Managing Anxiety

Anxiety is very common in the modern world, but despite its prevalence, it’s a very powerful and unpleasant experience.

Sufferers of anxiety often admit to feeling ‘attacked’ by it, referred to accordingly as an ‘anxiety attack’. Some people are so traumatised by anxiety that even reading about the subject can trigger feelings of distress and discomfort.

The great news is there are effective natural treatments for even the most severe manifestations of anxiety. These involve working with a caring and competent therapist to not only understand and manage the symptoms but to effectively reduce the drivers of anxiety, replacing them with far more effective and functional motivators. These treatments have highly successful outcomes.

What causes anxiety?

There are many ways anxiety can manifest itself, and they all disturb and in some cases, severely interfere with health, functioning, and well-being. If we boil it down though, there might be either fighting or struggling with something, (thoughts, plans, worries, or feelings); or avoiding, (people, places, things or challenges); or freezing, (becoming immobilised by the strength of the experience). Some people can also have a bewildering mixture of all three of these coping strategies, depending on how they feel at the time.

What are the common symptoms of anxiety?

When experiencing anxiety, people may become drawn into obsessive thought patterns, feeling compelled to do what may appear to others as merely superstitious or frivolous things, sometimes over and over. Fear and doubt are often the primary cause of such actions. Some may worry all the time and find it extremely difficult to stop thinking about what might happen in the future, typically adopting a ‘worst case scenario’ outlook on every event they’re likely to encounter, whether it be a doctor’s appointment – where a risk of receiving ‘bad news’ or negative results may be a real possibility – or something as seemingly innocuous as a trip to the local supermarket.

Others may feel restless and agitated, with a lot of physical symptoms like heart racing, palpitations, dry mouth, sweating palms, upset stomach, and digestive and bowel problems. Insomnia or poor sleep, night terrors, and nightmares are also common. People will often attempt to employ a variety of things to achieve relative calm; some healthy, some not.

What happens if anxiety if left untreated?

Anxiety, depending on its severity, can cause sufferers to lead a crippled existence, denying them basic happiness. Prolonged anxiety can often cause sufferers to procrastinate, waiting for the perfect time, situation or feeling to do things. Some may never perform well enough compared to the very high standards they hold for themselves. No matter how hard they try, they always feel like failures.

Some people avoid or stop going to school, college or university altogether because they get so nervous, or because they fear that they will fail. Others will avoid going out or won’t engage in social opportunities, or stay in a dead-end job because they are scared to make a change, take a chance, or fail. They are terrified of being judged or made a fool of. Some never leave their home or their bedroom, health suffers, opportunities and life itself, pass them by.

If you identify with some of the above, or if you have ever received a diagnosis of panic attack, agoraphobia, social or specific phobias (snakes, spiders and more rare ones like chalk etc), obsessive-compulsive disorder, acute stress or post traumatic stress disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, or other disorders induced by substances or medical conditions.

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