Anxiety is a word that gets bandied easily and often. And whilst ‘anxious’ is a feeling experienced by many of us at one point of another in relation to a worry we have, for some of us anxiety is a beast that can bring us to our knees.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics noted in its 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Well-being that anxiety is the most common mental disorder experienced, with approximately 14% of Aussies suffering with anxiety or an anxiety disorder.
But anyone who suffers from anxiety has different experiences of it. There is no one set of triggers, no one set of symptoms.
As a mind body medicine practitioner, and a person who has the anxiety, I have a multitude of tools under my belt to help you understand and manage it.
I’ve distilled these down to three approaches:
Self-understanding is all about find out what might be driving your anxiety. Mind body medicine and kinesiology works on the understanding that the mind and body are connected. A physical symptom or illness can be the result of behaviours or pattern in thinking. By looking at your body and mind as one, we can build a picture of you holistically and seek to investigate and understand the motivations behind your anxiety from a subconscious and body based point of view. Cognitively, you might be able to explain what triggers drive your anxiety and why you think those triggers are relevant, but by accessing the energy and messages that are stored in the body, and which manifest in physical symptoms and disease, it can help to get to the root cause of your anxiety and subsequently help to bring about understanding and balance.
The backbone of living a good life, whether you live with or without anxiety, is self-care. Looking after yourself by eating well, moving right, breathing deep and laughing often are all solid pieces of the self-care puzzle.
Being aware of how you feel, physically and emotionally, and practicing mindfulness are also key in helping to manage anxiety.
Mindfulness is described as “a state of presence of mind which concerns a clear awareness of one’s inner and outer experiences, including thoughts sensations, emotions, actions of surroundings at any given time” – being aware of how you’re feeling (instead of overthinking how you’re feeling), aware of what that feels like in the body, aware of what can trigger you. If you observe and watch closely, without judgement and with compassion, you can exist in the experience and acknowledge the thoughts you’re having instead of letting them run away.
Mindfulness (and meditation) helps you to see that the disordered thinking that comes with anxiety is exactly that – just thinking, just thoughts and just feelings. By stopping and becoming aware of your thoughts and feelings and by acknowledging, but not entertaining them, you can start to train yourself to see things differently.
If you’d like to hear more about how Mind Body Medicine and Kinesiology can help you understand and manage your stress and anxiety, book a session with me in June at Rozelle and receive 25% off your initial consultation.
Available for consults on Wednesdays and Fridays at Health Space Rozelle
Call 9810 8769