This is the first in a series of blogs covering help with anxiety and depression. Below is an overview.
We can all feel anxious at times because anxiety is a natural response to fear, pressure and stress. Whether fear is real or perceived, our inbuilt fight or flight response alerts us to a potential danger or threat for our survival. Anxiety is not a bad thing in itself, but when we over-think something, one worry is quickly replaced by another worry and another, and the mind soon creates a fearful narrative of the future.
Unfortunately ‘Thoughts create your reality’. If a negative narrative continues unchecked, it can lead to depression, nervousness, loss of confidence and withdrawal from life. Sadly, anxiety becomes the default way of feeling and approaching life and is clinically described as generalised anxiety disorder (GAD).
Anxiety, general or more specific as in social anxiety, is a symptom people often bring to therapy, and exploring the origin of the anxiety is the first place to start. Often it relates to something deeper, for instance a client has a deeply held belief they are not good enough, or the fear of failure or rejection is overwhelming.
Working with the body
Such fears are usually rooted in early experiences but feel like they are happening now. This is the power of early trauma or shameful experiences because they are held in the body, and when feelings come to the surface to be healed, the mind feels it is losing control and the response is anxiety.
Working with the Body: If the anxiety is manageable and thoughts and fears have calmed, then bodywork helps us to carefully go deeper and ‘meet’ the cause. Working this way invites us into the present moment and guides us to where we are vulnerable or armouring our hurt and pain. Being present and respectful with vulnerability releases the feeling trapped in the body and allows the release of fear. And in the present moment we connect with what we really feel, and a new cycle can begin.
A quick resource for anxiety
What is your fear?
Where do you feel it in your body? (Heart, solar plexus, stomach, throat)
Ground yourself by feeling your feet on the floor/earth, or your body on the chair. Breath and allow yourself to be supported by the ground or the chair. Focus on your breath because it will keep you in the present, and while you breathe, your body will automatically balance itself.
In the present moment you have all the information you need. (It may be hard to believe that as this is the opposite of what your anxious thoughts want you to believe!)
What are your strengths in the situation? What qualities do you have that you can use to support you? Finally, thank yourself for taking the time to do this.
Need help with depression and anxiety? Feel free to contact me here