We are physical, mental, spiritual and social beings, and we are ‘whole ‘when these different aspects of ourselves are in balance.
Statistics reveal that the most common problem, particularly amongst young people, is anxiety, which often goes along with depression. We live in an anxious society; fear is all around us - fear of illness, unemployment, terrorism, global warming, family, self-image and success…an endless list.
Healthy fear keeps us alert. It teaches us caution, a natural response, and it can cause the mind and body to gear up. Unhealthy fear can destroy our lives, stopping us from fully living.
We all experience these fears from time to time, it’s normal, and the more we are able to normalise it, we’ll control it.
Symptoms of Anxiety
Sweating, wet palms
Rapid shallow breathing
Raised blood pressure
Butterflies in our stomach
And many more.
What Is Happening?
We perceive a threat.
Adrenalin is being pumped around the body, and we respond by freezing, fleeing, fighting or flopping.
We have a small Primitive brain and a larger Cognitive brain.
The primitive brain detects danger, a ‘tiger’. The brain acts to save your life, it releases adrenalin to create the response.
The Cognitive, thinking, reasoning brain is cut off so it’s difficult to think. The symptoms create more fear, so more adrenalin is released.
We can fool the brain that the perceived danger has passed by steadying the breath by doing breathing exercises, the primitive brain will believe that the ‘tiger’ has left; it stops adrenalin and tension messages. Soothing endorphins will pour out, the cognitive brain will function again.
How We Do It
Anchor yourself in your chair, claim your space.
Open your airway by pushing your shoulders down.
Breathe out to six, breathe in for four, and repeat until you feel calmer.
The more you practise when you feel good, the more automatic it will become when you feel anxious (skills can go when under pressure).
Ph.4 v.6-7 ‘Do not be anxious’
Matth.6 v.25-34’ ‘Do not worry’
Matth 14 v.27 ‘Do not be afraid’
Some helpful websites