What drives anxiety and how to apply the brakes?
What drives anxiety ? Many people in the UK today have anxiety. They will suffer from symptoms such as constant nagging worries of impending doom or constant headaches, perhaps sleep disruption or difficulty in concentration or in doing simple tasks. It is known that stressful events often trigger and drives anxiety and understanding the triggers is the key to applying the brakes to your anxiety.
Can we name what drives anxiety?
The list of triggers that drives anxiety is a long one and very individual but some of the common ones are: major life change (moving house, divorce, changing jobs), pregnancy and birth, relationship problems, major trauma or shock and death of a friend or loved one. This is not an exhaustive list but perhaps you understand how it can start an unwanted, perhaps catastrophic thought process that drives anxiety that can be difficult to control.
There are however, ways in which you can control and manage your anxiety and while it involves some practice to acquire new skills, these skills will help control the causes that drives anxiety.
Take control of your anxious thoughts: Often our though process is very distorted and we catastrophise about the outcome of even the most straight forward of events. Taking control asks that we look at these unhelpful thoughts and challenge ourselves to look at the evidence to suggest that they will come to pass. Having considered that to see if there is an alternative thought that better supports the evidence. So instead of: I am going to fail and I will never get a good job, perhaps I feel anxious about this exam, but I know I have studied I can do my best and that is all I can ask of myself.
This is part of a larger process and practice that you can take on which is to be compassionate towards yourself. We are often very critical of ourselves, “we should get over it”, “No-one else is like this”, yet we would never treat others like this. Perhaps if we were our chief cheerleader rather than our critic, we would flourish.
Anxiety is often about feeling out of control. So look for ways to take back control, however small. It can be giving you the occasional treat. It can be making sure that you get what you need to take care of yourself. The lack of control will be the think that drives anxiety, so take control and apply the brakes wherever you see them.
Talking about your anxiety can make a big difference, but clearly finding the right person, can be a problem, you need to find someone that you feel you can be vulnerable with. That could be a counsellor, but it could equally well be a good friend or family member if you felt comfortable. It is also worth talking to your doctor as there are many things that they can offer to help.
However you decide to apply the brakes to the anxiety, know that you can bring it back under your control.