Are you looking for therapy for anxiety in Hythe or Folkestone? I’ve put together some useful information that may help you understand what you are going through, and how we might work together to make you feel better.
I’d like to start by saying that anxiety is a normal response to stress. Our goal can never be to stop you feeling any anxiety at all, as often this is what keeps you safe. What we can do is help you cope better with anxiety. We can also look for areas in your life where we can work on reducing the stress that causes the anxiety in the first place.
Anxiety occurs when our flight or fight mechanism is hi-jacked. Fight or flight can save our lives. Many thousands of years ago, if we were out hunting and heard a rustle in the bushes, our senses would immediately peak. Our hearts would start to beat faster, and our breathing become shallow as adrenaline starts getting released. In short, our bodies would get us ready to either fight or flee from the predator in the bushes. Of course, today, we rarely come across predators. However, we may feel the same thing when we are walking down an empty alley and hear footsetps, or are crossing the road and see something coming towards us out of the corner of our eye. In these cases, action may very well save our lives.
However, in our modern life, many day to day situations are also producing the same response in our body. Examples of these could be:
Any of these are enough to set off our anxiety response. If we have a few happening at the same time, that can further raise the levels. This is quite likely when we are in mid-life. Women going through menopause often find that the hormone fluctuations can increase those feelings of anxiety too.
Some people may even experience panic attacks, when those levels of anxiety trigger intense feelings that can make you fear for your life or sanity.
Many of our lives are set up so that we keep experiencing situations like these. Or we may find it particularly difficult to cope with them. Each day becomes a bombardment of stresses, until it gets to the point where even an incoming text or a child slow to get their shoes on in the morning can set it off.
Long-term anxiety is linked to bad health: heart conditions, strokes, depression, sleep problems, not to mention skin problems and lack of energy. As our bodies keep getting flooded by stress hormones, chronic conditions can start to set in. We also stay locked within an emotional state of mind, and can find it harder to make decisions or think clearly.
Apart from all the long-term health conditions mentioned above, feeling anxiety can often be the first step in what we call the cycle of depression. Anxiety is likely to mess with your REM sleep, which helps you feel refreshed and clear headed in the morning. Too much REM sleep means too little deep sleep, the sleep that recharges you, and you end up waking feeling tired and demotivated (for more on sleep, see here). As a result, you start to feel down, withdraw from others or lose interest in things that previously excited you. You are now on the cycle of depression. Working on your anxiety can prevent, or even stop, this cycle.
Many of my clients ,who are parents, have told me that by working on their own anxiety, life at home is much calmer and less stressful for their children. They also share the tools and exercises we use within our therapy with their children. They have helped them through issues like changing schools or coping with loneliness at school. It also feels good to be a role model for looking after your own mental health.
We will look at your anxiety in a number of different ways. We’ll begin by sharing some simple techniques that can help you with your anxiety in the moment. These range from breathing exercises, to ways of stepping back from your thoughts. If you suffer from panic attacks, I can show you ways to calm and stop them.
Our aim is to get you coping better with anxiety, so we will be looking at various ways that will help you do that. Not everything suits everyone, so you will experiment with what works for you. Eventually, you will have your own unique toolbox that you can draw on when things get stressful.
We will also examine your life to see what might be causing you stress, and work together to come up with ideas to reduce or even take you out of those situations. Sometimes, even small tweaks can make a big difference.
It’s important to look at what set off this anxiety. Sometimes, it can just be life and the stresses that occur day to day. At times, however, there may be an underlying incident or even trauma. I have special ways of working with these and we can use them if appropriate.