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Understanding Anxiety

We are told that a certain amount of anxiety is good for us, maintaining our adrenaline and spurring us on to achieve. It is when it interferes with our daily functioning that we need to learn to control our thoughts and feelings.


What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a symptom of worrying

Although we may be aware of the triggers for worry, worrying can become a habit until understanding anxiety better, we are unaware we have the power to push away our negative thoughts.

When feelings of anxiety become overwhelming we do not feel in control of our bodily sensations and automatic thoughts.


Bodily Sensations may include:

Thumping chest and palpitations

Hot and sweaty

Blurred vision

Nausea

Dizziness


Behaviour

Distracted from what is going on in the present

Feeling negativity in many situations

Isolating oneself

Mind busy - unable to appreciate just being in the present

Distracted from communication with others

Catastrophizing – thinking worst case scenario


Feelings

Lacking self belief

Feeling uncertain

Indecision

Overwhelmed

Unable to turn the dial down on negative talk in our head

Not in control of emotions

Panicky

Become angry quickly

Agitation caused by a busy mind with an inability to relax


What maintains anxiety?

Distortion of our thought processes, maintaining negativity and overwhelm

Avoidance in facing fears by shutting down emotions


What can I do to reduce anxiety?

Learn to distract yourself from negative thinking

Consider the following questions

What evidence do I have to support my thoughts?

What evidence do I have against my thoughts?

What is the impact of thinking the way I do?

Does it help or prevent me from getting what I want?


Some Healthy strategies

Aspects of Mindfulness such as meditation, deep breathing exercises that focus on being in the present(Apps such as headspace)

Yoga

Walking

Therapy

Positive self-talk

To break the negativity of mental worry and anxiety, it helps to be aware of the impact of our spiralling thoughts feelings and behaviours.

Focus on your wins when you are able to distract yourself from your anxiety and repeat what worked. It takes little time to get into negativity but a lot longer to break a learned habit.

Seeking Help

If you feel your anxiety is taking over your life, it helps to talk to someone:-

Visit your GP

Seek Counselling

Talk to a family member or friend

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