But for some of us, things change... our survival instinct starts to grow stronger. It comes out more and more, for no apparent reason, and we begin to get too anxious,
too easily, too often.
Persistent physical symptoms (that are frightening, uncomfortable and embarrassing) start to appear. We may notice that we get shaky or sweat excessively in public
or regularly experience things like heart palpitations, breathlessness, dizziness, nausea or blushing – any symptom related to anxiety can develop – and worrying
about these symptoms only makes them worse for it increases the anxiety.
Many people live like this, with higher levels of anxiety. They feel nervous often and it can be a daily struggle against negative thoughts and horrible physical symptoms. At this stage (and
many stay at this stage) the problem is the high anxiety itself and the awful way it makes us feel.
For some, however, it doesn't stop here. Anxiety continues to increase and it can get so bad that it leads to more serious problems such as uncontrollable worrying, panic attacks that come
out of the blue, obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours, irrational fears and phobias (particularly social phobia) and, in some cases, even severe depression. Now it's the extreme thoughts and
behaviours themselves (driven by the anxiety) that become the main focus of the problem.
But why does any of this happen?
Today, cognitive (thinking) and behavioural problems involving high anxiety and fear are classed as anxiety disorders. This is based on the medical model, which views these
problems as mental illnesses, 'disorders' where something goes wrong in the brain and the answer lies in 'fixing' the thing that has gone wrong – often with medication.
Take the middle-aged woman (emotionally fragile from early life stress and conflict) who suffers emotional abuse at the hands of her
partner – abuse that not only scares her but also makes her feel that she cannot do anything right and that everything she
tries wil fail miserably or is totally worthless. Is her generalized anxiety disorder (or severe depression for that matter) simply the result of something
going wrong in her brain that can be fixed by medication?
What about the man in his early twenties, riddled with anxiety, whose father constantly put him down and criticized him with such venom as a
child that he's now petrified others will do the same. Is his social phobic behaviour truly dis-ordered and irrational?
Or the teenage girl brought up by overly strict religious parents that have so drummed the fear of God into her that all she can do to
obtain relief (from punishment by the Lord) is turn to rituals. Are her obsessive, fearful thoughts and compulsive behaviours really all down to mental illness?
Generalized anxiety disorder, OCD, social phobia, PTSD, panic disorder, severe depression – are any of these problems truly irrational, dis-ordered and mental illness?
And what causes our anxiety to increase in the first place?
How many 'normal' people...
Say "Touch Wood" so as not to tempt fate?
Repeatedly check doors, windows, switches?
Take a drink before social functions?
Avoid public speaking at all costs?
Almost everyone displays behaviours associated with anxiety disorders (such as troublesome thoughts, over-checking, the need for perfection, increased anxiousness, moments of panic and
periods of despair) to some degree at some time in his or her life – more so in times of stress – for these things reflect subconscious ways to feel safe.
And, when we look at the backgrounds of large numbers of people with various anxiety-related problems (ranging from moderately high anxiety to the severest of anxiety disorders) they are often strikingly
similar in many ways. Over-exposure to some form of stressful life experience (with subsequent feelings of deep insecurity and damaged self-esteem) occurs across the board, with such regularity,
that this must play a major role in the cause of these problems.
However, it's not just about experiencing frequent high levels of anxiety due to regular exposure to threatening/stressful situations – there's something else at play. Again, it's a result of
those stressful life experiences and it affects how we think about ourself and our self-worth.
Anxiety-Related Problems and Self Confidence – Feeling in Some Way 'Bad' or 'Wrong' or 'Not Good Enough'
Research shows that over 50% of anxiety issues start before the age of fourteen (it's probably nearer 90%) and many people with long-term anxiety disorders, when asked what they remember
most about the start of their problem, reply "Being too nervous for a long time".
The way we feel about our self in childhood and adolescence can stay with us a lifetime and those who are frequently made to feel insecure and vulnerable when growing up (or later in
life for some) are surely more susceptible to develop anxiety-related problems down the line.
If we go through a period in life where we are constantly 'put down', 'picked on' or made to feel threatened in any way it's not surprising that anxiety (our inner self-protection instinct)
will ramp up and we'll become more nervous – constantly wary and alert, on the look out for danger in order to protect ourself.
However, threatening situations not only scare us, they also make us feel bad (upset, hurt, insecure, weak, afraid, small, inadequate, sad, angry, confused... a whole myriad of negative
feelings). And if we feel bad often enough, for long enough, we can start to believe that we feel this way because there is something inherently 'bad' or 'wrong' or 'not good enough' about us. Over time, self
This highlights a critical component in the development of these problems that hasn't really been given the attention it deserves: the way we feel about ourself deep inside and
how this becomes linked to being scared.
It is this, not mental illness, that lies at the heart of most anxiety problems and disorders today. It also lies at the heart of their cure.
And so, all that you read from 'Help-For' is based on the premise:
Not diseases, disorders or mental illness, anxiety and
depression problems involve natural survival instincts common to us all – normal self-protective thoughts, feelings and behaviours that become over-sensitive and intensified,
grossly exaggerated and out of control.
They develop from experiencing too many (or too severe) stressful, negative life issues and events... ones that make us feel weak and vulnerable.
In essence, these problems come from our subconscious trying to protect us when life has made us afraid. And they start, strengthen and grow from our mind's attempts to explain and
resolve the intangible fear we feel inside.
Once we see these problems for what they really are, everything changes and it becomes possible to cure them completely Understanding and acceptance allows hurt to heal, removes self-doubt and
starves fear of it's fuel. Understanding and accepting that our problem is totally justified, given our life experiences, offers the one, true way to fully extinguish the
smoldering ball of bad feelings inside (the thing that keeps the fear alive) and move beyond anxiety to become the strong, confident, unique, worthy individual that it's our birthright to be.
For greater insight into anxiety-related problems:
Explore this website
Get essential information on anxiety, symptoms, problems, meds, disorders etc. and gain a new perspective on these problems.
For unique help to overcome these problems:
Check out the 'Help-For' books
Combining massive relief-bringing "aha" moments over "what is happening and why" with proven techniques to reduce anxiety
and build real self confidence, these books show you how to cure anxiety-related problems completely and naturally without therapy or medication.
For high anxiety:
Calm Anxiety: Taking Back Control
– This book is for anyone struggling with high anxiety and nervousness... Learn how to remove the fear, stop the anxiety and restore high self-esteem.
For anxiety disorders, severe depression and more:
Evolving Self Confidence: How to Become Free From Anxiety Disorders and Depression
– This book is for those who have been nervous/anxious for a long time and are now starting to experience such things as: uncontrollable worrying, panic attacks out of the blue, obsessive thoughts and compulsive
behaviours, crippling social fears and phobias, chronic post-trauma stress, more depression – or – have a long-term anxiety disorder... Learn how to cure
these problems completely and develop real confidence in yourself.
Most Representative Review:
This is a very helpful book for the anxious among us. It is not a CBT or ACT book. 'Calm anxiety' has a distinct approach to anxiety. In fact, the book covers it
all: the fight-or-flight response, neural connections, upbringing and beliefs, gradual automation, acceptance of feelings and so forth. Dixon beautifully ties it all
Most books on anxiety, like the ones based on CBT and ACT, have 'techniques' as their core. 'Calm anxiety', however, goes deeper. It focuses on the way we were 'conditioned'
to believe we are not good enough. Here is were the book goes further than other books. The core feeling of not being good enough is addressed. Dixon emphasizes that it is
important to say to yourself that there are good reasons for you to feel the way you do. This is acceptance and stops fighting anxious feelings. Furthermore, you now know
that you have been conditioned to believe that you are defective in some way. Therefore, the anxious feelings do not have the same meaning any more. You always were
good. This is the central idea in the book, which is elaborated. A highly recommendable read. Concise, though all encompassing.
I have had a few therapies and read numerous books on the topic. For me, this one stands out, because it goes to the heart of the matter.
Try 'Calm Anxiety' ›› Read the first chapter
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