How does anxiety feel to you?
A grip of fear that holds you balanced on the edge of uncertainty?
Slowly eroding away all pleasure and peace that you once knew?
You may be experiencing anxiety as you read this.
Wanting with every shallow breath that this visit from fear that has taken control of your every move will go back to where it came from.
It’s normal to feel anxious sometimes.
It’s normal to respond to feeling threatened, under pressure or stressed: for example, a life change such as a new stage of life, a change in relationship or a loss of something precious.
Humans were designed to feel anxiety without it, we would be extinct.
The positive side of anxiety
Anxiety can move us forward, help us stay alert, make us aware of risks and motivate us to solve problems. Fundamentally, anxiety is fear, and we feel fear to help us survive and avoid pain.
The negative side of anxiety
However, anxiety can be a problem if it affects your ability to live your life the way you want. If your anxiety is ongoing, intense, hard to control, or out of proportion to your situation, it can be a sign of an underlying issue that needs resolution.
Help is available no matter how long you’ve felt anxious or severe your symptoms. There are many different types of treatment that can help to alleviate unwanted anxiety and fear. This may be in the form of medication through your doctor or starting therapy to understand how you can break free from anxiety.
How to recognize anxiety
Physical symptoms include –
Feeling dizzy or light-headed
Wobbly legs or pins and needles in your hands and feet
Shortness of breath or hyperventilation
Heart palpitations (a noticeably strong, fast heartbeat)
Nausea (feeling sick)
Needing the toilet more or less often
Mental symptoms include –
Feelings of dread
Fearing the worst
Feeling on edge
Consequences can lead to –
Withdrawal from friends and family
Being unable to go to work
Avoid certain places or situations
You may appear to be fine on the outside while still having some of the symptoms listed above. You may have developed ways of coping with your anxiety so that other people don’t notice it, but you feel your life would be so much more enjoyable without these limiting negative feelings.
Ways we may work with anxiety
The most useful way to understand your anxiety is to explore the relationship you have with yourself. Early beliefs and conditional acceptance in early life lay down the subjective criteria for what we find a threat to our perception of tolerable experiences.
When a breakdown in our internal world appears to be happening, our ideas around right or wrong, good and bad, excitement or fear, are being challenged in some way.
There is a high probability that whatever situation, person, thought, or behaviour is creating these unwanted feelings, you are not trusting that your survival is certain.
How and why this is happening may not be completely obvious to you.
Just as we experience physical growing pain in adolescence, the pain of growth can feel intolerable and pointless, without the reward or the goal, we are swept away by the emotion and discomfort.
Knowing yourself and why you are currently being emotionally stripped of normality is important; it is as though you decided to reach out and hold on whilst on a rollercoaster. The pain of holding on to a moving and powerful drive, we learn to surrender, to let go, in the face of fear. To accept the futility of our current situation. Learning not to push away fear but to trust it as our faithful servant who wants us to survive at all costs including the cost of our own personal feelings of comfort.
I am speaking of courage to take on and be supported in creating a new pattern of belief for the betterment of your future self. Having the courage to allow things to fall away and allow change to happen in the safety of a confidential, supportive therapeutic relationship.
Anxiety will be the catalyst to a breakthrough or a breakdown; the difference is the intention and how sage you feel in the process.
We have a natural energy known as thesis, which is our motivating drive to live the life we most value as an ever-evolving person.
Anxiety can be an alarm system to warn us when we go off course – when a relationship is not serving our highest possibility or a career makes us limit who we are.
The opposite of anxiety is a deep trust and knowing, that whatever happens, you’re going to be ok.
Exploring what you want, need, and value is at the very heart of what makes living life worthwhile, in a way you can experience autonomy, spontaneity, and energy.