What Is Anxiety?
Are you ready to really understand anxiety?
Anxiety may be experienced as a result of specific events, eg. major public speaking or social event, or maybe a more general anxiety. Whilst stress can occur in ebbs and flows, a consistent level of stress over an extended period of time, eg. months, could signal
Stress, also known as eustress, can help motivate us to work hard, perform and accomplish your goals and can be useful as long as it is merely short-term and we are able to down-regulate and switch off after the event, eg. for an exam, deadline etc.
Negative stress can become ongoing or chronic and lead to a general anxiety. It may seem difficult to recharge and down-regulate the body and this state can have negative effects on the immune system, reproductive, excretory and digestive systems.
- Generalised anxiety is worries or stress occur over an extended period of time, eg. months, that may be experienced as a general feeling of nervousness or restlessness.
- Performance anxiety occurs when someone has a fear of a specific event, eg. exam, public speaking or some type of performance-related issue.
- Social anxiety is a fear of being judged, ridiculed or rejected by other people in social situations. Some symptoms can include an extra sense of self-consciousness or awkwardness around unknown people.
- Situational Anxiety involves fears about new or changing events and possible negative future outcomes, e.g. company downsizing, family health issues.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is repetitive behaviours, eg. hand washing counting etc which are used to try to prevent recurrent unwanted thoughts, or make them go away.
- Panic disorder occurs when there are unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear, aka panic attacks, which may include symptoms like chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness or abdominal distress.
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may occur as a result of a terrifying event that included the threat of or actual physical harm.
Causes of Anxiety
Anxiety is typically characterized as fear of negative expectancy of the future, whether it is fear of a specific upcoming event, eg. public speaking or the fear of the possibility of an occurring event, eg. possible future retrenchment. A tendency to catastrophize over possible future events can increase the symptoms of anxiety.
There are many theories on the causes of anxiety but some of the key factors these have in common are the individual’s ability to overestimate the probability and severity of an event occurring whilst underestimating their ability to cope (what they can do themselves to cope) and underestimating recuse factors (how other people can help).
Other common factors that can maintain anxiety levels include a negative expectancy of the future, fear of uncertainty, difficulty distinguishing between what you do and don’t control, difficulty compartmentalizing (eg. between work and home life) and a tendency to avoid doing things rather than dealing with them (leading to anxiety about chores etc that have yet to be completed).
How Technology Affects Anxiety
Advances in technology have meant that all our electronic gadgets allow us to be connected and hooked into the latest information and social media updates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Whilst some people may feel that their smartphones help them alleviate their anxiety, it may also be exacerbating those symptoms by not allowing us to truly switch off and take a break. Issues with the bluelight from smartphones and tablets has been found to cause sleep-related issues as our melatonin levels are not being produced at their usual nighttime rate due to exposure to bluelight.
Symptoms of Anxiety
The symptoms of anxiety can include feeling nervous or restless, increased heart rate, rapid breathing (hyperventilation), sweating, trembling, feeling weak or tired, difficulties concentrating, sleep issues, gastrointestinal problems, wanting to avoid certain activities that anxiety and a racing mind seemingly full of thoughts.
The symptoms for a panic attack can include increased heart rate, difficulty breathing, feeling sweaty or chills, feeling weak or dizzy, chest pains and a sense of terror. Panic attack symptoms can seem similar to the symptoms of a heart attack and it is important to seek professional medical advice if you are experiencing these types of symptoms for a health check.
Health Check for Anxiety
It’s important to go to your GP to check if any of these symptoms are due to medical-related issues. Anxiety-like symptoms can also occur as a result of abnormal thyroid or hormone levels, certain medications, nutritional deficiencies or other medical-related factors.
Help Is At Hand
Hypnotherapy can help you take back charge of your life. How many times have you thought that logically you don’t need to worry, yet found your mind stuck in a loop on a particular issue? By targeting your unconscious thought processes, we can help you align conscious and unconscious thoughts so you can tune out unhelpful thoughts and tune into helpful thoughts.
Imagine acquiring the confidence to trust your ability to deal with the future, no matter how uncertain. Empowering yourself to choose action over avoidance. Rather than catastrophizing, seeing future events in a more realistic light and understanding the difference between whether a future is likely or unlikely to occur. Find yourself more in the present moment and deal with the issues at hand.
You too can acquire these skills. Improve your peace of mind and give your body a chance to rest, recharge and rejuvenate from the previous state of stress it was in.
Do you need me to help you? Then contact me today.
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