“Anxiety is excitement without breath.” ~ Fritz Perl
Anxiety can be described as a feeling of narrowness where you feel you want to but cannot escape. It is generally experienced as a tightness in your body. Possibilities and capacity are reduced and there is no space.
Feelings involved in anxiety include:
fear, worry, uneasiness, agitation.
Anxiety can affect the body in a number of ways.
Some of the symptoms you might experience can include:
- rapid heart beat;
- clammy hands and/or feet;
- difficulty to focus;
- sleep pattern changes;
- dramatic changes in body temperature;
- dry mouth;
- muscle tension;
- excessive sweating;
- stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea and other intestinal symptoms.
When you are anxious, your thought process might change:
- mental quarrelling/debating;
- dead-loop thinking;
- catastrophic thinking (worst case scenario focused);
- polarized thinking (black or white, nothing in between);
- magnifying the negative aspect of a situation;
- taking everything personally;
- over-generalizing (always or never);
- mind-reading (guessing intentions of others);
Anxiety can limit your choices in life
- you don't go to a social gathering (avoidance)
- you repeat certain behaviour obsessively (OCD)
Experiencing anxiety can feel like the end of the world. In fact, it indicates that you are a normal human being who has a normal reaction to a stressful situation.
It is not stress that limits our functioning, rather it is how we cope with stress that can causes issues of concern. We can learn how to process stress through the body and mind so that instead of being limited by anxiety, we can recognize stress triggers, create space for ourselves, and take care of ourselves.
To get a better understanding of how stress affects human body and how we can possibly turn stress our friend instead of enemy.
When you experience the physical symptoms of anxiety, there are ways you could support yourself.
At time, we all need help from others. You might want to talk to your family, friends, people with whom you feel safe with. In our society right now, people tend to share only their positive experience. This can make it difficult for us to share our experience with anxiety. If this describes your situation, you can talk to your family doctor who might either prescribe you anxiety medications or refer you to a psychiatrist. If you are told that there is a long wait-list for a psychiatrist, you might want to consider talking to me.
This is what is likely to happen in your session with me.