What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is an emotion. When we talk about this particular emotion, we are really talking about three things that interact with each other to form a distinct experience. These three things are: thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

Thoughts

A thought pops into your mind concerning some future event – perhaps a job interview, an exam, or for some, it could be just meeting friends or going to the shop – and, before you know it you’ve been on this train of thought for five, ten, twenty minutes, or even longer.

Feelings

While caught up in these thoughts, you also begin to experience certain physical sensation – or feelings. The most common among these are:

  • Butterflies in the stomach
  • Nausea
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Hot flushes
  • Tension in the body
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • General weakness and/or restlessness.

Behaviours

In response to these thoughts and feelings, you may find yourself behaving or acting in certain ways.

This makes perfect sense really.

 

If anxious thoughts and feelings are arising, it’s reasonable to act in ways that we think may reduce the anxiety – like avoiding certain situations or engaging in certain behaviours which we think will alleviate our distress.

However, this usually both exacerbates and prolongs the anxiety, by dropping us into a never-ending cycle…

Instead of giving ourselves the chance to break the cycle by inspecting the credibility of the anxious thoughts and feelings, we blindly believe their message and begin the cycle all over again.

But this cycle can be broken.

I will be updating this blog every week with self-help for anxiety tips so you can begin breaking this cycle. Or you can head over here where I talk about some ways that you can begin this journey now.

 

I’d be very happy to hear of any thoughts or questions you may have, so feel free to leave your comments below!

About the Author:

I am a fully qualified counsellor and psychotherapist in private practice in Dublin, Ireland. From my experience I have seen the transformative effects of an open-minded, non-judgemental therapeutic relationship and how it can help us to make useful and healthy changes to how we behave, think and feel about ourselves and our relationships with others. I hope you find some useful information here and feel free to contact me through my website.

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