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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Rooks

"I'm sorry I can't make it something has come up...."

Updated: Mar 1, 2020

Is this normal? What causes me to feel this way? Why can't I turn this feeling off?

If you experience anxiety, these are more than likely to be some of the questions that you find yourself dwelling on, struggling to pinpoint answers and effectively manage your reactions to events that crop up in day to day life.

Anxiety can be hard to define, manage and eliminate. It's symptoms differ person to person but if you frequently struggle with any of the symptoms below, chances are you might be experiencing anxiety.

* A sudden spike in your heart rate

* Tension in your muscles/headaches

* Getting clammy/sweating/trembling

* Feelings of breathlessness/panic

Things that make some of us anxious are actually enjoyable to others - social gatherings, dinner with the in-laws or going to events like weddings and concerts. As a result, those who feel anxious often find themselves reflecting negatively when their symptoms arise - asking why they feel anxious about something that surely should be fun and pleasant and asking why they can't shake off the feeling and just enjoy the moment.

This is because anxiety-based reactions are largely due to our perception and interpretation of events. Whilst some people are social butterflies, others would rather stay home and get lost in a book or film and feel anxious in social situations. We are all wired differently and get our 'kicks' in our own unique way.

If you find your anxiety is increasingly controlling your life and if you can't change the triggers - the school run, social gatherings, work, exam stress, public speaking etc. then what can you do about how all this is making you feel?

YOU CAN control YOU. That's right - the way you view it, the time spent thinking/worrying about it, the way you respond to it, the way you react to it. You may feel helpless, nervous and lost at the moment, the victim of your symptoms but it is possible to change what is happening, you just need to learn how and master the techniques when the triggers arise.

Fortunately, this is something I can help you with. Like any new skill, it includes a process of learning - understanding, practicing, making mistakes (and learning from them), recognising the successes and maintaining the knowledge and applying it.

We invest time in maintaining lots of areas of our lives without hesitation - our appearance, our children's education, the family car, the housework and garden and so why should our mental health and well-being be any different? It takes time, practice and patience.

Together, I can help you:

* Understand more about anxiety, it's causes, symptoms, what sustains it and why you are feeling this way.

* Challenge your thoughts and perceptions - are they healthy, realistic, rational, can they be changed to better serve you.

* Overcome your anxiety - this is why you are considering therapy, after all - right?

* Minimalise or eliminate the knock on effect it's having on your life, your relationships, the missed events, by doing this you will be enriching your life and thereby allowing yourself to be happier.

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