scenario, it could just be the feelings of anxiety amplifying the persons insecurities and highlighting a possible fear of commitment, or the situation is activating another unresolved emotional. therapy can often help people discover what hidden insecurities or experiences are causing their thoughts and feelings to over exaggerate the anxiety they feel. Examples of known anxiety dis- orders are: Generalised Anxiety Disorder Social Anxiety Disorder Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD)

Problems living with

anxiety

If anxiety was so simple to treat, we could cure it effectively by now and no one would have this problem to deal with, but unfortunately the truth is that many people in this world do struggle with constant anxiety issues. Unfortunately In some cases, anxiety issues like social anxiety disorder or obsessive- compulsive disorder (OCD) does not always respond well to therapeutic intervention and medication, this can be due to a number of complex internal forces that maybe involved but remain unresolved or hidden and undiscovered, unfortunately in that case it is often more about managing the anxiety rather than resolving it. In the long term, high levels of anxiety can in some cases lead to physical health problems, such as bowel issues like IBS or high blood pressure and abnormal heart rhythms, it can also increase the mental health risks such as developing major depression or addiction, so continuing to address anxiety issues should be considered a high priority. Working as a therapist I know that it is possible with therapy for clients who have been living with anxiety issues for many years, to eventually make good progress and decrease their levels of anxiety, so if you have been struggling with anxiety issues for a long time it is worth trying, especially with therapy meditation and mindfulness.

You may need therapy for

your anxiety if:

Your feelings of nervousness are a constant everyday problem Your mind is constantly overacting and worrying over nothing You stay away from normal everyday situations because you feel uneasy Your often worried and feel anxious and powerless to change how you feel You frequently experience panic attacks or fearful reactions to normal events It’s getting harder to be happy or relaxed and its effecting your life more and more You feel nervous and start to withdraw from your normal social groups. You start to lose confidence and feel unable to do what you would normally do

Facing reality is better

than avoiding it

Another important consideration is being truthful, it is no good someone telling you after you have had a very bad car accident, and feeling uneasy about driving again, that there is no need for you to worry, and everything will be okay from now on. Even if you want it to be true and try to just believe it, deep down you know it’s not true, and that knowledge will make you feel anxious which is an normal reaction when trying to avoid the reality. But, if someone comes from a place of truth, and tells you that although it is possible to have another serious accident, it is statistically unlikely, and draw on the fact that as a driver you have more wisdom after the accident, to help you avoid another similar event from happening in the future, that will probably be a better way of dealing with tackling the underlying feelings of anxiety, rather than trying to tell someone everything is OK when it is not. I find that it is often more productive to re-enforce a positive outlook with a foundation of truth, after a negative experience, than just looking to ignore the facts.

The architect of your

anxiety response’s

Our imagination is probably a significant factor in human evolution, without it, humans would probably still be living in caves, all the remarkable advances in the sciences and arts have been made possible by people using their imaginations to solve problems and create ideas and dreams. Our imagination can impact on any part of our life, from sexual arousal and confidence to relationships and feelings of anxiety. Even our physical abilities can be either enhanced or reduced just by how we think and feel. Have you ever been scared of the dark or frightened by a film or book? Alternatively, been worried when your child is late home, then you can start to understand the power the imagination has to influence our thoughts and emotions and ultimately how we live life. With help from therapy such as psychotherapy/counselling or hypnotherapy, it is possible to influence the way you utilise your imagination, or how your thoughts and feeling affect your life. We generate images and thoughts automatically within our minds, it is a constant process we cannot stop, even when we sleep our mind is still working developing dreams and going about other tasks. If we try not to think of something, doing so can have the opposite effect. If I ask you not to think of a blue balloon, as soon you read the words blue balloon, your mind has provided you with the impression in your mind of a blue balloon, so if you had a fear of blue balloons your anxiety level would go up slightly, talk about spiders to someone who has a phobia of spiders and they will usually feel an emotional response and feel uneasy. So anxiety is not just a silly response, but a complicated effect of several thought processes that include the imagination, our memory, and any personal experience of being afraid, it also has a welcome positive influence that helps keep us safe, anxiety often stops us from doing actions that could put us in danger, like driving too fast or crossing the road without looking. So, you could say that there is good anxiety, as well as bad, good anxiety, helps keep us safe while a bad overprotective anxiety response, could place limitations on a person’s ability to live life. So in conclusion, anxiety is important to us, and is often a positive and very helpful addition to our lives, it usually works very well at keeping us safe, by creating uncomfortable feelings that can bring our attention to focus on any possible imminent threats or make plans for facing possible future concerns, that’s probably why people buy insurance, to offset some anxiety regarding future uncertainties.

Trying to solve the anxi-

ety puzzle?

Problems with Anxious feelings One of the things that can work against you when trying to reduce your levels of anxiety is an unrealistic expectation; most people feel anxious in certain situations, so feeling anxious is normal, but if you think you should not be feeling hardly any anxiety, or think a normal amount of anxiety is actually an unrealistic level, then every time you do feel anxious you will think you are failing to make progress. people are often puzzled when trying to work out what is a normal level of anxiety to feel, the problem is trying to define normal is almost impossible, how do you calculate it, who or how many people do you use to measure from, and how do you quantify the results in a meaningful way. Having unrealistic expectations regarding your levels of anxiety, or what progress is expected over a certain time period can in some cases actually reduce the prospects of success, and even make matter worse. Often when the unrealistic improvement does not materialise, they can feel like failures or worthless and make progress even harder, In that scenario therapy can be very helpful by challenging their beliefs and expectations, allowing actual progress to be recognised, helping confidence to grow and personal development to be continued How much anxiety should we be feeling at any given time? What does a reasonable level of anxiety actually feel like? What’s normal?

Reducing your Anxiety

Somewhere on this page it is possible to find a way of allowing you to feel calmer and for a short time you will find some relief from anxiety, by implementing these suggestions every week, you can reduce the long-term effects of stress and anxiety on your life. There are more in-depth explanations that will explain in more detail the psychological and physiological state and the Cognitive & Behavioural Elements of anxiety, but I hope this short and simple explanation has given you some idea about your anxiety. There are some ways below to help yourself control stress and anxiety, using the simple methods included here will usually help.

Meditation helps people treat

anxiety

Meditation has been used for thousands of years, and it has been proved to work to lower anxiety and stress, it can also lead to more profound long-lasting internal changes that for many people over time provide them with new personal insights, it will also allow them to rest and heal physically. (YouTube is providing many quality meditation instructions for free) The good news is you do not have to sit cross-legged or chant and learn complex, in- depth techniques for it to be effective, almost anyone can do it, very often in a way that is right for them.

If relaxation is good for us

why can it be so hard to

relax?

Working as a therapist, I often encourage the use of meditation to clients so they can benefit from the reduced stress and anxiety that people often sense in their life, when people regularly use meditation there is usually more value to it other than just feeling a sense of relaxation. The use of meditation can affect many areas of our thinking mind and our physical self; it is an excellent way to help find relief from stress and anxiety. by allowing the mind and body to rest and recover with meditation, it can be very worthwhile to do but it take practice and some commitment from to give it the time to be able to help you as well as it can. There are many ways to do meditation, and it can be as simple as sitting or lying down and just counting and breathing, it can be more complex and involve sitting with crossed legs and saying a mantra, I always think that whatever works will do, and everyone is different so the best method to use will be very different from person to person. There are many free examples of guided meditation on YouTube and free videos teaching methods of meditation, there is a very large repository of youtube and there are many free examples worth tryout to see what works for you. Hypnotherapy is another excellent way to relax, and again there are hypnosis relaxation videos and mp3 files available to use online. Meditation is helpful for stress and anxiety Reduced stress Reduced anxiety Reduced digestive problems Reduced high blood pressure problems. Increases self-awareness.

A cautionary note about

meditation

With any deep relaxation, including hypnotherapy there is a possibility, that some people can have an adverse reaction, especially if you have PTSD, or have suppressed emotions, or repressed emotional experiences. The results can be diverse in its intensity, it may just feel slightly uncomfortable to the person, or they may become extremely upset seemingly for no apparent reason, or start experiencing overwhelming negative emotions, If your mood has changed after meditation for the worse, or you cannot face trying to meditate or relax again, it is best to seek some guidance or therapy to help uncover the reasons rather than just ignore it.

Breathing exercises for

anxiety

Breathing is essential to us, and the way we breathe can have an effect on how we think and feel, if you sit down close your eyes and take four deep slow breaths you will feel more relaxed. You can also use ways of breathing to influence how you think and help calm you in situations that may trigger anxiety. How to breathe correctly is essential.

Exercise is good for anxious

feelings

The good news is that there is no need to join a gym, and you can find many ways to find physical activities to help you exercise. Sometimes it’s just about being more active, so going dancing or walking, swimming and any sport will help you keep fit. Instructional DVD’S about how to exercise is also helpful. Exercise helps reduce stress by using up the body's natural chemicals to help you feel good naturally.

Reduce caffeine

Some people find that caffeine can make them feel restless or fidgety, if it affects you that way, you may want to reduce or stop drinking high caffeine drinks such as coffee or cola and even tea, and high energy drinks are also usually high in caffeine. Caffeine in some people reduces the ability to rest, hinders sleep and keeps the mind working, yes it can help you keep going, but at a cost, nothing wrong with having the odd drink but people who are suffering from anxiety or stress tend to overdo the amount they drink, try to count how many high caffeine drinks you have a day. High doses of caffeine can cause anxiety, dizziness, headaches, and anxiety, It is considered that taking 200-300 mg of caffeine a day to be a safe amount for adults. However, some people can become dependent on as little as 100 mg of caffeine a day. It could mean that it is possible to develop withdrawal symptoms and experience symptoms like tiredness, irritability, and headaches if they stop all caffeine suddenly. You may think your caffeine intake is low but it can be added to medications and supplements, and some foods, so you may not be fully aware how much you really ingest in a day,try looking at the ingredients in over the counter pain medication and energy drinks and see the amounts included, you may be surprised. The old saying you are what you eat is true in many ways, by cutting out processed foods and eating your five a day fresh vegetables and fruit you will help your body find the energy and minerals it needs, by eating healthy food you are going to be healthier physically and mentally.
Online Therapy Services                                             Changing Lives  Adrian Yates 2011 Online Therapy Services