What is Anxiety ?
Anxiety is a feeling we get when our body responds to a frightening or threatening experience. Most commonly known as the flight or fight response and is simply the body preparing for action either to fight danger or run away from it as fast as possible. The purpose of the physical symptoms of anxiety therefore is to prepare the body to cope with threat.
To shed some more light on this, imagine that you think you are being followed. As soon as you are aware of the threat your muscles tense ready for action. Your heart beats faster to carry blood to your muscles and brain, where it is most needed. You breathe faster to provide oxygen which is needed for energy. You sweat to stop your body overheating. Your mouth becomes dry and tummy may have butterflies. When you realise you are not actually being followed, the feelings die away, but you may feel shaky and weak after the experience.
The flight and fight response is a really basic system that goes back to the days of the caveman, and is present in animals that depended on it for survival. Fortunately, nowadays we are not often in such life or death situations, but unfortunately many of the stresses we do face can’t be fought or run away from so the symptoms don’t help.
What causes Anxiety?
There are many reasons why someone becomes anxious
- Some of us have learned to worry and integrated this into our personality
- Others may have stressful life events to cope with. , For example, bereavement, redundancy, or divorce.
- Others may be under pressure at work or home, e.g., family problems, bills.
What keeps Anxiety Going?
Sometimes anxiety can go on, and becomes a lifelong problem. There can be a number of reasons:
- If someone has an anxious personality and is a worrier, then they will probably be in the habit of feeling anxious.
- Sometimes people have on going stresses over a number of years which means they develop the habit of being anxious
- Vicious circle of anxiety – As the bodily symptoms of anxiety can be frightening, unusual and unpleasant, people often react by thinking that there is something physically wrong, or that something is truly awful is going to happen. This in itself causes more symptoms, and so a vicious circle develops.
How can I help?
If you are suffering from high levels and Anxiety and finding that it is affecting your day to day life then research shows that talking therapies work. Talking therapy is for anyone going through a bad time or who has emotional problems and feeling stuck.
Sometimes it is easier to talk to a stranger rather than friends or relatives. During therapy, a trained therapist listens to you and helps you find your own answers to your problems, without judging you.
If you would like more information, please refer to my website.