Do you know what is Anxiety?

Posted on July 25, 2018

Anxiety is one of the most commonly reported mental state among people who seek psychological help. Due to gene-environment interactions, there is no single cause of anxiety.

Anxiety has different forms, ranging from chronic worry, physiological symptoms such as panic attacks and dizziness, or even traumatic memory intrusions. Anyone can be prone to anxiety, and a psychologist may prescribe medications and conduct psychotherapy.

Even though different people are prone to anxiety, Professor Noam Shpancer noticed 7 misconceptions that people with anxiety have.

1. "If I do nothing, my anxiety will continue to increase indefinitely."
This misconception assumes that the relationship between the symptoms of anxiety and time is linear, when it is actually curvillinear. As time goes by, panic symptoms will level off and decline as a result of your body's habituation to the symptoms.

2. "Delaying to avoid, rather than avoiding delay"
This refers to the misconception that postponing an event that makes us anxious will help to decrease anxiety. However, this delay in experiencing the event will make us more anxious in the face of it, as anxiety builds up.

3. "Shifting attention from the anxiety-provoking task to the anxiety symptoms"
A good analogy would be a situation where the fire alarm rings, we would not cover our ears and try to shut the alarm down, but instead try to find ways to put out the fire. Instead of focusing on the anxiety symptoms, we should focus on how to deal with the task at hand.

4. "Conflicting fear with danger. I'm scared, therefore I'm in danger"
We need to be able to distinguish between our feelings and our current state. For example, a drunk person may feel that he can walk in a straight line, but that is not what his current state is capable of.

5. "Hating on yourself because you are anxious"
However, hating yourself does not lead to improvements in managing anxiety

6. "Hating on anxiety because it afflicts you"
We need to recognise that anxiety is not all bad, and that anxiety is necessary for survival.

7. "The gain without pain expectation"
We should tackle the anxiety head on, rather than escape from a situation just because it gives rise to anxiety.


Source material from Psychology Today

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