Anxiety is part of our evolutionary heritage. The same flight or fight response that ensured the survival of our species in a threatening environment is often on overdrive in our modern world. While it enables us to spring into action when necessary, it can also lead us to react in modes of flight or fight when it is unnecessary and highly counterproductive. Along with avoiding certain situations, we may also find ourselves trying to hide from or wrestle with our thoughts and feelings, as if we were being threatened or attacked by a ferocious beast. This response to fight back when we experience anxiety is a natural attempt at solving what feels like a problem.
The human mind has an amazing capacity for problem solving, a capacity that is necessary to the success of most of our endeavours. Unfortunately, when the problem solving approach is applied to changing the way we feel and think, it frequently fails quite miserably. In the case of anxiety, research confirms that attempts to get rid of anxiety consistently result in an increase of anxiety, and a decrease in life satisfaction, especially in the long run. We may realize that we have become entrenched in an unworkable cycle of anxiety and avoidance yet not know how to detangle ourselves from it. Watching our lives shrink in front of our eyes leads to increasing feelings of low self-esteem, making it even more difficult for us to step out of the cycle.
Candela Counselling for anxiety can help you let go of the struggle and create a life based on living your values rather than avoiding your fears. Take a moment now to consider which areas of your life cause you the most anxiety. Are these not the same areas that are most important to you? Inside your longing for things to be different and your frustration at how anxiety seems to block this change is the key to moving forward. Under our anxiety we often find the things that matter to us most; a desire to belong, to be respected, to be independent, to be seen as competent, to love and be loved.
Have you put your desires in these areas on hold until you feel less anxious and more confident? Are you engaged in unhelpful habits in an effort to distract yourself from these anxieties? Have you resigned yourself to a smaller life than the one you used to imagine for yourself?
I will guide you in re-connecting with the values you hold closest to your heart, values that may be have become obscured by anxiety. These values will orient and focus our work together as I support you in moving forward with your anxiety rather than allowing it to hold you back. Imagine what your life could be like without your current struggle. Imagine all your energy freed up in the service of enjoying your life as it is right now and making it what you always dreamed it could be. The time to start is now.