Is Anxiety Getting in Your Way?
We all experience anxiety. If we didn’t, we’d cross a road without looking, we wouldn’t worry about putting our hand under boiling water and we wouldn’t bother preparing for an important meeting. In short, we wouldn’t be fearful or stressed about things that could genuinely cause us harm or hold us back from what we want to achieve. So to a certain extent, feelings of anxiety are important to us.
If however you are experiencing anxiety to a level that is getting in the way of leading a fulfilling and purposeful life, you aren’t alone. Fourteen percent of Australians experience anxiety disorders every year and research has shown that more than twice the number of women than men experience anxiety and depressive disorders.
Anxiety disorders can be triggered by stressful life events for example, the breakup of a relationship, the death of someone close, financial problems, excessive drug or alcohol use and physical health problems. Anxiety can also be inherited genetically.
Some of the key indicators of an anxiety disorder are:
- Constant worry
- Feelings of panic, fear, uneasiness and/or confusion
- Uncontrollable, obsessive thoughts and rumination
- Poor memory
- Inability to relax and problems with sleeping
- Sweaty hands and shortness of breath
- Shaking or freezing
- Hot and cold flushes
- Dry mouth
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- Muscle tension, particularly in the chest
- Panic attacks
The good news is that anxiety is treatable and has a very high success rate using Cognitive Behavioral and other therapies that counselors such as myself are trained to work with.
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