by Henry Marshall
Posted on Sunday 23rd of November 2008
We all suffer from anxiety at times. We will become worried about something that is about to happen or a situation that we might be going into where we have felt discomfort before. It is not nice but it is understandable and can be helpful in some circumstances.
If we look around nature we often see anxiety at work. The wild rabbits in a field feeding, their noses sniffing the air for danger, their ears pricked all the time constantly looking round in fear of a predator. The rabbit is anxious as he has every right to be. It is that anxiety that is keeping him alive by keeping him on his toes and alert and, of course, rabbits are not the only creatures that feel anxiety. Most wild creatures survive because of anxiety.
It is probably thanks to our ancestors suffering from anxiety that man has survived. If man did not have the instinct to be anxious he would have probably been wiped out millions of years ago. It is only when anxiety becomes out of control that there is a problem.
It has become so important that we get things right. From a very young age we are taught that we must achieve this and must be good at that. We must not get it wrong or make mistakes. We must gain grades in our exams and get a good job. It is so important that we have the right clothes, car and house, and, of course, we must have and do all these things to be happy. However, life is not like that. Things do go wrong, we do make mistakes and people do not always treat us the way they should and we then can become very anxious.
The anxiety sufferer may well start by just worrying about one part of life, something quite small but over time this grows as negative feelings grow. As those negative feelings grow so the anxiety grows and the sufferer will find other things to worry about until they may find themselves worrying about everything, not only in their own lives but the lives of everyone around them as well. They may even become very anxious about the fact that they cannot stop feeling anxious. Anxiety attacks can become very severe, even producing panic attacks or heart palpitations. In the end these terrible feelings can become debilitating and can control their lives completely.
So how can we overcome anxiety? If anxiety is a natural, instinctive reaction then it is almost totally separate from logical thought. We can know only too well there is nothing to worry about but that does not stop us from feeling anxious. Everybody can tell us that there is nothing to worry about but it has no effect.
It is therefore unlikely to help trying to change the way we think, it is the way we feel that needs to be changed. If we can feel calmer, more relaxed and in control we will not then feel so anxious. This is why medication to relax and calm may be prescribed. Or you can try other forms of relaxation therapies to relieve stress and anxiety.
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