Anxiety, who are you?

Different alarm definitions from different reference materials can be summarized in the following simple formula.

Anxiety is formed from:

uncertainty factors;

negative outlook;

bodily “markers” interpreted by the nervous system in favor of anxious sensations.

Anxiety who are you

=== Uncertainty ===

The nervous system is so structured that it seeks to translate any uncertainties into the status of certainty. There is only one reason: uncertainty is more costly for the nervous system than certainty. But, for example, in combination with a positive forecast, the state of uncertainty is not experienced as negatively colored. Therefore, uncertainty itself is neither good nor bad, but … not always pleasant.

=== Negative outlook ===

Comments are unnecessary here. Hopefully, it’s clear what it is and how important it is in the formation of anxious experiences. Acceleration of the “alarm loop” is associated precisely with negative forecasting.

=== Body “markers” ===

These are clamps, tensions, as residual phenomena due to response to stress factors. Raised shoulders, stooped back, drooping head, tightness in the abdomen and solar plexus, jaw clamp, “mimic protective / alarming patterns”, clamps in the throat, groin, etc. All this can autonomously exist and be maintained as a habitual set of tensions out of direct connection with real threats and negative expectations. It will be maintained and used as “confirmation / proof” that there is some reason for all these stresses. In this case, the brain often acts very primitively:

– There are tensions – it means there is a threat!

How to reduce anxiety.

1. Identify the factors of uncertainty. The whole list.

Write out, number. In itself, such an action is already a DEFINITION by one list, the bulk of all that is alternately “activated” in the internal subjective field and creates an indefinite chaotic picture of something indefinite and suppressing by its infinity. On a sheet of paper, it all takes on clear definite boundaries. I repeat once again that sometimes the brain behaves very primitively: it sees the ENTIRE list and only due to this reduces the “degree of anxiety”.

Next, the list should be sorted according to the degree of uncertainty of the listed factors. Start with those on which you can make any definite decisions, and end with hopelessly vague factors, thereby defining their “status of potential mutability”.

Then deal with those uncertainties that can be changed. And those that cannot be changed … well, you have to somehow accept their presence and decide that you cannot do anything there, so there is no point in worrying. For example, I do not know whether some “Chelyabinsk meteorite” will fall on my city or not. And how should I deal with this? It’s up to me to decide.

2. Critically rethink negative expectations – maybe you can reduce them? Also add positive expectations to negative expectations. Thus, to replace the obsession with a negative forecast at least by alternating two types of forecasts: negative, positive, negative, positive, etc. In this way, you reduce the number of calls to negative forecasts by 2 times. Yes, it’s quite difficult at first. You will have to make an effort to rock the positive forecasting system, but you will thank yourself for this.

3. And, of course, body markers. There are a lot of materials dedicated to dealing with anxiety. Breathing practices, relaxation, all sorts of body anti-anxiety life hacks. I will not list them here. I will give only a link to the material where some of them are presented and I will say that the contribution of body markers to the general state of anxiety can be up to 40%!

A separate area of ​​consideration in dealing with anxious clients is the “troubling legacy”. This means that in the overwhelming majority of cases, disturbing patterns of behavior (the habit of worrying) are transmitted from older generations. Children copy adults. And thus they learn to be anxious people. Or it could be a complex, unstable relationship filled with negative uncertainty. Think, who could teach you anxiety? Isn’t it time for you to stop thoughtlessly repeating what is not originally yours?

event_note November 2, 2021

account_box Winona Tse MD

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *