Anxiety is a very over powering fear often with the absence of any real danger
What are anxiety and panic attacks and why do we have them?
Our personal behaviour or thought process is the cause of the anxiety and the feelings we get with this anxiety is the symptom and often the symptom can increase the feelings and the cause, which then leaves us incapable of operating in a normal rational way.
People who suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, will often imagine the worst case scenario, like a headache will become a brain tumor or blotching skin rash becomes fatal skin cancer. This is called being a hypochondriac, which is nothing more than an increased tendency to imagine an illness so much, you believe it to be true and fear it, often without any rational reason to do so.
A person with a fear of open spaces is called an agoraphobic, someone who will avoid ever going outside the safety of their home. There are also those who avoid similar discomfort, facing people and situations, and that is most of us, in danger of becoming classed as mild agoraphobics. In our daily lives we encounter so many interactions with others that cause us discomfort and those of us who are over anxious will eventually begin to avoid participating more and more in their lives, until they are stuck and unable to even go outside the house for fear of this discomfort.
If we continue to let this anxiety steer us, we will eventually avoid living a normal life, eventually becoming completely trapped inside our own made up misery, where we feel safe and able to survive. Of course being stuck inside our home without any rational reason why, other than this feeling of paralyzing fear, something that is just a feeling and not tangible, is for some, very real and very debilitating. Telling ourselves to not think about our fears is never going to help us because when we do this, we tend to think about nothing else and make it worse because the more we think about fear, the worse it gets.
If we can imagine a grown up person with a good responsible well paid job, happy family life and a pillar of the community being afraid of a small spider, we begin to see the fear is not of the spider because clearly we can stamp on it and kill it, so the fear becomes something else much deeper rooted and much darker, connected to our past somewhere.
Anxiety is a very over powering fear often with the absence of any real danger, so it is just a feeling, a sensation on your mind that triggers off a panic attack, leaving you unable to function properly because in reality if it was a real danger, you would automatically protect yourself and fight, not flight or freeze. Social anxiety is when you are afraid to meet others because you fear being humiliated by them, so you feel this discomfort, which is not real because if you did approach a stranger, say hello and see what happens, you find the feeling can just disappear like magic. Feeling self conscious, not worthy, not good looking enough, smart enough, clever enough, coupled with a fear of being judged, is always going to keep you forever stuck in fear, never really knowing what is fantastic or amazing about yourself to others. So once again we are back to learning how to let go of the past by facing why we feel the way we feel in the present.
Keeping a daily journal of how you feel and what brings on the panic, the fear, the discomfort, will allow you to build a picture of your own patterns, habits and triggers, often so ridiculous in the cold light of day, its almost impossible to understand rationally. A really helpful exercise to try when this overpowering fear takes over you and the panic leaves you stuck, is to think about yourself as being the adult, the strong one, the saviour and the person who is afraid, is a little child lost inside who needs you to hold their hand and help them find the way through.
This kind of irrational fear against something that is not a danger, is connected to something in your childhood, that has kept you stuck in your adulthood, never having the confidence to face it head-on when necessary. It might be connected to a childhood trauma, the loss of a parent, a fear of the dark, a fear of strangers, an insecure volatile atmosphere, a feeling of insecurity around those you trust and rely upon, all real things that stop you fighting and leave you unable to cope.
Getting a life coach and keeping a journal will help you discuss and monitor your efforts on a regular basis because telling someone about your progress and efforts is a major benefit and you will find it easier to monitor your progress and hold yourself accountable. It's easy to forget about all your good intentions when you keep them to yourself, so start telling them to others or write them down, as a reminder of what your goals are in order to overcome your fears and phobias that keep you paralyzed and detached from your reality and life. Set yourself some big goals and work everyday towards achieving them because this action will direct your thoughts and feelings away from your worries and anxieties, towards things that are more positive and constructive.