Two of the biggest challenges I often face when assisting with anxiety recovery are the following:
Embryonic anxiety is the phrase I use to describe the fresh anxieties that are being generated as a result of what life is currently throwing at you. Imagine, you are trying to rise above your lingering anxiety disorder, but due to your current life challenges, you realise that your anxiety symptoms are getting worse. Embryonic anxieties could be responsible.
Work, health, family or money related stresses are the main causes of embryonic anxiety. Just like an embryo, each stressful situation that you face in life is either pregnant with an embryonic anxiety or is already nursing one that is at the infancy stage. And if not dealt with appropriately, it can complicate your anxiety symptoms.
Here are a few tips for dealing with the stressful-situations that could cause or compound your embryonic anxieties:
- Deep breathing. Whenever you are stressed, you breathe a lot faster than normal. This hyperventilation then triggers your flight and fight response, leading to symptoms such as dizziness and lightheadedness. By breathing deeply in and out from your diaphragm seven times, you can regain control and trigger your “Rest” mechanism to replace the ongoing “Stress” mechanism.
- Avoid turning to alcohol, cigarettes and drugs. While these stuff may provide an easy escape from your stressful situations, they are temporary and will surely work against you by building up your embryonic anxieties. Instead, try to share your feeling with someone who cares or get in touch with a therapist. I regularly get contacted by past and present clients who just need a one-off support to cope with a major stress situation at hand.
- Accept that there are things you can’t control. There are things in life which are beyond our control. One of these is the behaviour of other people. Rather than stressing out, concentrate on the only thing that you can control which is how you choose to process your thoughts about the issue. I recommend that, upon your exposure to an unexpected stressor, find a comfortable and quiet place. Close your eyes and imagine yourself in full control of the situation. Visualise bodily tensions and stresses evaporating away from you. Then imagine that you are becoming more resilient, confident and mentally resourceful to deal with the situation with composure, grace and wisdom. This will stop embryonic anxiety from developing and re-energise your personal-power for calm and peace.
The second challenge I face helping clients is to help them rise above the debilitating effects of their intrusive thoughts. To be honest, compulsive intrusive thoughts is often the biggest problems because of the habit that has been formed, as well as the fact that it is one of the biggest breeders of anxiety.
If your intrusive thoughts is not attached to OCD, that is, it is not compulsive, you can use simple distraction techniques such as focusing on your breathing, re-focusing on a positive thought or picking up something that you love doing that can consume your thinking.
In contrast, if your intrusive thoughts or inner critical voice has become compulsive and seems to get in the way a lot of your day-to-day activities, deeper psychotherapy work has to be done to identify the source and stop it in its tracks. When this is done well, your anxiety will also rescind.
Hope you found this helpful.