Anxiety is sometimes considered to be something that we have to learn to live with, or manage. Many of us buy into that story and believe it to be true. In fact, anxiety plays an important role in our personal development and growth. It is a valuable messenger, communicating to us, that it’s time to let go of old emotional coping mechanisms – ones that do not serve us in a helpful or healthy way. It can present itself in the following ways:
- Intense or underlying feelings of dread or fear
- Chest pain tightness
- Fight or flight or freeze response
- Rapid heart rate
- Shortness of breath,
- Dizziness/feeling spaced out
- Panic attacks
- Catastrophic or repetitive negative thinking,
- Ritualistic behaviours
- Avoidance of certain situations
- Loss of confidence
Anxiety may be caused by a specific stressful incident or from being under continuous stress. It may linger, or manifest itself after a stressful period in your life has passed. It is that unconscious part of your mind, still trying to protect you from harm or danger, whether or not that threat was real or perceived. Like all feelings or emotions, anxiety is not fixed, it is meant to move and it will, when we give it the space to do so. We can do this by learning how to relax and feel more present in our bodies, which helps us to become aware of and release pent up tension. We can let go of the scary stories that we have created in our minds and repeatedly tell ourselves (which can hold feelings of anxiety in place. Instead we can replace them with more empowering stories, ones that feel better. The more relaxed you allow yourself to become, the more in control you will feel. Then the easier it becomes to feel more centred and calm during stressful situations and allow space for the anxiety to release.
For anxiety and stress release, I use a combined approach of relaxation and breathing techniques, counselling, hypnosis and self-awareness coaching. Simply by making the choice to feel better, you are already moving forward.