Not only does everyone experience anxiety to some degree at times in their lives...but we actually experience it by design!
This is because anxiety is part and parcel of our life support system that helps to keep us safe, but sometimes the trigger to the system becomes super sensitive and then all sorts of things can set it off.
The first thing we do when working with anxiety is to get to know it better, because the more we know and understand our anxiety then the easier it is to start to change our relationship with it.
Then we can move towards a world where our anxiety is a helper rather than something big and scary that's getting in the way of us living the best version of our lives.
Is the relentlessness of your worry and anxiety getting in the way of you enjoying your life?
Perhaps you've always identified as "a bit of a worrier" but recently something has changed and you're finding that it's getting harder and harder to dismiss those worries, or to put them to the back of your mind; or perhaps this is something which is really new for you and you've never experienced worry before in the way it is showing up for you now, which is really worrying in itself - so then you find that you're worrying about the worrying!
Maybe you're experiencing anxiety in a very physical sense and rather than being bothered by difficult intrusive thoughts, you are finding yourself overwhelmed by symptoms such as knots in your stomach, nausea, sweating, shaking, and breathlessnes. These can seem to come from nowhere and in an instant, leaving you feeling bewildered and scared.
Anxiety comes in lots of different flavours
CBT has been proven to be a very effective treatment for all of them
This is when we worry uncontrollably about many different things, to the point that it starts to interfere in our daily life
This is different to shyness - it is an overwhelming fear of social situations/interactions which can lead to us avoiding them altogether
This is when we worry about being/becoming ill, to the point that we feel unable to function properly or enjoy life to the full
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
This is a problem where we experience distressing intrusive thoughts and do repetitive behaviours to get rid of the distress that the thoughts bring with them, but unfortunately the behaviours can become extremely time-consuming and distruptive to daily life
This is when we experience an uncontrollable sense of fear with a number of powerful bodily sensations, such as a pounding heart, shaking and feeling sick.
It may seem to come from nowhere and we might feel like something awful is going to happen to us, like we might pass out, have a heart attack or even die
This is when we are fearful of a particular thing - some common examples are spiders, driving and heights. Sometimes we can manage very well in life simply by avoiding the thing in question, but this is not always possible (eg a pilot who develops a fear of flying) and then the phobia can start to have a significant negative impact on our lives
Whichever flavour of anxiety you are experiencing, you're noticing the impact of this in every aspect of your life:
perhaps you're struggling to stay focused and productive at work, whether that's paid employment, voluntary activities or in caring roles;
or maybe you're finding you're not able to enjoy being with your loved ones because you're so worried that something bad might happen to them;
or there's that one "worst case scenario" that keeps going round, and round, and round, in your head - it crowds out everything else and makes it impossible for you to focus and concentrate;
or you wake up feeling more exhausted than when you went to bed because you've been tossing and turning all night as your mind rakes over one thing after another;
or your world is limited by needing to avoid certain things as it's just too scary and difficult to face them;
and on and on...
DON'T LET ANXIETY STEAL YOUR LIFE
Not quite ready to take the next step in starting therapy?
How about having a read of some of my recent blog posts below - hopefully you will find something helpful there whilst getting a better sense of my style of working to help you decide if I will be a good fit for you as your therapist.
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