Is Anxiety Pushing You Around?

Is Anxiety Pushing You Around?

Anxiety, what is it?

Anxiety is something we all experience. It is an emotion that we feel in our body. Often, we feel it in an increased heart rate, tense muscles, or a nauseous stomach. We all feel it in different ways. The thoughts that go with those physical signs are usually worries about future events or a sense of uncertainty or lack of control.

Anxiety is usually the state of feeling nervous or worried that something bad is going to happen.

How do we see it coming?

It is helpful to pay attention to the physical sensations of your emotions and use the information to help identify what you are feeling. Anxiety is an emotion that is telling us to stop and notice what is going on around us. Sometimes that is a good thing…it can tell us when we are in danger. If we are not in danger, it is telling us that something needs our attention. Perhaps we need to do something we don’t want to do, like a homework assignment or a work presentation. Anxiety can be a fear response to the uncertainty of doing something new. The uncomfortable feeling gets our attention, so we can focus on getting the task done.

How to stand up to it

Sometimes anxiety can be so uncomfortable that instead of motivating us it can lead to avoidance. The avoidance can increase the anxiety until it becomes overwhelming. This can lead to a cycle of worry and avoidance. It is important to realize that you can control your thoughts and worries. It is possible to pay attention to your thoughts and stand up to anxiety. When you notice the feeling of anxiety in your body, stop and take a few deep breaths and notice what you are thinking. What is the worry? Is it true? What can you say to yourself to release the worry? Maybe something like, “it’s OK I can do this”. Remind yourself of your strengths and how you have overcome worry before. Practice paying attention to what you are telling yourself and standing up to unhelpful worries.

Be Kind to yourself

As you practice noticing your anxiety and finding ways to stand up to it, remember to be kind to yourself. Be the supportive friend you need. Remind yourself that this is just an emotion, that you are in control of your feelings and thoughts. If “self talk” isn’t enough, do something relaxing to help you create a better mood. Think about what might work for you; maybe it’s music, dance, taking a walk, yoga, or meditation. Taking good care of yourself will help you come back to feeling better and more yourself.

Counselling Therapy can help you to recognize and understand your reactions to anxiety and help you develop new ways to respond to it. If you need some support, please feel free to contact me.

Meet Jane Donovan

Jane Donovan, MEd, RCT, is a relationship counsellor in downtown, Halifax. She helps adults and couples who want to have healthy and supportive relationships but instead find themselves feeling misunderstood, unheard, and unhappy. Click here to learn more about her online Halifax counselling practice!

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