Anxiety is a feeling of nervousness or uneasiness and excessively worrying about the uncertainty of a situation. Whilst it is part of our natural fight/flight or fear response to danger it is not the actual threat but the thought of potential danger that results in the emotion of anxiety.

Anxiety is both a psychological and physical experience where it is our thoughts about a perceived danger that causes the physical symptoms of anxiety. This feeling then becomes the stimulus for further catastrophic thinking such as 'I feel scared ... This is really dangerous', resulting in even more anxious thoughts about potential danger and the fear of fear or panic response. As these type of thought processes escalate it is even more difficult to stop the feelings of anxiety and panic in situations that you are not able to avoid. These may include being at work or a social event where you feel you cannot leave or when you experience an unusual pain or sensation in your body often mistaking the physical symptom of anxiety to be something wrong. These thoughts make you feel threatened and out of control and overwhelmed by the situation.

Symptoms of Anxiety

The physical symptoms of Anxiety can include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Muscle tension
  • Upset stomach & digestive problems
  • Dry mouth
  • Sweating
  • Teeth grinding
  • Headaches

Also excessive worry and anxiety thoughts about something bad happening and losing control may cause feelings of restlessness, fidgeting and pacing. However these symptoms can subside when the fear of the potential threat passes.

Symptoms of Anxiety can be managed and alleviated if they are understood as part of the body's natural fight or flight response by rationalising our thoughts and by accurately and realistically assessing the threat of danger. However when the risk of danger is over-estimated and we predict the worst possible scenario of what might happen Anxiety accumulates and can result in Panic Attacks.

Panic Attacks

Panic attacks are the direct result of the release of adrenalin when we perceive a threat or when we are in a real life threatening situation. The fight flight mechanism is an automatic response that is metabolised in the body in less than 3 minutes and this energy is discharged by either fight or flight. If the Panic Attack is triggered by Anxiety and catastrophic thinking we can stop the symptoms of panic by stopping the catastrophic thoughts that cause and prolong the panic response.

Symptoms of Panic Attacks

Symptoms of Panic Attacks include:

  • Trembling/Shaking
  • Sweating
  • Nausea/Abdominal Upset
  • Choking
  • Numbness
  • Dizziness/Feeling Faint
  • Hot Flushes/Feeling Cold
  • A sense of Detachment from Oneself
  • Fear of Dying
  • Fear of Losing Control of your Body & Mind

Contact Counselling Therapy Cheltenham

If you are experiencing Symptoms of Anxiety or Panic and this is effecting your everyday life please Contact Counselling Therapy Cheltenham.

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