Are you nervous and light headed? Is that a knot in your stomach? Are you afraid that something bad is going to happen?
Anxiety can stop us from doing the things that we know will make us happy in the long run. It can seem like it is keeping us safe but eventually the negative consequences of avoidance become … unavoidable.
|My name is Richard. I am an experienced psychotherapist trained to heal the causes of anxiety. I can work with you to find the courage to do the things you want to do. When you are ready you can request a free 30 minute consultation, or call me on 020 7377 1918 so we can talk about your unique situation.|
What is anxiety?
According to ICD-10 Generalised Anxiety disorder is:
Anxiety that is generalized and persistent but not restricted to, or even strongly predominating in, any particular environmental circumstances (i.e. it is “free-floating”). The dominant symptoms are variable but include complaints of persistent nervousness, trembling, muscular tensions, sweating, lightheadedness, palpitations, dizziness, and epigastric discomfort. Fears that the patient or a relative will shortly become ill or have an accident are often expressed.
One of the first definitions of anxiety I hear described it as a ‘fear trapped in the future’. The idea is that if you are holding the image of the future going wrong and leading to some kind of traumatic event then your body will respond with a fight of flight stress response now. There is no action to be taken right now and so we experience this as a stuck sense of anxiety.
When my clients tune into their experience of anxiety they often describe it as like a knot, ball of stress, or even a clingy tentacled creature. When I ask them if this energy belongs to them they usually say ‘no’. The logical conclusion? Anxiety is a parasitic energy in our body that we are allowing to stay. We let it stay because it brings us a big benefit: it warns us of potential danger. By acting on its warnings we get to avoid the potential consequences of this danger such as, physical pain, emotional suffering, and death. We have felt these things before and we are afraid of feeling them again so we agree with the anxiety that they must be avoided at all costs. The anxiety gets to stay and gets to be in control of us. It is kind of like a cork that we use to plug a dark place within ourselves. While it may be somewhat uncomfortable it is, at least, dependable and something of a companion.
How do you treat anxiety?
The key to resolving anxiety is to stop avoiding and appeasing it and to face up to and to accept the emotional consequences of the worst happening. Easier said than done! One of my mantras is that you can have what you want if you are prepared to accept the consequences.
The main approach I use to treat anxiety is very direct, deep, and powerful: I will teach you to separate from the grip of the anxiety itself. In your imagination you will move the anxiety out of your body and progressively disconnect each place where it attaches. It will not want to go and so you will need to be firm and determined. You will follow each connection to the place where it attaches to your body and will consider the emotional consequences of letting the anxiety go. This could be the experience of anger, grief, loneliness, etc. As you choose to experience, rather than avoid this emotion then the anxiety doesn’t have anything to hold onto and begins to loose its grip on you.
As the anxiety falls away you may experience the grief of loosing an old friend. If the anxiety was plugging a hole then you will begin to feel that lonely emptiness. Rather than find something else from the outside to fill that hole I will guide you into it, into the unknown. This is where you will discover the lonely self who has been trapped in that hole. As you re-connect and resolve any issues that were passed on to you by your family then you will fill up with an inner love. You will gain in confidence and you will develop a trust that you can handle life … even when it does not go to plan.
Take action now
Would you like to to become more confident and courageous? I work face-to-face in Bethnal Green, East London and online via Skype and Google Talk. Request a free 30 minute consultation or call me on 020 7377 1918 for a chat.
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