Anxiety is the mind and body's natural reaction to a threat or danger and is most often referred to as the ‘Fight or Flight' response. When your brain interprets a harmless situation as something dangerous, your body becomes unbalanced and resorts to automatic defence mechanisms, paralysing you and making you more and more vulnerable. When this happens, the body releases hormones such as adrenaline, which in turn results in physiological reactions occurring in the body. Anxiety may lead to depression, fatigue, insomnia, mood swings, stress, migraines, nausea, nervousness, phobias and queasiness.
Anxiety and fear can be normal and healthy emotions and do in fact help us to survive by ensuring that we are responsive and alert to danger. However, many individuals experience these emotions excessively and persistently, and are debilitated by their fear and anxiety. Anxiety may lead to depression if untreated and can may have negative influences on family, work and social functioning. Anxiety disrupts our ability to function, specifically Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Social Phobia.
Anxiety in performance situations like exams and interviews can help us to perform to the best of our ability. In the appropriate situation, elevated levels of anxiety and panic are considered normal and helpful when it helps us to escape from danger. Our problems arise when our response, our anxiety, is out of proportion to the danger of the situation. Anxiety can also be present when there is no danger present. Anxiety is something that all of us experience from time to time, however when anxiety becomes excessive or debilitating it is considered to be an anxiety disorder and can interfere with our eating habits, relationships, routines, school, sleeping patterns and work.
The first thing to do when you feel anxious is to make yourself as comfortable as possible to allow the feeling to pass. To prevent any automatic thoughts that your unconscious may try to deliver;
Visit goals you have achieved - Positive happy feelings are attached to them
Think of positive happy memories - Positive happy feelings are attached to them
Visit positive achievements - Positive happy feelings are attached to them
Build your dream home - Positive happy feelings will be attached
Visit your happiest childhood memories – Positive happy feelings are attached to them
Think of future happy pleasant events - Happy pleasant feelings will be attached to them
Daydream pleasantries - Daydreaming allows your mind to take a break, to go on a mini-vacation. Visit those places that will give you a positive feeling
Visit goals you know you will achieve - Positive happy feelings are attached to them
Anxiety is one of the most common reasons why people seek therapy as it can significantly reduce or eliminate symptoms in a relatively short time. The therapist works with the client in a safe, confidential setting to enable the client to resume regular activities and to regain their sense of control.