Fear and anxiety There are many reasons why you might have fear and anxiety. Fear tends to be about a definable situation and is functional as a warning signal. Anxiety is more free-floating and it can be hard to pin down a specific cause. Chronic anxiety may be a circuit in the crisis center (limbic system) of the brain that keeps being activated in the absence of a definable threat. This can happen because a state of fear that you experienced early in life has conditioned you to keep recycling the same unnecessary and unpleasant activation. This is a miserable experience that I would call still having a lousy childhood. You do not have to live the rest of your life with it.
Sometimes the thing you fear is actually dangerous to you and you do need to figure out how to protect yourself. Sometimes the discomfort you are experiencing is a case of your past leading you to an inaccurate evaluation of the current situation. We can sort it out together.
Anxiety is happening in the mind and the body at the same time, and by starting at either the mind or the body I can help you reduce your tension. There are many ways to bring anxiety to a manageable level. A valuable technique is deep slow diaphragmatic breathing. Although this kind of breathing may be hard to master without any help, it is usually easily teachable. Good breathing doesn’t make problems disappear, but it does help you calm and center yourself and think clearly.
Fear and anxiety are like an alarm bell. It is miserable to be subject to a lot of false alarms. Working together, we can learn to distinguish a real danger from a false alarm. Once you can sort that out, you will handle real danger in the present more effectively and can get fears that come from the past out of your present life.
A developmental task for every child is to learn how to regulate emotional arousal. There are a number of ways that accomplishing that task can get derailed. If your parents were not soothing people who had a calming effect on you, your developing nervous system could have become defaulted into chronic overload. You might now find yourself without an effective governor. It is not your fault if that happened, but improving the situation falls to you. I can help you learn how to self-soothe. I might add that addictions by and large are attempts to self-soothe that cost too much.
CalmClinic.com is a website dedicated to helping anxiety sufferers start managing their anxiety. It covers topics such as treatment, symptoms, causes, techniques, specific issues related to anxiety, diet considerations and many other important issues.
Panic can be an avalanche that is very hard to stop. You may feel like you are loosing control, can't breathe, and are going to die. It is frightening and can limit both your enjoyment of life and your ability to function.
My approach to panic is in two parts. First there is the immediate practical need to regain control of your mind and body at the moment that panic grabs you. There are many ways to become grounded and stop panic at the moment. We can together find the right combination of tools for you.
The second need is to understand what is triggering and maintaining the reaction of panic. That takes longer, but can result in you becoming less susceptible to going into panic in the first place. You do not have to resign yourself to being ruled by panic and fear of panic. Life that is not full of panic is an entirely different and more rewarding experience.
Happiness is more of a problem than you might think. Many people don’t recognize happiness when it sneaks into their minds. If you had no real model of happiness available when you were growing up, you may mistake crisis for normality. You may find that you push aside what really makes you happy and just move on to thinking about the next problem.
There is a certain comfort we derive from what I call the family-iliar. You may not be happy, but at least you know just what to do. This is a snare in which a person can get trapped for a long time. Learning to recognize happiness and make a place for it in your mind can be quite an issue.
If you feel responsible for how everyone around you feels, you are probably suffering from toxic guilt. Getting rid of toxic guilt requires sorting out what you really are and are not responsible for. It requires wrestling with why you might set a reasonable standard for everyone else in the world and a higher impossible to reach standard for yourself.
Dr. Arlen Ring - psychotherapy counseling