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Anxiety

 It is important to remember, anxiety is natural. In fact, many experts equate the prevalence of insomnia to chronic hyper stimulation and the anxiety that follows.

Clients ask about anxiety very often and some suffer a great deal with too much fear and stress in their daily life.  It is important to remember, anxiety is natural.  In fact, many experts equate the prevalence of insomnia to chronic hyper stimulation and the anxiety that follows.  I think it is important to recall, we are human animals and our ancestors have lived over many thousands of years.  Not so long ago, our living conditions were very different.  Our ancestor’s lifestyle was fraught with many dangers, but daily life was much slower.  Humans were connected to the earth and her cycles, Most were focused on farming and raising food.  Others with specialties supported those farmers.  Elite groups were warriors, leaders or religious leaders.  When danger was present, these human innate protective mechanisms were aroused.  In war, disease, severe weather, disaster, the instincts helped them survive.

Today, we are subject to stimulation and information like never before in history.  This is why experts immediately counsel us to limit electronic media use, games, TV to lower the stimulation and light that interfere with our natural circadian rhythms. Beyond this, most of us have too much information to process.  Instead of a small community like most of our ancestors belonged, we live in cities and work for corporations, travel in traffic and are exposed to many new stressors.  The social norms that worked in a small community do not always apply well to today’s social groups, online, in person, at work, in our personal lives. This gives us all more perceived “dangers” that make us worry.

The best way to deal with chronic anxiety and panic is to retrain the mind.  There are many ways to do this.  Cognitive therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness training and often, re-training our minds to approach the various “threats” more realistically.  Sometimes, there are some unresolved issues that need to be explored, processed, and understood.  Additionally, old maladaptive patterns, that once helped a person manage an unsafe, or even emotionally unsafe past situation, need to be replaced with new patterns. New patterns better manage stress that are much healthier and lead to a more relaxed state of mind.

Your anxiety gets out of control and becomes a problem when it is out of proportion to the “threat”.  Self-esteem development, examining one’s value system, consciously choosing what we focus on and how to “turn off” the rest takes time, practice and repetition.  Sometimes clients are expecting therapy to be a quick fix.  The truth is, it take some work and practice, just like learning any new set of skills.  Good news, it can absolutely be successfully treated!

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