• Heather Oglesby

Anxiety

Sweaty palms, shallow short breaths, shaking, intrusive thoughts, hypervigilance.

Sound familiar?

These are just a few symptoms of anxiety. Anyone may experience anxiety at any point in their life, it is likely to be felt during stressful situations or because of changes that could significantly affect your life. These feelings are expected but can become more of an issue if it impacts on your ability to live your everyday life, for example if the worry and fear that you feel is hard to control or is disproportionate to the situation, if you experience regular panic attacks, or if you start avoiding certain situations/places/people because of it.

Counselling can help to identify triggers that you may not previously have been aware of and work on those and the ones you are already aware of. It is important to be honest with yourself and then together find ways to help alleviate the anxiety in a way that works for you. Different things work for different people, this can include: grounding yourself, doing yoga or tai chi, listening to guided meditations and being more mindful of diet and caffeine intake. Working with your counsellor you may start to see patterns in your behaviour that leads you to triggers and so start to work on interrupting the pattern and changing it to a different, more positive outcome.

There are many different creative things you can do in counselling to help with anxiety for example, drawing or describing your anxiety and then using a Gestalt method usually used when exploring dreams to see it from all angles. Using breathing techniques and progressive muscle relaxation along with a guided visualisation, that you create in the counselling room to fit to what is most relaxing for you, can be extremely powerful in getting to grips with your anxiety and feeling able to tackle it. Resisting anxiety can make if feel worse so learning to notice and identify your anxiety

then asking what it needs can help.

Something to ponder: How would you describe your anxiety?


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