Anxiety, Catastrophising Thoughts, Panic Attacks

"I feel like I'm drowning, my anxiety is relentless. How can I make it stop?"

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Anxiety is one of the most frequently spoken words in counselling rooms quickly followed by, “how can I stop it?, I just want to feel normal”.

The physical sensations of the tightness in the chest, increased heart beat, shortness of breathe. the endless brain chatter of catastrophising, what if? what if? what if?

All of this and more can feel never-ending, overwhelming and completely exhausting from the first moment that you wake up until the last moment before you (eventually if you’re lucky) fall asleep.

My first question when I’m working with a client experiencing anxiety is to understand; when did they first notice these feelings? By understanding the starting point helps the exploration – is this a reaction to a recent event or a learned way of being from an early childhood environment.

In my practice with any client, the usual starting point is understanding what the body is feeling or telling us but when working with anxiety which is predominantly felt in the body, I will start with rationalising the feelings i.e. is this a feeling or a fact? The aim is to bring the head and the body more into balance rather than the body in the driving seat and the head as the hostage passenger.

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