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What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling that we all have, a feeling that is triggered when we feel threatened. There are many signs that indicate that we might be feeling anxious, these include; an increased heart rate, needing to go to the toilet more often, worrying a lot, a feeling of dread, wanting to run away and avoid situations, muscle tension, dry mouth, sweating, shallow breathing etc.

Anxiety may feel unpleasant at times but it is ultimately a helpful emotion. Anxiety is part of our natural fight or flight response; it is there to alert us to the presence of danger and to prepare us to deal with that danger. Problems with anxiety arise when we feel anxious too often and in the apparent absence of any threat.

How do problems with anxiety affect people?

There are many different ways in which problems with anxiety can affect us. These include the following issues:

  • Social anxiety
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Phobias
  • Stress
  • Panic attacks
  • Health anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress

How did my problems with anxiety develop?

There is no single cause of anxiety problems, the genesis of each of our problems with anxiety is as complex and varied as we are as human beings. In order to understand your anxiety fully we will need to explore that together, however there are a number of common contributory factors to anxiety and these include:

  • Stress at work
  • Bullying
  • Experiences of separation and loss
  • Cues about the world that we receive from our parents
  • Cues about ourselves that we receive from our parents
  • Insufficient support with feelings during childhood
  • Bottling up our emotions
  • Abuse
  • Too much change all at once
  • Traumatic experiences (experiences that have overwhelmed our natural coping mechanisms)

How will psychotherapy help me to overcome my anxiety?

Part of the work of psychotherapy is to explore our anxiety in greater depth and to understand how we have become wired up by our experiences and relationships to feel anxious in given situations. Overcoming anxiety normally means developing a greater insight into the causes of our anxiety as well as developing a greater tolerance for the uncomfortable thoughts and feelings associated with it. Once this has been achieved it then becomes possible to face the things that we habitually avoid because of our fears and to thereby gain an increased sense of confidence in our ability to meet life's various challenges.

Effective working through of anxiety can only occur in the context of a relationship in which you feel safe and secure. Your therapist at Hitchin counselling and psychology is fully trained and professionally accredited. This means that you can trust that you are being supported by a therapist who is competent and has experience in helping people to overcome the sort of difficulties with anxiety that you are experiencing. It also means that you can feel reassured that your therapist will abide by sound ethical principles designed to maintain your privacy, to respect your autonomy and to safeguard your well-being.

For further information about anxiety and how psychotherapy might be helpful for you please feel free to contact Hitchin Counselling and Psychology and a therapist will get in touch with you directly.


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107 Bancroft
United Kingdom

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