Dealing with Anxiety

We all know something about anxiety- it’s a normal part of daily life. And a valuable survival tool. It reminds us that we need to pay special attention to something, to concentrate and focus. So we get anxious before an exam or a test. Or when faced with an unfamiliar situation. It is linked to a basic Fight or Flight mechanism that helped our earliest ancestors to get away from a sabre toothed tiger in good time!

Sometimes this mechanism works too well and we live in a permanent state of arousal or fear. We often don’t know quite what we’re afraid of. We just know that we are afraid. Afraid that our children will get hurt; afraid that our partner will be killed in a car accident; afraid that we’ll run out of money and be evicted; afraid that anything that can go wrong will do. And we will be powerless to stop it. And with this fear or anxiety comes guilt and depression. We can feel guilty about being anxious. We may feel guilty about not being able to “snap out of it” or “pull ourselves together” – as if things were that simple! Guilt is then joined by depression. We become depressed because our life is one of constant worry. We lose our ability to relax and enjoy the moment because we worry about what will happen next- because whatever is coming round the next corner cannot be anything good.

Talking to a counsellor can be very helpful for people suffering from anxiety. Counselling offers a safe space to talk about those “irrational” 3:00 am thoughts without being laughed at. It offers a place to try and understand the origins of these fears, which so often have their roots in our childhood experiences. Going to school for the first time can be difficult and frightening. Moving house and going to a different area is often anxiety provoking. The birth of a brother or sister is not necessarily a welcome event! And whilst all these things are “normal” events, they need careful managing by our parents. We need to be allowed to be worried about changing schools. We need to be allowed to be angry that we are no longer the only child in a family. Anxiety, of course, doesn’t only come from our past – although it almost always has its roots there. Daily events can make us anxious. A critical comment from our boss can press our panic button. One minute the world is fine, the next we’re sacked, on the dole and homeless. Or so our anxiety-laden imagination will tell us.

“Anxiety cannot protect you from the ills of tomorrow, but it can rob you of the joy of today”

Talking with a counsellor gives the opportunity to re-visit these events and the feelings they evoked. “Visiting” in a way that allows you and your counsellor to understand the significance of things for you. Both then and now. So getting married may bring back memories of leaving home – which may not have been a good experience. Having children changes the relationship between a couple – often leading to a fear of being forgotten about. Anxiety is very broadminded. It will worry about almost anything – including not feeling worried!

Anxiety need not govern your life. It can be understood and treated, often in a relatively few sessions. It is not possible to guarantee how many sessions will be enough because each person is different and their experience of anxiety is equally individual. The decision about how long to stay in counselling is part of the ongoing work between the patient and the counsellor. It is a mutual decision.

Dorothy Neddermeyer observed “Life is ten per cent what you experience and ninety per cent how you respond to it.” Counselling can’t change what life brings – but it can help how you respond to it.

Contact Terry
Contact Terry+44 7931 500783
Contact Terry today if you would like counselling or need help dealing with anxiety.

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