Anxiety is a worry about future events. Anxiety is a normal feeling that everyone experiences now and again. In some people, however, these feelings can be very strong and persistent, interfering with your everyday life. There are several types of anxiety including Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) which is when you are feeling anxious and worried most of the time, with your worries relating to several aspects of your everyday life rather than just one issue. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – Is another form of anxiety categorised by recurring, unwelcome thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviours (compulsions)
A little anxiety is necessary, it’s normal, it keeps you safe and out of danger, but too much anxiety can be crippling, feeling you’ll never be normal again. It can be consent low grade anxiety affecting your daily life, or high impact that can quickly become as debilitating as any chronic illness. Overcoming your anxiety will be one of the most rewarding challenges that you ever undertake. It may sound a little scary, it may be slow going at times and you’ll you have your ups and downs but in the long run the rewards far outweigh the effort
Studies have shown that there is a strong connection between how we think & feel, becoming widely accepted that our mind and body work closely together.
The image below shows just a few of the way’s that anxiety can affect us
How does your Anxiety make you feel?
Your mouth is dry; your mind is racing with thoughts that you can’t even catch – they slip in and out of mind so fast. Thinking clearly or concentrating on your work or daily tasks is almost impossible. And, worst of all, you have no idea why this is happening. Or maybe your anxiety is less intrusive than that. You look perfectly normal, behave perfectly normally, get on with your life apparently normally. And yet you don’t feel fulfilled or truly happy or fully in the heart of things.
A lot of the time you feel panicky or nervous. You can’t relax or settle down to things. “What if?” and “shouldn’t I?” questions run through your mind most of the time (although you might not be aware of this yet), along with concerns about what others think of you, whether what you do is good enough, and is it worth bothering anyway, considering the state of the world? Or perhaps sometimes your mind just goes a complete blank.
It might be that you are so convinced that you must do things perfectly that you often fail to complete them, or even start them, at all. The disabling anxiety is almost always there, on your shoulder, weighing you down. At night, it stops you getting off to sleep and, if you wake in the early hours, it kicks in at once, preventing you from dropping back to sleep again quickly. Sometimes, it may all be too much and you find yourself panicking. when, suddenly, for no reason you can fathom, your heart starts to pound; you are sweating and shaking; struggling to take in enough breath, you feel that you are choking; your stomach drops to the ground and you have the terrible feeling that you are going to lose control of your bladder and your bowels.
You may feel dizzy and faint and as if you are outside of yourself. It feels as if you are going to die. All you know is that you have got to get out of wherever you are fast. The doctor has told you that nothing is physically wrong with you. But that doesn’t help. It is just as terrifying the next time it happens, and the next time, and the more hopeless and helpless and fearful you come to feel. Perhaps you know why it happened the first time: maybe you started feeling nauseated and clammy and panicky on a bus because you had what turned out to be a stomach bug (although you didn’t know it at the time). Yet, seemingly inexplicably, the panic now happens every time you get on a bus, even though you know that you are perfectly well and try your hardest to stop it. Maybe there are other times, too, when you know that you are likely to feel overwhelmingly panicked – in crowded shops or enclosed cinemas or at the sight of a dog or a bird or even broken glass. It doesn’t make sense, even to you, that you should experience such terror in such circumstances, but that doesn’t stop it happening. Gradually, you start to avoid places where there might be crowds or even people.
Perhaps you are afraid to leave the house. Or maybe you have no idea at all what triggers the distress, and that makes you feel even more out of control. It might be that a sudden, terrible thought starts it all off, an overwhelming fear that a loved one will die or that you might inadvertently, or even intentionally, do harm to another person or that you will be contaminated by germs. Although you spend much of the day trying to force the unwanted thoughts out of your mind, the anxiety still mounts. Perhaps you have devised ritual activities of some kind which are intended to counter the power of such thoughts: if you carry them out religiously, the event you fear won’t happen and the anxiety will stop. But it never works. The thought and the anxiety come back, and so the ritual must be repeated and repeated and repeated, taking over more and more of your day. Perhaps you are good at keeping this burden a secret; or perhaps your family and friends and colleagues have started to notice that something is amiss … It could be that your anxiety started after being involved in or seeing – or even just being told about – a horrific life- threatening event.
Distressing images and thoughts connected with the event keep flooding into mind. You might even feel as if you are continually reliving the event or you wake from nightmares that seem connected with it. You don’t feel like yourself anymore; instead, you are always on the alert, fearfully watching, never relaxed, distant with people you love. You can’t properly engage with life any longer, and often feel angry and irritable. Maybe you have developed a ‘nervous stomach’, suffer a lot of headaches, or have found that a condition you already have, such as psoriasis or eczema, worsens. Perhaps you fidget a lot or pull your hair or bite the inside of your lips. There are very many different ways that anxiety can affect people, but there is one that is common to all. Like a tyrant, it has come to rule your life. But that tyranny is now about to end, because working together we can put you back in charge, give you the tools you need to take back control. Instead of anxiety working against you, crippling and choking you, it can be tamed to work/or you, just as it was always meant to.