Do you have control over your anxiety or is your anxiety controlling you ?
Anxiety affects the way we think, how our body responds and the way we behave.
Anxiety is the fear that something we value is being threatened: the most common being
Physical Safety - walking alone at night, awaiting results of pathological report
Material Wellbeing – faced with large debt or risk of redundancy
Self- esteem – job interviews or making a speech
Social safety – when we think that someone disapproves of us or when having to confront someone.
Anxiety stops us relaxing and focusing on other things around us.
Focusing on our anxiety limits our ability to think clearly or process other information in a normal way
We unconsciously assume that worrying is protective; it actually creates much more real and immediate suffering than the situation we fear.
THE CYCLE OF ANXIETY
Something bad is going to happen I won’t be able to cope
Adrenaline response – Body’s alarm system – Energised for fight or flight. Blood is diverted to the big muscles’ to help us escape or fight the threat, and blood is therefore taken away from other body systems.
You might notice in your body:
Heart rate increases Breathing speeds up, breathless, choking feeling Muscles tense, aching, shaking Hot, sweating Lightheaded, Blurred vision Butterflies in tummy, urge to go to toilet More alert – scanning for danger
Is this threat a real one or is it really bound to happen? Am I exaggerating the threat? Am I misreading things? I feel bad, but that doesn’t mean things really are so bad What would someone else say about this? What would I say to a friend in this situation? What would be a more helpful way of looking at things? Where’s my focus of attention? I can cope with these feelings; I’ve got through it before. This will pass.
Take a breath How will doing this affect me in the long term? Don’t avoid situations – go anyway Problem solve or make plans if necessary Take things slowly or gradually Focus attention outside of me – external rather than internal focus (mindfulness) What’s the best thing to do What would help most
Imagine yourself coping in a situation that you feel anxious about. See the situation through to a successful completion.
Visualise blue for calm. Breathe in blue and breathe out read.
Relax This too will pass I have done what I can, now it’s out of my hands One day at a time Not my problem! Wait and see I have the right to make mistakes It’s a pain in the neck but it’s not a disaster Will this matter in five year’s time How bad is this on the awfulness scale?ANXIETY