We humans have a number of ways of keeping ourselves safe, in the face of a roaring bear, or a speeding car, our nervous system kicks in pretty quickly and we immediately go into our ‘flight, fight or freeze’ mode.
The Fight-Flight-Freeze response is the body’s automatic, built-in system designed to protect us from threat or danger. For example, when you hear the words, “look out!” you may be surprised to find how fast you move! Or when you see a bear on the trail up ahead, you stop and remain quiet and still until it moves on. In both scenarios your system demonstrates its effectiveness at protecting you from danger.
Unfortunately these nervous systems can sometimes run on overtime, there is no bear, shouting, or speeding car, yet we feel anxious, we begin to create anxiety through uncontrollable thoughts. The human brain can become really adept at building one anxious thought onto another until we begin to feel completely overwhelmed. Sound familiar? The good news is that anxiety lives and exists in our heads, and we can use our incredible brains and our whole body to feel good again.
Some people more anxious than others, why is this? And what can we do about it? I believe we are all born to be what I call ‘A-OK’, this is my shorthand way of saying we all naturally seek a state of balance. When we lose our balance the anxious thoughts can spiral out of control and we move away from the state of ‘A-OK’ to a place of overwhelm and distress. This is not ‘A-OK’. This can be scary, this is the place where we may need help to regain our balance and get ‘A-OK’ again….but how?
Well here we are strolling along life feeling fairly A-OK when something unexpected happens, a surprise from nowhere, something we just didn’t anticipate. This event throws us off balance. We lose someone close to us, we lose a job, we have unexpected financial problems, we have a big exam, and we fear failing, we work too hard and fail to connect with those we love, feelings of isolation build up. Whatever the event or the circumstances that has lead us to the place of being off balance we know with all certainty that we do not want to stay there, we are uncomfortable and it is definitely not ‘A-OK’.
Our ability to come back to ourselves after we are thrown off balance is all to do with our resilience. Resilience is the thing that helps us to come back to ourselves and bounce back into our natural state of A-OK. Talking therapy can use a number of approaches to help us to do this. In therapy we look at how your thoughts and feelings are linked, what where the triggers that led to the first signs of anxiety? How can we help and guide you in ways that help to get those anxious thoughts under control? Therapy can help us build a stronger sense of self so that our resilience is stronger. Life will always have its complications but when we bounce back faster it becomes an easier path to navigate.
Finally in addition to these practical approaches, we can also help you to look at the bigger picture. What would it be like to live your passion and purpose? To live a life even bigger and better than just ‘A-OK?’. To live your best life yet.
If you need help or advice, our counselors at J&P are here to help get you back to health. Contact us to book an appointment, get advice or to find out more.
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