What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is the body's natural response to danger; an automatic alarm that goes off whenever we feel threatened, under pressure, or are facing a stressful situation. In moderation, anxiety is not always a bad thing. It can help us to stay alert and focused, spur us into action, and motivate us to solve problems. However, if anxiety is constant or overwhelming, interferes with our relationships and activities, or stops us from functioning, it becomes unhealthy.
Unhealthy Symptoms of Anxiety
The symptoms of anxiety vary in each individual and can depend on the type of anxiety and disturbance that is experienced. These include generalised anxiety, social anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and acute reaction to stress.
- Are you constantly tense, worried, or on edge?
- Does anxiety interfere with your work, school or family responsibilities?
- Are you plagued by fears that you know are irrational, but can't shake off?
- Do you believe that something bad will happen if you act in a certain way?
- Do you avoid everyday situations or activities because they cause you anxiety?
- Do you experience sudden, unexpected attacks of heart-pounding panic?
- Do you feel like danger and catastrophe are around every corner?
Emotional symptoms of anxiety
Feeling of apprehension or dread
Feeling tense and jumpy
Anticipating the worst
Watching for signs of danger
Feeling like your mind has gone blank
COmmon Physical Symptoms of anxiety
Stomach upsets / dizziness / frequent urination or diarrhoea
Shortness of breath
Tremors and twitches
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How Counselling Can Help With Anxiety
Based on my professional experience and research, the most effective way to reduce anxiety is through a combination of self-information and personal counselling. The aims of counselling are to:
- Achieve a lifetime change, as opposed to other recovery strategies which may be only temporary
- Facilitate the discovery of any underlying issues from the past or present
- Explore how your anxieties have developed
- Create awareness, enabling you to define and reframe your most common anxieties
- Learn to understand yourself and your anxieties, enabling you to rationalise them
- Understand your limits and triggers
- Help you to manage your life better by managing your needs
- Confront and tolerate your fears
- Understand the effects of anxiety on your personal life and self-esteem
- Gain a different perspective on your anxieties and change your thoughts and behaviour
- Learn to lead a healthier lifestyle and live a fuller life