Anxiety. It can come out of the blue and almost take control of everything you’re doing.
You may ask yourself, “Well, how did I get here?” And… if you’re like me, you now have a song stuck in your head.
The real question though, might be: “Ok, I’ve got some anxiety but where does it come from?”
For many people, anxiety is commonly a result of the buildup of every day stressors.
Think about it like this… Maybe you’re feeling pressure to perform well at work, you’ve got a deadline you have to meet, or your significant other is demanding a lot of time and attention.
Or you could be struggling with some other overwhelming problem, like having just lost a loved one or being embroiled in an ongoing conflict with a not so-nice family member.
The pressure is pretty great from any of these situations and buildup happens.
Other people come by anxiety honestly: It’s in their DNA. Literally.
Their brain is just oriented to respond to stress and overwhelm with anxiety.
For some, anxiety shows up because of past experiences, like an assault, bad relationship, shameful situation, failed effort, or even a health problem.
Whatever the reason, whatever the source, anxiety is one of the many ways you mind and body are saying, “I need help handling this!”
Ignoring symptoms of anxiety or expecting them to go away on their own can actually exacerbate the problem long term because it allows your anxiety to compound over time, making it more difficult to handle stressful situations as they arise.
We all have anxiety triggers.
These are those tiny, and sometimes not-so-tiny, inevitable circumstances that send us straight into anxiety mode. You know the one: You feel panicked, overwhelmed, stressed out, tense all over, and have difficulty thinking straight.
Take for example your boss assigns you to major presentation in front of the whole company and you only have three days to prepare.
In the moment you have a mental reaction to the trigger, thinking to yourself, “What if I fail? Am I qualified for this? What if I disappoint my boss, my coworkers? Do I really have enough information to present on this topic?”
Your thoughts initiate a corresponding physical response: racing heart, shortness of breath, flushed face, queasy stomach, clammy hands, and feelings of major dread.
These mental and physical reactions return us to the trigger (having to prepare that presentation) and just thinking of it sends us right back down the same rabbit hole. It’s that same path of doubt, fear, and panic.
We call this cycle a negative feedback loop. Like drawing a circle on a chalkboard, the more times your mind and body run through this loop, the more prominent the pattern becomes over time.
From there stems an orientation to other stressors in your life. It’s as if your brain is now primed to find all of the possible sources of anxiety that could have ever existed in your world.
Your continued heightened awareness, apprehension, and worry move a cloud over an otherwise sunny day.
Many people experiencing anxiety solve this dilemma by trying to avoid triggers altogether.
But this can make life complicated very quickly.
Instead, a better approach is to find some healthy coping skills that can empower you to conquer your anxiety. Adapting some health strategies to manage your anxiety means you no longer have to operate under your anxiety’s restrictions—to be a prisoner to your own anxiety.
It’s time to break the cycle!
Working with a professional counselor can help you identify your triggers, address the reasons they cause you anxiety, and practice positive experiences that will build a new capacity for handling anxiety and stress.
It’s all about getting the momentum going in the right direction.
Ready to get started? Schedule Online Here.
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