What is Anxiety? 

We are all neurologically wired to experience fear and stress. But different people have different triggers and people all react differently to stress triggers.

Anxiety occurs when the feelings of fear or stress are extreme and last for a long period of time. It could then start to effect our mental, emotional and physical health; our relationships; our careers and our lives in general.

Anxiety disorders include:

- Panic Disorder: when we are experiencing recurring panic attacks at unexpected times. Someone with panic disorder could live in fear of the next panic attack

- Phobias: having an excessive fear of a specific object, situation, or activity

- Social anxiety disorder: an extreme fear of being judged by others in social situations

- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): having recurring irrational thoughts that leads one to perform specific, repeated behaviours

- Separation anxiety disorder: an intense fear of being away from home or loved ones

- Illness anxiety disorderexperiencing anxiety about one's health (formerly called hypochondria)

- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): anxiety following a traumatic event

What are some of the symptoms of Anxiety? 

Anxiety could be experienced differently from person to person. Feelings can range from butterflies in the stomach to a racing heart or shortness of breath. Some people might even feel out of control, almost as if there’s a disconnect between mind and body.

Some other ways people experience anxiety may include having nightmares, suffering from panic attacks, or having uncontrollable or painful thoughts or memories. Some people may even have a general feeling of fear or worry about a another person, a place or an event.

General symptoms which occur over a long period of time include:

- an increased heart rate

- rapid breathing, often resulting in dizziness

- restlessness or unease

- trouble concentrating or being forgetful 

-difficulty falling asleep or waking up and not being able to go back to sleep

Each person's anxiety symptoms might be totally different from someone else’s. That’s why it’s important to explore all the ways anxiety can present itself.

Anxiety can limit people’s lives in unexpected ways — many of which may not seem to be due to anxiety. For example, some people are consumed by worries every waking moment of their day (and night!). Some may find it difficult to fall asleep while others want to sleep the whole time. Some people may have a hard time leaving home, while for another individual it presents as a fear of public speaking. A nervous mother may have to relentlessly complete a series of rituals and specific tasks each morning before she can leave her child with a carer. A teenage boy may be feel overwhelmed by nightmares and get suspended for fighting in school after a traumatic event like having his home destroyed by a tornado. A gardener’s anxiety about encountering snakes may effect his income to a level that won’t support his family. A child after having experienced bullying may be reluctant to attend school and unwilling to talk to her teachers, threatening her education.

What can we do about Anxiety? 

While working with clients who are experiencing a form of anxiety, the focus is on:

- Understanding the neurological mechanics of anxiety - the nuts-and-bolts that make us human and imperfect

- Looking at personality types that could amplify anxiety - e.g. introversion, highly sensitivity, creativity etc.

- Identifying triggers specific to that person and exploring origins of the triggers - where did it all start 

- Learning valuable skills to potentially prevent and manage anxiety - thinking, feeling and doing differently

- Exploring ways to minimise anxiety - looking at environment; life style; nutrition

Even though anxiety has the power to deny a person the opportunity to complete many of the basic activities of life, or to experience joy, or to live a healthy, functional life, sufferers of anxiety could return to a fully engaging, functional, joyful life. That too is realistic and doable!

My invitation to you is to reclaim your power!

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