WHAT IS ANXIETY
Anxiety is a normal reaction of your body to a difficult event. Normally, things get back to normal after the event is over. But sometimes the anxiety remains well after the event has passed. That needs professional help. Symptoms of anxiety include panic attacks, constant worrying or fear, compulsive behaviours, continuous negative self-talk, irritability or outbursts of anger, palpitations, social phobia. Your body creates these symptoms to signal that you have an internal issue that needs attention. Annoying as they may be, your symptoms are trying to help you by telling you something is not going well inside.
It is as if one the lights is on at your car's dashboard, indicating something needs fixing inside your car. Now, you have two options: bring your car to the garage to turn the light off, or to fix your car.
Similarly, you have two options when it comes to your anxiety: you can calm down your activation, reducing your symptoms (turn the light off) or resolve your internal struggles and put an end to your anxiety (fix your car.) I can help you with both: you can learn tools to reduce your symptoms while you find a way to resolve your internal issues.
Panic attacks, constant fears, palpitations, social phobia, OCD, continuous negative self-talk, outbursts of anger, irritability, difficulty sleeping, overeating, addictions, divorce, life transitions.
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“The attempt to escape from pain is what creates more pain.”
There are many ways in which you can reduce your symptoms of anxiety: mindfulness, exercise, yoga, tai chi, qigong, tapping, meditation; basically anything that can calm your nervous system helps reducing your symptoms. I have been doing tai chi and qigong (like standing yoga exercises) for over 10 years to manage my own anxiety. They are beautiful and very effective exercises when used regularly. However, please remember that these techniques can only turn the lights off in your dashboard. Your internal distress needs a different approach.
During the sessions, you will be invited to become more present, practise mindfulness, experiment with tapping and notice your internal activation, finding your own way to calm down your nervous system. Reducing your symptoms is an exercise of noticing triggers and calming down your activation while you are being triggered.
In 2021, I intend to create therapeutic groups which will use tai chi and qigong movements to help you reduce your anxiety symptoms. The groups will be a maximum of 6 people. They will create a supportive environment in which you can notice your activation and learn about your nervous system and body reactions. If you are interested in being included in one of these groups, please feel free to contact me.
"In our bodies, in this moment, there live the seed impulses of the change and spiritual growth we seek, and to awaken them we must bring our awareness into the body, into the here and now. "
PUTTING AN END TO YOUR ANXIETY
There are different ways to heal and put and end to your anxiety. Anxiety usually indicates that some wounds from your past have not been healed, or have re-opened. In order to heal your anxiety, you will need to process the feelings associated with the wounds that need healing.
Therapists often call these wounds "trauma", so you can visit the page "Trauma Therapy" to have more information about how the healing will take place.
My preferred way of working is using the language of parts and our bodies' wisdom. In therapy, that would look something like this:
"What is the part of you that is causing problems this week?"
"My anxious part. I am very worried about my work."
"Ok, would you like to explore that part?"
"Where in your body do you feel that part?"
"In my chest"
"As you bring your attention to your chest, what do you notice?
"My heart is beating very fast"
"Do you feel anxious now?"
"Yes, a little bit"
This is a fictional conversation, but it gives you an idea of how I work. As the conversation continues, we may enter into a conversation with the anxious part and figure out what is so worrying. That may lead us to a memory from your past that would like to emerge to be healed.
As explained in the Trauma Therapy page, there are other ways of working with wounds that need healing, such as using art materials, movement, or a sandtray. Because anxiety is a symptom of unresolved trauma, I would encourage you to visit that page.
Once you go back to your past memories, and let your past self express whatever it is that needs to be expressed and witnessed by your current self, you can be reassured that your experience is over, that things are very different now. Your body can calm down, and your anxiety usually subsides.