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
- Experiencing excessive fear or concern which is disproportionate to the event or the length of time associated with it.
- 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.
- Feeling under threat with the survival response of fight, flight, or freeze kicking in which creates fatigue & exhaustion.
- A restlessness that cannot be comforted by any known or familiar coping methods and sensed by tensing of muscles.
- 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 –
- Where does it initiate, e.g. stomach or chest?
- How does it communicate its presence to you – e.g. tingling, constriction, fluttering.
- 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