What is Anxiety?
Anxiety, which could also be called worry, is when we focus on past mistakes or on future events rather than be in the present. Both past and future events are something we cannot control so worry isn’t having any useful impact rather it is taking energy from being in our present life. When one asks oneself in the present moment “do I have everything I need right this moment, am I okay?” the answer is generally yes. But, we have become so accustom to our anxiety and worry that we aren’t comfortable, but it seems kind of normal. And often most of those around us are living with anxiety and worry as well. Basically, we’ve normalized it.
So, one might ask, “well how do I stop focusing on the past or the future and stay in the present where things are generally more pleasant and something I actually have control over”. Easier said than done, but the essence of it is that anxiety and worry are distraction from unresolved grief. At some point we had some difficult things occur, maybe trauma even that we were unable to stay present with, so we never actually felt the pain, felt the feelings instead we left, we dissociated and the feelings froze inside of us. The experience itself was never processed or felt through so we continue to carry around those feelings which keep us in a heightened state of anxiety or hyper vigilance. The answer is to use tools to help us “let it go”.
The really interesting part is that feeling the feelings of the old event or grief is not nearly as bad as we think. Thinking it is really bad we develop fear, and the fear is what holds the anxiety and worry in place in pattern during our current life. Sometimes the anxiety and worry is so severe that we have panic attacks. This is when we feel like we are going to die and we have absolutely no control over stopping what is happening.
Solutions to Anxiety and Worry
There are solutions to overcoming anxiety, they range from learning mindfulness techniques to taking medication. How I can help is on the one hand to give you tools, coping skills that you can practice both when you are feeling calm and when you are feeling the anxiety. And, on the other hand, we can work through processing any past hurts and fears that might be stuck in your system. The first gives you something in the immediate to help regulate the anxiety and the second is a more long-term solution to help reduce the anxiety more permanently.
There are lots of different approaches to this work and each therapist will have what they think works best for them and for the client they are working with. To name a few, we can approach it cognitively, through the body, exploring emotions and relationship patterns, inner child work, medication, mindfulness techniques, just to name a few.
I’m here to answer any questions you might have about anxiety and worry, there is lots more to learn. Or if you are ready to address anxiety and worry issues you might be having, contact me to set up a free phone consultation or your first session. You can have a peaceful and content life!