Anxiety, Worry and Stress

 

We all experience feelings of anxiety at times. It is a normal response from the threat-detector part of the brain, designed to keep us safe. When a threat is perceived , this part of the brain sets off our "fight or flight " alarm system, starting a whole cascade of physiological responses preparing us to physically fight or flee the danger.

This is very helpful when confronted with an actual threat or emergency! But some people develop an 'overactive' or  overly sensitive alarm, which overestimates danger, or perceives a minor risk as major.  This is when anxiety can become a problem, leading to persistent worrying, physical complaints, sleep problems and avoidance behaviours.


Some ways you may experience anxiety:

  • Nervousness, restlessness or being tense

  • Feelings of danger, panic or dread

  • Rapid breathing or hyperventilation

  • Increased or heavy sweating

  • Trembling or muscle twitching

  • Headaches or stomach aches

  • "What if" thinking

  • Avoidance 

  • Difficulty focusing or thinking clearly about anything other than the thing you’re worried about

  • Insomnia

  • Low mood - Anxiety and low mood go together a lot of the time, because always feeling anxious is physically and mentally exhausting, and can drain your confidence

     

You can take a self-test for anxiety here:

https://depression.org.nz/is-it-depression-anxiety/self-test/

 

 

If anxiety, worry or stress is getting in the way of your everyday life, there is a lot we can do to help.

Talk  therapy can help to uncover the underlying causes of your worries and fears, learn techniques to calm your body and brain, challenge unhelpful thinking and develop better coping mechanisms and problem-solving skills.
 

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