Many people suffer from anxiety. It has been defined as an intense, troubling feeling that can happen to anyone any time. Have you ever wondered what causes it, and more importantly, how to overcome it?
As one of the Hernando County therapists who treat anxiety, the first thing many clients want to know is why they have it. The answer is not always easy to answer. There is a term we use in therapy called “nature vs. nurture,” which means can anxiety be something passed down through genetics (nature) or can it stem from the environment or the way a person was raised or taught? Many times the answer is both. We know that behaviors are learned. Many people grew up in a family where mom was a worrier or dad second-guessed himself constantly and struggled with guilt. There is an expression “that which we fear, we create,” meaning often we fear something so much, we become fixated on it and overlook other more important things which may need our focus or attention.
Anxiety is caused by not staying present. While depression is fretting about the past, anxiety occurs when we fret about the future. Examples of anxious thinking are, “I know this will not turn out well” or “what if he doesn’t like me?” Unfortunately, when the mind begins to worry or become afraid, the body will go into its sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) and fear the worst. Because the anxious thought is not really a true danger, the body doesn’t know how to react and will often panic. Every year, hundreds of people go to the ER thinking they are having a heart attack only to find out they had suffered a panic attack.
As a Hernando County Therapist, I can help you manage anxiety by teaching practices like mindfulness, meditation while learning how to live in the present. Technology is not a friend to anxiety. Because we are living in a world of social media, video games, and cell phones, it is hard to shut the brain down and just be in the now.
Please feel free to e-mail me your questions through Happy New Year!