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Anxiety : what is it ?

What is anxiety ?

Anxiety can be both an emotion and a feeling, depending on how it is experienced and understood.

From an emotional perspective, anxiety is considered a complex emotion that includes feelings of apprehension, fear, worry, and nervousness, among others. These emotions can be triggered by a variety of internal and external stimuli, such as stress, uncertainty, or danger.

From a more physiological perspective, anxiety can be experienced as a feeling or sensation, often manifested as a tightening in the chest or a feeling of unease in the stomach. This feeling may be accompanied by other physical symptoms, such as sweating, shaking, or rapid heartbeat.

Overall, anxiety involves both emotional and physical components, and it is considered a complex psychological response to a perceived threat or danger.

How can anxiety affect our day to day lives ?

Anxiety can have a significant impact on an individual's daily life. It can cause a range of physical symptoms, such as rapid heartbeat, sweating, and muscle tension, which can be uncomfortable and interfere with daily activities. Anxiety can also lead to difficulty concentrating, social and occupational impairment, and sleep disturbances, which can negatively affect a person's overall well-being. Avoidance behaviour, irritability, and negative self-talk and self-doubt are also common features of anxiety. Seeking support from a mental health professional can help individuals develop coping strategies, challenge negative thought patterns, and develop a greater sense of self-awareness and control over their anxiety.

Can psychotherapy help with anxiety ?

Psychotherapy can help with anxiety by providing individuals with coping strategies, relaxation techniques, and tools for managing their anxiety symptoms. Therapists can help individuals identify and challenge negative thought patterns that contribute to their anxiety and provide support and guidance for gradually facing and overcoming feared situations. Additionally, therapy can help individuals develop a greater sense of self-awareness and self-acceptance, leading to improved emotional regulation and a greater sense of control over their anxiety.

Carol Duffy Psychotherapist 

Stress and Anxiety

Many people are affected by poor mental health either due to their work environment or personal life. Most jobs may leave you feeling like you are under pressure and as a result it is ok to feel stressed or anxious. However, if you regularly feel overwhelmed by these feelings this could begin to affect you health.

Stress and anxiety can be experienced because of work or due to other factors, such as, family, relationships or financial concerns. One issue could be causing you to feel stress and anxiety or it could be a build up of several things and this could make it difficult to identify what’s affecting you. When we feel stress or anxiety in one area of our life this can affect other areas also.

Our therapists are qualified to the highest standards and can support you with issues such as stress and anxiety what ever the causes.

Carol Duffy, Psychotherapist 

That repetitive loop of anxiety

That repetitive loop of anxiety

Anxiety can take over a persons life often to the point that it becomes overwhelming, and exhausting. A person can be plagued by persistent thoughts and critical self commentary that can undermine self esteem, and instead creates self doubt and fear. Anxiety can then make it difficult to feel confident as a person, to feel happy with accomplishments, and interrupt our ability feel relaxed in social settings.

The repetitive cycle created by anxiety can lock us into to withdrawing from social interactions due to a fear of exposure. This creates a loss of potential support and sense of belonging, and instead we can be left with a sense of disconnection and isolation.

Addressing anxiety requires getting to know what way it is being experienced, and exploring a way to move beyond its associated symptoms, emotions, behaviours, and thoughts, towards feeling more at ease with ourselves and free to engage with others and with life.

Carol Duffy  Psychotherapist 

Image © Carol Duffy 2018

What happens when stress becomes intolerable?

Everyone experiences stress at some point in their life, and most of the time we can manage the feelings that go along with stress. While it is uncomfortable, we do know that it will pass. 

But what happens when stress becomes intolerable? 

Many of us will have periods in our lives when we are experiencing an excessive amount of stress, that begins to affect our daily life: worrying thoughts, self doubt, indecisiveness, even sleepless nights, changes in appetite, and days filled with anxiety. 

Often, the people around us notice that we are stressed, but we may not even notice or realise ourselves, that our stress levels have gotten out of hand.

Here is a list of some of the signs and symptoms:

  • irritability
  • frustration
  • angry outbursts
  • inability to relax
  • trouble concentrating
  • feeling anxious
  • difficulty sleeping
  • headaches
  • drinking too much
  • racing heart
  • stomach aches
  • eating too much or too little.
If you are experiencing symptoms like headaches, racing heart, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or stomach issues, it is always wise to seek the advice of a GP to rule out any underlying medical issues.  

In counselling, by getting to know what your personal symptoms of stress are, what factors contribute to increased levels of stress, will help you detect when you are getting overstressed. Therapy will also bring a focus to identifying what measures to put in place before you arrive in a place of overwhelm, and help you get back on track to well being.

Carol Duffy Psychotherapist