Treating Anxiety

What is anxiety?

If you want to understand more about the complex way anxiety manifests its self within human beings, by reading all this page it will help you understanding a bit more about this complex topic, included you will find some valid and effective ways to tackle this fear-based emotional response. This fear-based issue has become a very common problem and it is seemingly on the increase, it has sometimes been cited as a modern-day mental health epidemic, in some cases it can severely impact a person’s life, and ruin not just their mental health but damage their physical health as well. Anxiety is feeling that is a core part of our survival skills, and it is usually very good at keeping us safe or preparing us for impending danger, when it is doing its job effectively, it helps us by moderating our level of exposure to unsafe actions or experiences, or it motivates us to prepare for future possible threats, such a installing a burglar alarm or buying house insurance. Our internal monitor or subconscious tends to remember our past fearful experiences, and saves it as a kind pattern, if we find ourselves facing a similar probable set of circumstances, it identifies a conceivable matching pattern , and our subconscious recognises a possibility of a threat and the anxiety it transmits warns us by making us feel anxious and alerts us to the possibility. So, when we feel anxious, the anxiety we feel is helping us understand the risks and in turn help us to make improved less risky choices, and keep us away from harmful situations. This fear response can also be activated in what we see as embarrassing social settings, or emotionally unpleasant experiences and situations, that could diminish your social or economic standing in society

Common Anxiety Symptoms

How people respond to anxiety can vary from person to person, and the symptoms that are displayed may be expressed differently, although they will generally have a common theme. Not only does Anxiety effect people psychologically, but it also triggers physical symptoms, in some cases felt as hot or cold sweats or tightness in the chest, a dry mouth and shaking, or as a combination of other types of physical reactions. Often expressed externally in a physical symptom: Excessive sweating Elevated or racing heart rate Tightness in the throat and dry mouth Shaking of hands, arms, legs, whole body Stomach pains and cramps Fatigued and constantly tired Headaches, dizziness and fainting Nausea and sickness Increased urination and loose stools Often expressed internally as a psychological symptom: Over thinking and constant worrying thoughts Inability to focus or concentrate Feelings of impending doom Feeling irritable and panicky Unable rest effectively or sleep Loss of appetite Unable to make choices Feeling an urge to run away from normal situations Feeling dissociated and detached from everything around you, as if you were watching a film without the emotional connection or physical presence Feeling helpless or lost

Anxiety-driven responses

Any thoughts that raise your level of concern to a level that effects how you emotionally react, is considered to be an anxiety driven response, this response is quite typical, and everyone feels high levels of stress and anxiety from time to time. When the anxiety becomes over-active just like an over-active imagination, it can start to work against you instead of helping you. There is an important consideration to remember about feelings of anxiety, if they are relevant to your situation, for instance before someone gets married there may be some expected levels of anxiety, after all it can seem like a huge decision to make. Many people will understand this as being a normal reaction to the circumstances, however, if there are also valid concerns that may be well founded, such as an increasing lack of trust in the partner, or unresolved issues with the relationship that make you question the very foundations of the relationship, trying to ignore it may well lead to increased feelings of anxiety. Ignoring how you feel could lead to feelings of imminent dread, you may even start to feel trapped or show symptoms of panic or depression. If the feelings of anxiety are groundless, it could just be anxiety amplifying insecurities and highlighting a fear of commitment, or activating another issue, by talking freely in therapy and exploring the emotional content and internal thinking, it can help you discover if the fears are real or unfounded.

Some known anxiety disorders are:

Generalised anxiety disorder Social anxiety disorder Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD)

Problems living with anxiety

The truth is that anxiety is not just a simple issue, it can be very complex problem and it can take time to find a practical solution. If anxiety was so simple to treat, we could cure it effectively just by reading about it, and no one would have this problem, but the truth is that many people in this world do struggle with constant anxiety issues, like social phobias and issues like agoraphobia, and triggered and non- triggered panic attacks, throughout their lives. In some cases, anxiety does not always respond quickly to therapeutic intervention and medication, it can take time because of a number of complex unseen details that maybe involved. In the long term, high levels of anxiety can in some cases lead to physical health problems, such as bowel issues like IBS or high blood pressure and abnormal heart rhythms, it can also increase the mental health risks such as developing major depression or addiction, so trying to address anxiety issues should be considered .

You may need therapy for your anxiety if:

Your feelings of nervousness are a constant everyday problem Your mind is constantly overacting and worrying over nothing You stay away from normal everyday situations because you feel uneasy Your often worried and feel anxious and powerless to change how you feel You frequently experience panic attacks or fearful reactions to normal events It’s getting harder to be happy or relaxed and its effecting your life more and more You feel nervous and start to withdraw from your normal social groups. You start to lose confidence and feel unable to do what you would normally do

Facing reality is better than avoiding it

Another important consideration is being truthful, it is no good someone telling you after you have had a very bad car accident, and feeling uneasy about driving again, that there is no need for you to worry, and everything will be okay from now on. Even if you want it to be true and try to just believe it, deep down you know it’s not true, and that knowledge will make you feel anxious. But, if they tell you that everyone recognises that it is possible to have another accident, but say it is statistically unlikely, and draw on the fact that as a driver you have more wisdom after the accident to help you avoid another similar event, that may be a better way of dealing with the feeling of anxiety rather than trying to tell someone everything is OK when it is not.

The architect of your anxiety response’s

Our imagination is probably a significant factor in human evolution, without it, humans would probably still be living in caves, all the remarkable advances in the sciences and arts have been made possible by people using their imaginations to solve problems and create ideas and dreams. Our imagination can impact on any part of our life, from sexual arousal and confidence to relationships and feelings of anxiety. Even our physical abilities can be either enhanced or reduced just by how we think and feel. Have you ever been scared of the dark or frightened by a film or book? Alternatively, been worried when your child is late home, then you can start to understand the power the imagination has to influence our thoughts and emotions and ultimately how we live life. With help from therapy such as psychotherapy/counselling or hypnotherapy, it is possible to influence the way you utilise your imagination, or how your thoughts and feeling affect your life. We generate images and thoughts automatically within our minds, it is a constant process we cannot stop, even when we sleep our mind is still working developing dreams and going about other tasks. If we try not to think of something, doing so can have the opposite effect. If I ask you not to think of a blue balloon, as soon you read the words blue balloon, your mind has provided you with the impression in your mind of a blue balloon, so if you had a fear of blue balloons your anxiety level would go up slightly, talk about spiders to someone who has a phobia of spiders and they will usually feel an emotional response and feel uneasy. So anxiety is not just a silly response, but a complicated effect of several thought processes that include the imagination, our memory, and any personal experience of being afraid, it also has a welcome positive influence that helps keep us safe, anxiety often stops us from doing actions that could put us in danger, like driving too fast or crossing the road without looking. So, you could say that there is good anxiety, as well as bad, good anxiety, helps keep us safe while a bad overprotective anxiety response, could place limitations on a person’s ability to live life. So some anxiety is important to us and often a positive and very helpful addition to our lives, it usually works very well at keeping us safe, by creating uncomfortable feelings that can bring our attention to possible physical dangers, it will also heighten our awareness of possible situations, that may be socially unacceptable and possibly affect the persons social standing, or become emotionally distressing.

Trying to solve the anxiety puzzle?

Problems coping with Anxious feelings many people struggle to control their anxiety day to day, it can develop into a problem early on in life, or it can become an issue people start to experience in later life. It can grow over time or develop almost instantly after an emotionally upsetting or frightening experience, such as a physical attack or being betrayed by a cheating partner. How much anxiety should we be feeling at any given time? What does a reasonable level of anxiety actually feel like? What’s normal? One of the things that can work against you when trying to reduce your levels of anxiety is an unrealistic expectation; most people feel anxious in certain situations. So feeling anxious is normal, but if you think you should not be feeling any anxiety then every time you do feel anxious, you think you are failing and need to make more progress, even if you have been successful and actually reduced the level of your anxiety. This can make people feel helpless and hopeless. In that scenario therapy can be very helpful by revaluating and redefine their beliefs allowing progress to be recognised, helping confidence to grow and personal development to be continued.

Reducing your Anxiety

Somewhere on this page it is possible to find a way of allowing you to feel calmer and for a short time you will find some relief from anxiety, by implementing these suggestions every week, you can reduce the long-term effects of stress and anxiety on your life. There are more in- depth explanations that will explain in more detail the psychological and physiological state and the Cognitive & Behavioural Elements of anxiety, but I hope this short and simple explanation has given you some idea about your anxiety. There are some ways below to help yourself control stress and anxiety, using the simple methods included here will usually help.

Meditation helps people treat anxiety

Meditation has been used for thousands of years, and it has been proved to work to lower anxiety and stress, it can also lead to more profound long-lasting internal changes that for many people over time provide them with new personal insights, it will also allow them to rest and heal physically. (YouTube is providing many quality meditation instructions for free) The good news is you do not have to sit cross-legged or chant and learn complex, in-depth techniques for it to be effective, almost anyone can do it, very often in a way that is right for them. If we all know that relaxation is good for us why don’t more people spend time relaxing? Working as a therapist, I often encourage the use of meditation to clients so they can benefit from the reduced stress and anxiety that people often sense in their life when people regularly use meditation there is usually value to it other than just feeling a sense of relaxation. The use of meditation can affect many areas of our thinking mind and our physical self; it is an excellent way to help find relief from stress and anxiety. Allowing the mind and body to rest and recover with meditation can be worthwhile, it takes some practice and some commitment from you for it to work as well as it can. There are many ways to do meditation, and it can be as simple as sitting or lying down and just counting and breathing, it can be more complex and involve sitting with crossed legs and saying a mantra, I always think that whatever works will do and everyone is different so the best method to use will be very different from person to person. There are many free examples of guided meditation on YouTube and free videos teaching methods of meditation. Hypnotherapy is an excellent way to relax, and again there are free relaxation videos and mp3 files available to use online. Mediation has been used for many years and is known to help people in many ways.

Some meditation properties helpful for stress and anxiety

Reduced stress Reduced anxiety Reduced digestive problems Reduced high blood pressure problems. Increases self-awareness.

A warning about meditation

With any deep relaxation, including hypnotherapy there is a possibility, that some people can have an adverse reaction, especially if you have PTSD, or have suppressed emotions, or repressed emotional experiences. The results can be diverse in its intensity, it may just feel slightly uncomfortable to the person, or they may become extremely upset for no reason, or start experiencing overwhelming negative emotions, If your mood has changed after meditation for the worse, it is best to seek some guidance or therapy to help uncover the reasons.

Breathing exercises for anxiety

Breathing is essential to us, and the way we breathe can have an effect on how we think and feel, if you sit down close your eyes and take four deep slow breaths you will feel more relaxed. You can also use ways of breathing to influence how you think and help calm you in situations that may trigger anxiety. How to breathe correctly is essential.

Exercise is good for anxious feelings

The good news is that there is no need to join a gym, and you can find many ways to find physical activities to help you exercise. Sometimes it’s just about being more active, so going dancing or walking, swimming and any sport will help you keep fit. Instructional DVD’S about how to exercise is also helpful. Exercise helps reduce stress by using up the body's natural chemicals to help you feel good naturally.

Reduce caffeine

Reduce or stop drinking high caffeine drinks such as coffee or cola and even tea, and high energy drinks are also usually high in caffeine. Caffeine reduces the ability to rest, hinders sleep and keeps the mind working, yes it can help you keep going, but at a cost, nothing wrong with having the odd drink but people who are suffering from anxiety or stress tend to overdo the amount they drink, try to count how many high caffeine drinks you have a day. High doses of caffeine can cause anxiety, dizziness, headaches, and anxiety It is considered 200-300 mg of caffeine a day to be a safe amount for adults. However, some people can become dependent on as little as 100 mg of caffeine a day. It could mean that it is possible to develop withdrawal symptoms and experience symptoms like tiredness, irritability, and headaches if they stop all caffeine suddenly. You may think your caffeine intake is low but it can be added to medications and supplements, and some foods, so you may not be fully aware how much you really ingest in a day. Try looking at the ingredients in over the counter pain medication and energy drinks. The old saying you are what you eat is true in many ways, by cutting out processed foods and eating your five a day fresh vegetables and fruit you will help your body find the energy and minerals it needs, by eating healthy food you are going to be healthier.
Jack plug in computer
Jack plug in computer
© A Yates online therapy service 2011
Anxiety image showing man in isolation

Treating Anxiety

What is anxiety?

If you want to understand more about the complex way anxiety manifests its self within human beings, by reading all this page it will help you understanding a bit more about this complex topic, included you will find some valid and effective ways to tackle this fear- based emotional response. This fear-based issue has become a very common problem and it is seemingly on the increase, it has sometimes been cited as a modern-day mental health epidemic, in some cases it can severely impact a person’s life, and ruin not just their mental health but damage their physical health as well. Anxiety is feeling that is a core part of our survival skills, and it is usually very good at keeping us safe or preparing us for impending danger, when it is doing its job effectively, it helps us by moderating our level of exposure to unsafe actions or experiences, or it motivates us to prepare for future possible threats, such a installing a burglar alarm or buying house insurance. Our internal monitor or subconscious tends to remember our past fearful experiences, and saves it as a kind pattern, if we find ourselves facing a similar probable set of circumstances, it identifies a conceivable matching pattern , and our subconscious recognises a possibility of a threat and the anxiety it transmits warns us by making us feel anxious and alerts us to the possibility. So, when we feel anxious, the anxiety we feel is helping us understand the risks and in turn help us to make improved less risky choices, and keep us away from harmful situations. This fear response can also be activated in what we see as embarrassing social settings, or emotionally unpleasant experiences and situations, that could diminish your social or economic standing in society

Common Anxiety Symptoms

How people respond to anxiety can vary from person to person, and the symptoms that are displayed may be expressed differently, although they will generally have a common theme. Not only does Anxiety effect people psychologically, but it also triggers physical symptoms, in some cases felt as hot or cold sweats or tightness in the chest, a dry mouth and shaking, or as a combination of other types of physical reactions. Often expressed externally in a physical symptom: Excessive sweating Elevated or racing heart rate Tightness in the throat and dry mouth Shaking of hands, arms, legs, whole body Stomach pains and cramps Fatigued and constantly tired Headaches, dizziness and fainting Nausea and sickness Increased urination and loose stools Often expressed internally as a psychological symptom: Over thinking and constant worrying thoughts Inability to focus or concentrate Feelings of impending doom Feeling irritable and panicky Unable rest effectively or sleep Loss of appetite Unable to make choices Feeling an urge to run away from normal situations Feeling dissociated and detached from everything around you, as if you were watching a film without the emotional connection or physical presence Feeling helpless or lost

Anxiety-driven responses

Any thoughts that raise your level of concern to a level that effects how you emotionally react, is considered to be an anxiety driven response, this response is quite typical, and everyone feels high levels of stress and anxiety from time to time. When the anxiety becomes over-active just like an over-active imagination, it can start to work against you instead of helping you. There is an important consideration to remember about feelings of anxiety, if they are relevant to your situation, for instance before someone gets married there may be some expected levels of anxiety, after all it can seem like a huge decision to make. Many people will understand this as being a normal reaction to the circumstances, however, if there are also valid concerns that may be well founded, such as an increasing lack of trust in the partner, or unresolved issues with the relationship that make you question the very foundations of the relationship, trying to ignore it may well lead to increased feelings of anxiety. Ignoring how you feel could lead to feelings of imminent dread, you may even start to feel trapped or show symptoms of panic or depression. If the feelings of anxiety are groundless, it could just be anxiety amplifying insecurities and highlighting a fear of commitment, or activating another issue, by talking freely in therapy and exploring the emotional content and internal thinking, it can help you discover if the fears are real or unfounded.

Some known anxiety disorders are:

Generalised anxiety disorder Social anxiety disorder Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD)

Problems living with anxiety

The truth is that anxiety is not just a simple issue, it can be very complex problem and it can take time to find a practical solution. If anxiety was so simple to treat, we could cure it effectively just by reading about it, and no one would have this problem, but the truth is that many people in this world do struggle with constant anxiety issues, like social phobias and issues like agoraphobia, and triggered and non-triggered panic attacks, throughout their lives. In some cases, anxiety does not always respond quickly to therapeutic intervention and medication, it can take time because of a number of complex unseen details that maybe involved. In the long term, high levels of anxiety can in some cases lead to physical health problems, such as bowel issues like IBS or high blood pressure and abnormal heart rhythms, it can also increase the mental health risks such as developing major depression or addiction, so trying to address anxiety issues should be considered .

You may need therapy for your anxiety if:

Your feelings of nervousness are a constant everyday problem Your mind is constantly overacting and worrying over nothing You stay away from normal everyday situations because you feel uneasy Your often worried and feel anxious and powerless to change how you feel You frequently experience panic attacks or fearful reactions to normal events It’s getting harder to be happy or relaxed and its effecting your life more and more You feel nervous and start to withdraw from your normal social groups. You start to lose confidence and feel unable to do what you would normally do

Facing reality is better than avoiding it

Another important consideration is being truthful, it is no good someone telling you after you have had a very bad car accident, and feeling uneasy about driving again, that there is no need for you to worry, and everything will be okay from now on. Even if you want it to be true and try to just believe it, deep down you know it’s not true, and that knowledge will make you feel anxious. But, if they tell you that everyone recognises that it is possible to have another accident, but say it is statistically unlikely, and draw on the fact that as a driver you have more wisdom after the accident to help you avoid another similar event, that may be a better way of dealing with the feeling of anxiety rather than trying to tell someone everything is OK when it is not.

The architect of your anxiety response’s

Our imagination is probably a significant factor in human evolution, without it, humans would probably still be living in caves, all the remarkable advances in the sciences and arts have been made possible by people using their imaginations to solve problems and create ideas and dreams. Our imagination can impact on any part of our life, from sexual arousal and confidence to relationships and feelings of anxiety. Even our physical abilities can be either enhanced or reduced just by how we think and feel. Have you ever been scared of the dark or frightened by a film or book? Alternatively, been worried when your child is late home, then you can start to understand the power the imagination has to influence our thoughts and emotions and ultimately how we live life. With help from therapy such as psychotherapy/counselling or hypnotherapy, it is possible to influence the way you utilise your imagination, or how your thoughts and feeling affect your life. We generate images and thoughts automatically within our minds, it is a constant process we cannot stop, even when we sleep our mind is still working developing dreams and going about other tasks. If we try not to think of something, doing so can have the opposite effect. If I ask you not to think of a blue balloon, as soon you read the words blue balloon, your mind has provided you with the impression in your mind of a blue balloon, so if you had a fear of blue balloons your anxiety level would go up slightly, talk about spiders to someone who has a phobia of spiders and they will usually feel an emotional response and feel uneasy. So anxiety is not just a silly response, but a complicated effect of several thought processes that include the imagination, our memory, and any personal experience of being afraid, it also has a welcome positive influence that helps keep us safe, anxiety often stops us from doing actions that could put us in danger, like driving too fast or crossing the road without looking. So, you could say that there is good anxiety, as well as bad, good anxiety, helps keep us safe while a bad overprotective anxiety response, could place limitations on a person’s ability to live life. So some anxiety is important to us and often a positive and very helpful addition to our lives, it usually works very well at keeping us safe, by creating uncomfortable feelings that can bring our attention to possible physical dangers, it will also heighten our awareness of possible situations, that may be socially unacceptable and possibly affect the persons social standing, or become emotionally distressing.

Trying to solve the anxiety puzzle?

Problems coping with Anxious feelings many people struggle to control their anxiety day to day, it can develop into a problem early on in life, or it can become an issue people start to experience in later life. It can grow over time or develop almost instantly after an emotionally upsetting or frightening experience, such as a physical attack or being betrayed by a cheating partner. How much anxiety should we be feeling at any given time? What does a reasonable level of anxiety actually feel like? What’s normal? One of the things that can work against you when trying to reduce your levels of anxiety is an unrealistic expectation; most people feel anxious in certain situations. So feeling anxious is normal, but if you think you should not be feeling any anxiety then every time you do feel anxious, you think you are failing and need to make more progress, even if you have been successful and actually reduced the level of your anxiety. This can make people feel helpless and hopeless. In that scenario therapy can be very helpful by revaluating and redefine their beliefs allowing progress to be recognised, helping confidence to grow and personal development to be continued.

Reducing your Anxiety

Somewhere on this page it is possible to find a way of allowing you to feel calmer and for a short time you will find some relief from anxiety, by implementing these suggestions every week, you can reduce the long-term effects of stress and anxiety on your life. There are more in-depth explanations that will explain in more detail the psychological and physiological state and the Cognitive & Behavioural Elements of anxiety, but I hope this short and simple explanation has given you some idea about your anxiety. There are some ways below to help yourself control stress and anxiety, using the simple methods included here will usually help.

Meditation helps people treat anxiety

Meditation has been used for thousands of years, and it has been proved to work to lower anxiety and stress, it can also lead to more profound long-lasting internal changes that for many people over time provide them with new personal insights, it will also allow them to rest and heal physically. (YouTube is providing many quality meditation instructions for free) The good news is you do not have to sit cross-legged or chant and learn complex, in-depth techniques for it to be effective, almost anyone can do it, very often in a way that is right for them. If we all know that relaxation is good for us why don’t more people spend time relaxing? Working as a therapist, I often encourage the use of meditation to clients so they can benefit from the reduced stress and anxiety that people often sense in their life when people regularly use meditation there is usually value to it other than just feeling a sense of relaxation. The use of meditation can affect many areas of our thinking mind and our physical self; it is an excellent way to help find relief from stress and anxiety. Allowing the mind and body to rest and recover with meditation can be worthwhile, it takes some practice and some commitment from you for it to work as well as it can. There are many ways to do meditation, and it can be as simple as sitting or lying down and just counting and breathing, it can be more complex and involve sitting with crossed legs and saying a mantra, I always think that whatever works will do and everyone is different so the best method to use will be very different from person to person. There are many free examples of guided meditation on YouTube and free videos teaching methods of meditation. Hypnotherapy is an excellent way to relax, and again there are free relaxation videos and mp3 files available to use online. Mediation has been used for many years and is known to help people in many ways.

Some meditation properties helpful for stress

and anxiety

Reduced stress Reduced anxiety Reduced digestive problems Reduced high blood pressure problems. Increases self-awareness.

A warning about meditation

With any deep relaxation, including hypnotherapy there is a possibility, that some people can have an adverse reaction, especially if you have PTSD, or have suppressed emotions, or repressed emotional experiences. The results can be diverse in its intensity, it may just feel slightly uncomfortable to the person, or they may become extremely upset for no reason, or start experiencing overwhelming negative emotions, If your mood has changed after meditation for the worse, it is best to seek some guidance or therapy to help uncover the reasons.

Breathing exercises for anxiety

Breathing is essential to us, and the way we breathe can have an effect on how we think and feel, if you sit down close your eyes and take four deep slow breaths you will feel more relaxed. You can also use ways of breathing to influence how you think and help calm you in situations that may trigger anxiety. How to breathe correctly is essential.

Exercise is good for anxious feelings

The good news is that there is no need to join a gym, and you can find many ways to find physical activities to help you exercise. Sometimes it’s just about being more active, so going dancing or walking, swimming and any sport will help you keep fit. Instructional DVD’S about how to exercise is also helpful. Exercise helps reduce stress by using up the body's natural chemicals to help you feel good naturally.

Reduce caffeine

Reduce or stop drinking high caffeine drinks such as coffee or cola and even tea, and high energy drinks are also usually high in caffeine. Caffeine reduces the ability to rest, hinders sleep and keeps the mind working, yes it can help you keep going, but at a cost, nothing wrong with having the odd drink but people who are suffering from anxiety or stress tend to overdo the amount they drink, try to count how many high caffeine drinks you have a day. High doses of caffeine can cause anxiety, dizziness, headaches, and anxiety It is considered 200-300 mg of caffeine a day to be a safe amount for adults. However, some people can become dependent on as little as 100 mg of caffeine a day. It could mean that it is possible to develop withdrawal symptoms and experience symptoms like tiredness, irritability, and headaches if they stop all caffeine suddenly. You may think your caffeine intake is low but it can be added to medications and supplements, and some foods, so you may not be fully aware how much you really ingest in a day. Try looking at the ingredients in over the counter pain medication and energy drinks. The old saying you are what you eat is true in many ways, by cutting out processed foods and eating your five a day fresh vegetables and fruit you will help your body find the energy and minerals it needs, by eating healthy food you are going to be healthier.
All written content  Adrian Yates 2011Online Therapy Services