Anxiety is distress prompted by abnormal worry or apprehension. It is usually accompani9ed by a feeling of loss of control.
Most of us experience it from time to time, but if allowed to get out of hand, the body becomes highly sensitised, with physical effects including headaches, ulcers, muscle tension and lack of energy.
Many things can trigger anxiety. When we stay within familiar territory (physical or psychological), we feel most comfortable; any new experience can trigger anxious feelings. The unconscious part of the mind likes us to stick to existing habits and, acting through the nervous system, makes us feel uneasy when we move out of our comfort zone.
Chronic anxiety is a long term condition recognised by the psychiatric profession as a mental illness. It is often treated with anti-depressant or anti-anxiety mediation. CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) is also widely used.
As an Aspergic, I know from painful experience that there are not always easy solutions for chronic anxiety. However clients past and present have found the following approached useful:
- Understand why you react this way. Identify the thoughts and beliefs that trigger the anxiety response and work on them using the I-T-I-A Formula.Keep active. A busy mind has less opportunity to focus on anxieties.
- Talk to a caring friend, relative or therapist, someone who’ll listen without judging you. Often when you talk things through, problems don’t seem quite so bad.
- When you have a problem, concentrate on finding solutions rather than focussing on the problem.
- You’ll never eliminate anxiety by avoiding the things that cause it. For instance, if driving in traffic brings on anxious feelings, drive on progressively busier and busier roads until you have de-sensitised yourself.This is the basis of the ‘extinction’ technique. Put yourself in anxiety provoking situation and (in theory at least) you eventually learn that there’s nothing to be worried about.
- Remind yourself of – and be grateful for – all the good things in your life. List them. Think about them. There are plenty! Remember, there is no anxiety in the world, just people thinking anxious thoughts.
And remember, see anxiety as another name for a challenge and you can accomplish miracles!
David Lawrence Preston, 25.5.2019
Follow me on Facebook and Twitter @David_L_Preston
How to Books, 2010