It’s not hard to see why anxiety has reached epidemic levels: we only need to look at local, national and international news to recognise our political, financial and cultural landscapes are changing in drastic, often bewildering, ways. The ripples of which effect every one of us in some capacity. And ‘news’, which when I was younger my family chose to watch on TV once a day, or through reading a newspaper, is now constantly in our consciousness through the revolutionary impact of social and 24 hour media. Drama has become our norm. It’s as if there is no longer an ‘off’ button.
Layering that over our own family and life concerns, it’s no wonder that anxiety and related mental health issues are now front page news.
But anxiety is not the enemy!
Anxiety is a normal and useful human state, because your brain is alerting and preparing you to face something challenging in the environment. It tells you to be attentive when playing competitive sport, doing an exam, catching a train, or presenting at work, so you think, plan, organise yourself and feel energised to meet the challenge. If we didn’t feel anxious sometimes, we’d most likely not last long in the world, nor reach our potential.
Anxiety only becomes a problem if it is triggered within you too much, when there is no actual environmental challenge or threat to your safety. We lose perspective of what is actually threatening, which can lead to all kinds of mental, emotional and physical issues. The rush of chemicals, like adrenalin, which aims to keep you safe by helping you be hyper vigilant to your surroundings, getting you physically prepared to react, by running away, fighting your way out of danger, freezing or playing dead (fight, flight, freeze or flop) becomes your ‘norm’.
This results in increasingly feeling helpless and losing confidence; we can’t relax and switch off; our capacity for enjoyment is reduced and our sleep can be impaired. We can slide into depression. We can also start to experience the physical impact of too much adrenalin and hormones in our body: feeling tired all the time, lacking concentration and energy, experiencing muscular or digestive issues, being prone to allergies and illnesses as our immunity weakens. Our relationships, social life and work suffer too.
Does any of this sound familiar?
Exploring your anxiety: your reactions, triggers and psychological landscape is a hugely beneficial and self-caring process. This then enables you to work towards change to find your environment-mind-body balance. Your capacity to choose is reignited; your confidence and resilience grows; you can face risks more robustly; you can learn to say ‘no’ appropriately. You can thrive and live fully even in these testing times!
This process can be successfully addressed through the ethically framed, safety and confidentiality of the counselling relationship.
If you have any questions or need any information then please get in touch on 01635 791 301 or visit the contact us page.
The Total Health Team