Do you worry a lot?
Is it hard for you to switch off, relax or sleep?
Do you often feel nervous or fearful?
These are the classic symptoms of anxiety – we have all felt anxious before and it is a natural feeling in certain situations. However, there are different levels of anxiety, and if it becomes severe, then it can have a massive impact on your quality of life.
It can affect your:
Heart – your heart may race or you may have palpitations
Breathing – your breathing may become shallow or you could hyperventilate
Muscles – your muscles may feel tense, fatigued and shaky
Head – you could feel dizzy or feel a band of tension around your head
Bladder – you may need to use the toilet more often
You may also feel nauseous and have a dry mouth, experience tingling in your hands and feet, have an overwhelming sense of fear, have a tightness around your chest and perspire more or have hot flushes.
If these symptoms are familiar, or you feel like anxiety is controlling you, then perhaps it’s time to talk to a professional. You don’t have to avoid situations or people, simply because you think you won’t be able to cope. There are successful techniques that we can use to help you regain your confidence, deal with your anxieties and reclaim control of your life.
Get in touch today to see just how Life 4 Living Therapy can help you.
Anxiety can feel unique to each individual and the severity experienced will vary from one person to the next. This is because anxiety in its various guises – social anxiety, phobias, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and panic attacks, all come from being in a state of heightened awareness. Our mind, which is designed to look for problems or danger, retrieves information from our environment through our senses (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touch) and this information is processed incredibly quickly to create the desired response.
Survival is the primary job of our brain, and particularly the Reptilian Coping Brain. Coping is the ability to both protect ourself from outside threats, and adjust or adapt to life changes and challenges. Because Reptilian Brain Coping functions help to keep us alive, we are all born with an instinctive or automatic survival coping behaviour.
Because it is an automatic response, we don’t even need to think before we act to protect ourself when we feel threatened or injured. If you find yourself in a new situation and you don’t know what to do, then the fight, flight or freeze response occurs; your heart rate increases, your palms sweat, your breathing becomes rapid, and muscles tense as adrenaline builds, ready for a surge of activity.
Anxiety can be the causal link to many of the situations that feel unfamiliar – exam stress, taking a driving test, driving on motorways, flying, public speaking, social functions. Once the experience has been reinforced, the thought processes are automatic and our mental planning becomes focused on the “what ifs” of a situation instead of the “what could be”. The thought processes feel overwhelming, and the feeling of being able to cope evaporates to the point where it feels safer to avoid, or just to freeze. This merry go round of being on high alert can go on; no wonder anxiety can be extremely tiring and draining.
Targeting the end result
I understand how debilitating severe anxiety can be, and am in a position to really make a difference. I start with an introductory chat, in an environment of trust and safety, to precisely determine your needs and how I can best help you. From this I will devise a personalised programme using a combination of targeted techniques that will help you to gain resilience and confidence, as well as realigning your emotional balance, so that you can live an enriched, productive and positive life.
Throughout the programme, I will help you to gain more confidence in yourself and learn that anxiety does not have to rule your life. I will also encourage you to become aware of the words that you use when you describe future events or situations – are you “awfulising” them? You will learn some of the techniques I use such as Mindfulness Meditation, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and how to use them if you encounter situations where you become anxious, as well as reminder sheets on questions to work through to help you get back under control.
If you need further support, I can be there to guide you through until you are in a position to fully understand that you are in control of your anxiety and not the other way around.
Please get in touch if you are struggling with anxiety – I know that I can make a difference.