What is Anxiety & Stress?
We all worry at times. Being worried or slightly anxious, is quite a normal response to a number of different stressors. It is normal to be anxious and stressed before a big presentation or an important deadline, or when we are facing a threat, like an angry dog! What isn’t healthy, is when we are constantly stressed or anxious, or when our anxiety prevents us from being able to interact and function in our normal everyday lives.
Anxiety is simply our body’s primitive alarm system. It is our body trying to tell us we are in danger and we need to assess the danger and act quickly to protect ourselves!
Anxiety disorders, like Generalized Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Hypochondria or Phobias, occur when our alarm system becomes hyper sensitive, and our alarm gets triggered by fleeting negative thoughts, by perceived threats rather than actual threats. This can occur due to a number of different reasons, ranging from an unhappy childhood to a negative boss or negative partner influencing us. It can also happen in reaction to trauma.
Stress, or burnout, can occur when we are in a chronic state of anxiety, which can take a significant toll on our body. Our bodies weren’t designed to be in a stressed state over prolonged periods!
Learning how to deal with stress and anxiety
When we become anxious, our fight-flight-freeze response kicks in. The flight-flight-freeze state is one where a number of physiological responses occur which correspond with the symptoms of anxiety or panic attacks. The key to overcoming our anxiety lies in understanding the physiological responses and changing elements like our breathing to gain control of our anxiety. In sessions, you will be educated about anxiety and learn breathing and relaxation techniques, to help you physiologically manage your anxiety.
The next step is to learn how to become aware of the negative thinking which is triggering off the anxiety or worry. Learning how the fight-flight-freeze response effects our negative thinking and rationalization process helps us better understand our anxiety. Cognitive restructuring helps by looking at and realistically evaluating the negative thoughts that trigger off the anxious response. Journaling can help you identify your negative thinking and cognitive behavioural techniques can begin to train you on how to challenge your negative thinking.
All of the above strategies are part of the techniques often taught in cognitive behavioural therapy or training (CBT). Cognitive Behavioural Training (CBT) is shown to be one of the most effective ways of dealing with anxiety and depression. It is considered particularly effective when the anxiety or depression has recently occurred, so it is important to seek help as soon as possible.
I can help you discover how to manage your anxiety, both physiologically and mentally. I can help you identify your negative thinking and teach you tools and skills to help you rationalize and challenge your anxious thoughts.
I offer consultations in English, Hindi, Urdu and Sindhi.