Anxiety is a powerful feeling. Often times feelings of anxiety can pop up out of nowhere, or so it seems. Sometimes you know what situations make you feel anxious. Either way anxiety is a distressing and overwhelming emotion. I have had clients tell me they thought they were going to die. This is how powerful anxiety can be.
Anxiety is a feeling of doom and a fear that something terrible is about to happen. You have probably heard of the “fight of flight” response? When faced with perceived danger our body’s are biologically designed to protect and either flee or fight! Anxiety causes you to feel worried and concerned you are in danger. Therefore your body prepares you to fight or flee. The body’s muscles will tense up, the heart will pulse faster, breathing becomes labored, and the eyes will adjust to only see danger. I think of this as tightening the head of drum, or in this case the body gets wound up tighter and tighter. For some the feeling of anxiety is not as noticeable as the body’s physical response to anxiety. If you don’t feel emotionally anxious you will experience the discomfort and pain associated with anxiety. Therefore individuals may seek medical attention in an ER during panic attacks because they fear they are having a heart attack. Anxiety not only upsets how the body feels but will upset thinking and the mind.
Anxiety causes thoughts to race through the mind. It can feel like you have a million thoughts running through your head at once. This is distressing because it is overwhelming to have that many thoughts in the mind at one time. It will be hard to concentrate and focus. Clients have told me anxious thoughts in their mind are very “loud” and as if a voice is yelling at them. These thoughts are very negative, full of fear and doom, and focus on the worst case scenario.
At this point anxiety takes over and you may no longer feel in control. However you can learn to manage your anxiety. It is important to remember that you are ALWAYS in control of your body and your mind, even when experiencing anxiety. You have the power to calm yourself and keep yourself safe. Think about it. Even if you are suffering from anxiety right now you have managed to keep yourself safe this long. You have managed to get up each day and complete tasks. Anxiety is a pesky little bully trying to convince you otherwise. The best way to regain control is take your power back and the best way to regain your power is to show yourself love and care.
PsychCentral posted a blog today on four steps to fight anxiety. These steps include four ways to show yourself love and care. Click the link to continue to read what four steps you can take to care for yourself when you are anxious.
* Stephanie Waitt, PhD, LPC is a holistic psychotherapist in private practice in Sherman, TX. She uses mindfulness, relaxation practices, and cognitive behavioral techniques in her work with clients to help restore, peace, happiness, and wellness in their lives. Stephanie specializes in working with survivors of trauma, individuals living with anxiety and depression, young and school-aged children, and adolescents with self-esteem, depression, and anxiety. You can learn more about her practice on this site.