Anxiety is a normal response to a threat or to psychologic stress and is experienced occasionally by everyone. Normal anxiety has its roots in fear and serves an important survival function.
However, where the anxiety symptoms persist and become long-term then it is considered to be a disorder.
This helps to see where the line is drawn medically in order to understand more about what is part of the human condition, because we all have our off-days right, and what may be detrimental in as much as it stops us from achieving our wonderful potential.
People often use one term or the other, and seem to be pretty much the same thing, as far as our general referencing goes? Anxiety does sit underneath many closely related conditions, which in my view equates to long-term stress. For me it feels like a quivering nervous element that feels a little out of my control but what is it like for you?
Anxiety Is Common Enough
[captionpix width=”250″ align=”right” imglink=”http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/stress/index.htm” imgsrc=”http://www.janeunsworth.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/stress-250.jpg” captiontext=”Is Stress And Anxiety Just A Sign Of The Times”]
Anxiety lies at the heart of anything that makes us uncomfortable and can include things like:
- Public Speaking
Being In The Flow
When we are relaxed and feeling centred, in the flow of life, when all is well and everything clicks into place, running just as it should, the anxiety has nothing to latch onto.
It Can Come from Nowhere
But anxiety can erupt, perhaps it occurs in certain situations, and a former experience (or trigger) finds the pattern of anxiety pushing through, staking it’s claim for what seem like a myriad of reasons:
- Meeting new people
- Giving presentations
- Trying something new
- Something someone says
- Dealing with something you’ve been putting off
- Just the thoughts of doing something that is expected of you
It all contributes, you may even have set triggers and tracks that can be traced back to the originating moment when it commenced.
The effects of this finds us holding on (even gripping) needing to stay within the comfort zone to feel safe. Of course it’s different for everyone, but one of life’s challenges is to find the edge (which changes all the time), that place where comfort meets the unknown and how we handle it indicates the amount of work we may need to put in to addressing it, in order that it becomes less instead of more.
Fight Or Flight
Life is full of challenges and the unknown, that’s part of the fun, joy, excitement and scariness, but we may not always embrace it as such.
Can you remember a time when you were in danger, or perceived danger. And it’s important to remember that the subconscious-mind does not know the difference (between real or imagined) which can work in our favour.
The fight or flight syndrome (The Acute Stress Response) activates all of this within the physiology(quoted from Wikipedia):
- Acceleration of heart and lung action
- Paling or flushing, or alternating between both
- Inhibition of stomach and upper-intestinal action to the point where digestion slows down or stops
- General effect on the sphincters of the body
- Constriction of blood vessels in many parts of the body
- Liberation of nutrients (particularly fat and glucose) for muscular action
- Dilation of blood vessels for muscles
- Inhibition of the lacrimal gland (responsible for tear production) and salivation
- Dilation of pupil (mydriasis)
- Relaxation of bladder
- Inhibition of erection
- Auditory exclusion (loss of hearing)
- Tunnel vision (loss of peripheral vision)
- Dis-inhibition of spinal reflexes
As we know this a primitive response, an inborn genetic reaction, that doesn’t make it any less real, and it helps to protect us in life, because the surge of adrenalin gives us the strength needed to do one of two things:
- Stay and stand your ground
It’s About Survival
It’s our survival mode and its vital if you’re a hunter-gatherer, where a lion can stealthily creep up on you from behind in a planned attack. But in a western post-industrialized world it’s tricky, because we get those same feelings and when they’ve nowhere to go we may well turn them in on ourselves, because we no longer need to fight to resolve issues, but our response mechanism or instinct expects it.
It can be confusing, because we don’t need to run either, because our refined communication skills allow us better ways of dealing with life’s confrontations – and this can be done without becoming unsociable and without losing our self-respect.
If you are experiencing more anxieties and stress than is average, you might want to check out EFT, in my view it’s the best coping tool on the planet, and I’ve used a lot of different techniques, which is why I can say it with confidence.
Check out The Two Phases Of Disease to learn how this can develop into a physical disease, pain, or unwanted behaviour or psychology.
If you want to check out the Merck Medical Manual. for yourself, it’s a great first point of reference, that I go to time and again.
Likewise if you want more information or a chat to find out more … contact Jane here.