Anxiety can be described as feelings of unease, worry and fear. It incorporates both the emotions and the physical sensations we might experience when we are worried or nervous about something. Although we usually find it unpleasant, anxiety is related to the ‘fight or flight’ response – our normal biological reaction to feeling threatened.
What is the 'fight or flight' response?
Like all other animals, human beings have evolved ways to help us protect ourselves from dangerous, life-threatening situations. When we feel under threat our bodies release hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, which help physically prepare you to either fight the danger or run away from it. These hormones can:
- make you feel more alert, so you can act faster
- make your heart beat faster to carry blood quickly to where it’s needed most
This response is something that happens automatically in our bodies, and we have no control over it. In modern society, we don’t usually face situations where we need to physically fight or flee from danger, but our biological response to feeling threatened is still the same.
Because anxiety is a normal human experience, it's sometimes hard to know when it's becoming a problem. However, if your feelings of anxiety are very strong, or last for a long time, it can end up feeling overwhelming, leading to a sense of being out of control.
My approach in working with both male and female clients experiencing anxiety is to provide a supportive means of gently uncovering the underlying issues that may be at the heart of the person’s distress, whilst at the same time supporting you to develop the tools to manage the symptoms of anxiety in your life. In this regard, I have found that working with techniques that develop greater awareness of the body and the breath, through mindfulness have helped many clients to find a way of moving from feeling trapped in their thinking minds to using their bodies as a means of containing and working with the underlying emotional issues at the heart of the anxiety.
This way of working can bring deep changes, as it seeks to address and explore the internal thoughts patterns and narratives we hold about ourselves that can feel so destructive. Many of these patterns can become somatised in the body, leading to physical symptoms and ailments. Through this way of working clients have reported feeling deep shifts within themselves, leading to a greater sense of harmony and alignment between their mind, body and spirit. This in turn leads many with the sense of reclaiming an authentic expression of who they really are.
For more information on anxiety: