The symptoms of anxiety are varied and show themselves differently in everyone. Anxiety shows in thoughts, feelings, behaviours, and body sensations. Anxiety ‘knocks out’ the rational thinking part of the brain and as a result we can become very reactive. Anxiety is the response of an organism to a threat that can be real or imagined. It can happen to us as individuals or as a family. Some families do not accept that together needs and individuality needs of the members vary they do not stay static. Families with high anxiety are the one where the togetherness needs are stressed.
‘You can choose your independence ..there’s the door’
‘.if you marry that man we are cutting you off.’
Sometimes in families children can be told –
You are responsible for keeping your mother happy.
Its your kids job to make your father feel better
This is not true and causes much anxiety in children. You are responsible for your own life and not responsible for another person’s happiness.
If you are seeking treatment for anxiety we begin by :
- Exploring the nature of your anxiety –. I take details of the history of trauma in your life. We determine when you first noticed you were affected by anxiety, and if you are aware of what triggers it, or makes it worse. I may ask you to track how you feel during the week to assist with this process of exploration.
- We discuss your developmental history and look for the patterns of interaction with/in your family of origin and any future expectations that your parents may have dreamed of.
- I employ body-focused techniques based on the works of Babette Rothschild and Peter Levine, as well as Pat Ogden. Together we slow down the processes in the body by deep breathing, use of safe place and strengthening imagery, progressive relaxation, basic mindfulness meditation, and principles of Somatic Experience, which have been proven to be effective. Once you have a better control of your bodily responses to anxiety, then the two-way “feedback loop” between body feelings and thoughts (e.g., “my heart is racing, I am gasping for breath – I MUST be having an anxiety attack”) becomes less powerful.
- We can identify your strengths and inner resources.
I have a holistic approach taking consideration of :
Exercise level – exercise is known to have a calming affect, and to actually change the structure of the mammalian brain, which may help us recover from stress much more quickly.
Sleep patterns – sleep deprivation has been shown to heighten anxiety.
Use of alcohol, tobacco or other substances to reduce anxiety, which often masks symptoms and can even make them worse and can eventually cause addiction.
Nutrition – eating food that is has as little processing as possible.