Anxiety is a powerful physiological and emotional response that appears when we feel we are facing a threat. It is therefore normal to feel it in certain more or less stressful situations. Instead, we say anxiety is pathological when it arises without just cause.
The border between normal and pathological anxiety
Even non-pathological as well as normal anxiety is beneficial. Yerkes-Dobson’s Law (1908) describes the relationship between anxiety and performance. According to this law, a certain level of anxiety increases performance, And therefore the chances of success in any action we attempt, whether it is an exam, a job, etc. When we exceed this anxiety limit, performance begins to decline, as it decreases our ability to pay attention and focus, and therefore to seek information.
When anxiety comes on suddenly and for no apparent reason, it’s when we start to worry and feel fear that the symptoms return. When it happens there is a risk of over-alarming and of constantly anticipating its appearance, Which, over time, will make the state of alert so high, that inevitably anxiety sets in our lives.
When we go to therapy we do it without understanding what is happening to us, and with tremendous fear that we will not get our lives back, thoughts like “I’ve gone mad”, “I’ll never be the same person again” and the as they occupy our minds at all times. this generates a state of helplessness and helplessness, The feeling of “not controlling our reactions”.
At Avanç Psicologs, we are aware of the impact this has on the life and environment of the person suffering from anxiety, so in therapy we consider it essential. for the person to understand what anxiety is, so that they can begin to deal with it be aware that this is an alarm response that tells us that there is something to review in our lives, which can be extremely beneficial in our personal development in the medium term.
Currently, the treatment of anxiety with cognitive behavioral psychology and third generation therapies it gives more than proven results.
Through progressive exposure to the stimulus generated by vigilance and the development of anxiety coping and unlearning skills, with techniques developed over the years throughout research in psychology, in addition to engagement and from accepting anxiety as a fundamental part of recovery, quality of life recovery can occur.
These techniques come to be learned during therapy, so that the anxious person can use them in their daily life, regain the feeling of control over his body and his emotional state.
Humanistic orientations of psychology, such as Ellis Rational Emotional Therapy, Rogers Client-Centered Therapy, and Pearl Gestalt Therapy, are used in Advance Psychologists during alternative therapy, with the clear purpose of complementing and enhancing explore the emotional variables behind anxiety.
Symptoms of anxiety type problems
The symptoms that should make us think that our anxiety is disproportionate and that we need to start working on it, manifest themselves at different levels. They are as follows.
Fear of appearing anxiety causes constant anticipatory thoughts that maintain alert levels. Thoughts of fear of failure or fear of suffering are also expressed.
In addition, we have a greater tendency to think in a distorted and negative way, and to present catastrophic thoughts, which generates a feeling of anxiety and discomfort which leads to a decrease in the capacities of attention and concentration.
In our body, anxiety manifests itself through symptoms such as tachycardia, sweating, tremors, feeling difficult to breathe, muscle tension, Tingling or plugging of the skin, tension in the stomach, chest pressure, insomnia, eating disorders, etc.
When anxiety generates a feeling of helplessness and a lack of control over our bodies and our behavior, self-esteem and mood can be severely damaged when a feeling of helplessness and uncontrollability in our lives arises.
Negative and maladaptive thoughts and avoidance behaviors for fear of the onset of anxiety, reaffirm the feeling of helplessness and lack of control, so that our self-esteem can be severely damaged, which leads us to continue to avoid the elements of our environment and maintain this vicious cycle. Some of the avoidances that can affect self-esteem over time, as they lead to a loss of autonomy, are: avoiding social relationships, avoiding going out, taking transportation, etc.
We are also given tendency to check pretending that anxiety is not showing up, which can lead to compulsive behaviors like going to the doctor often, visiting websites to check for symptoms, making rather superstitious rules or rituals, with the idea that to this way we control their appearance. This leads to a huge loss of energy and maintains and increases anxiety.
The keys to coping with anxiety
Here are some tips for dealing with anxiety.
1. Review the possible causes
Try to determine what events are taking place in your current time, which can generate this alert state. If there is no reason, look at what has happened lately because you haven’t paid enough attention; you may be avoiding facing something, making a decision, failing to resolve a duel or major loss, or that you keep something in your life that you need to change.
2. Adjust your thinking
How do you interpret what is happening to you? Inappropriate or overly negative thoughts can cause your body to overreact and maintain high stress levels at the end of the day.
3. Adjust your expectations
Are your expectations adjusted? If you are very demanding of yourself and others, you can enter a loop of dissatisfaction with constant frustrations. Check that your expectations are met and set small goals with realistic, progressive goals.
How do you communicate with others? If you have a hard time saying no, ask for favors, delegate, or be sure of yourself it is very likely that you are carrying too many things that you cannot handle on your own.
5. Make some moments for yourself
Do you have enough space for your personal life? If you don’t have time for leisure, loneliness, or your social life has been reduced, the anxiety alarm may be trying to make you think about changing it and reclaiming spaces for personal development.
6. Check your self-esteem
Are you undervalued or do you feel that your self-esteem is low? If applicable, it is more than possible that you will feel overwhelmed by the events of your daily life believing that you cannot cope or that you do not have enough abilities or skills to develop yourself in your environment and in your relationship with others.
7. Gradually face what you fear.
Since you are feeling anxious, do you avoid going out, spending time with friends and family, taking the car or other means of transportation?
When you avoid, your body learn to interpret these spaces as potentially dangerousThey can therefore increase their symptoms. Try to gradually expose yourself to these situations and try not to quit where you are if the symptoms start to appear, so that the body can check that they are not dangerous.
8. Do not check
Are you constantly searching for information about your symptoms or starting to obsess over anxiety so that it doesn’t show up? If so, think that this reinforces the idea that there is a potential danger, then
your body will keep the alarm.
Checking the gas valve too often, washing your hands for fear of contracting illnesses, constant visits to the doctor, etc., are controls that worry you.
9. Perform exercise
Have you forgotten your body? remember this moderate exercise has a positive response to anxiety symptoms and improves mood.
Increased levels of norepinephrine and serotonin, two neurotransmitters directly related to mood and decreased alertness, occur when we exercise regularly, while the stress hormone cortisol decreases and decreases. wellness hormones, endorphins, increase in our body.
10. Take care of your food
How do you eat? About anxiety it indirectly influences what we eat and also how we eat.
Eating a healthy diet without excess carbohydrates, fats and sugars indirectly helps reduce symptoms of anxiety. A relationship has also been found between alpha-linoleic acid deficiency and the onset of anxiety attacks, as well as magnesium deficiency may be linked to increased symptoms of anxiety and depression.
We also cannot forget how we eat; respect schedules, eat seated, avoid glucose spikes eating several meals a day in moderate amounts, chewing well and slowly, and eating a varied diet will help us absorb all the nutrients and digest well.
Think about psychotherapy
Sometimes when we want to start working on anxiety, it is ingrained enough that it is difficult for us to deal with it without the support of therapy. While psychotropic drugs do their job and reduce the symptom, being very helpful in cases where anxiety is very established, psychotherapy digs into the root of anxiety and guide with the idea of taking advantage of one’s appearance, as an opportunity for self-knowledge and the improvement of our lives.
- Burns, David. (2010). Feel good. Editorial Paidos Ibérica.
- Ellis, Albert. (2013). How to control anxiety before it controls you. Editorial Paidos Ibérica.
- Goleman, Daniel. (2012). The brain and emotional intelligence: new discoveries. Editions B.