You may be searching for counselling or something associated with anxiety. This may be out of curiosity or it may be because you are looking for some help and assistance in managing anxiety. This could be for someone you love or for yourself.
Thankfully, as a society we understand that our mental and emotional well-being is just as important as our physical well-being and stigmas around using counselling and therapeutic support at times when we feel overwhelmed or even when we just need to be heard, are finally on their way out; and about time too!
It is important to note that anxiety is process within the body that does not start with bodily feelings such as tight muscles, a dry mouth, or a feeling that something bad may be about to happen.
It starts off in the mind and with a thought process that sees threat, risk or harm and interprets that as a signal for the body to be ready to act. This is why anxiety feels stressful and people say that they ‘feel on edge’. The body is in a heightened state of alert with stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol being dumped into the body, ensuring that the body can endure physically, as a form of survival. This is the classic ‘fight or flight’ response that you may have heard about and today we also believe that ‘freezing’ in frightful situations is also part of an inbuilt response. (There is some debate about ‘fawn’ as another one of these responses, where people overlook their own needs to please and agree with others).
Anxiety can take many forms, such as a constant worry, fear of something catastrophic taking place as a recurrent thought thereby stimulating anxiety, ongoing fears about health and even the recent pandemic, all have heightened stress reactions in our body.