In recent days, I hear many people casually use the terms anxiety & anxious interchangeably. Feeling anxious is propelled by unease, worry or fear. Anxiety is a mental health diagnosis characterised by the below mentioned common presentations or their combination for a length of time. It is imperative not to self-diagnose.

A few common symptoms include

  1. Experiencing excessive fear or concern which is disproportionate to the event or the length of time associated with it. 
  2. Feeling scared or worried which impacts the processes of daily living and social engagement. An amplified occurrence of such a state could lead to a panic attack in which the entire body feels immobilised or in duress. 
  3. Feeling under threat with the survival response of fight, flight, or freeze kicking in which creates fatigue & exhaustion. 
  4. A restlessness that cannot be comforted by any known or familiar coping methods and sensed by tensing of muscles. 
  5. Impact on physical health including sleep patterns, appetite and mood. 

I would ask you to consider the use of language in referring to yourself or other. For eg. I am feeling anxious for the past few hours is dramatically different from saying I have anxiety. The reason I say that is because often I hear clients or even therapist for that matter use them interchangeably. I would remind you to consult a physician and seek medical validation.

Sometimes, knowing that you are alright could be what you need to hear. It may help you to find a release with hormones like serotonin or dopamine kicking into your system. 

If you feel anxious and it’s a propensity to life events, perhaps focus on the bodily sensations associated with it. For example, I would ask –

  1. Where does it initiate, e.g. stomach or chest?  
  2. How does it communicate its presence to you – e.g. tingling, constriction, fluttering. 
  3. If it was a messenger trying to speak to you – what is it letting you know of e.g. to slow down, take a breath, do too many tasks, rest, move etc. 

I would say in conclusion that only YOU know your body, mind and heart the best, so trust your voice & seek help.

#Psychotherapy #therapist #mental health #healing #mentalwellbeing #awareness #EXAT #attunement


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