Every single person has bouts of anxiety during their lifetime, and we often have a good cause for it. Nobody can say “you should never be anxious”. That’s like saying “you should never be sad”, or “you should never be angry”. Anxiety is normal and natural, especially when something big is happening. It’s basically a low or high level fear response. However, when you are experiencing being anxious all the time, and there seems to be no obvious trigger for it, your body and mind are telling you that there is something badly out of sync – and that you need to listen to these cues and change some things.
The symptoms of chronic anxiety indicate deeper underlying issues that are affecting your thoughts and your body’s reactions. Some of these may be very obvious: maybe you’re being bullied at work, for instance, or you have money worries. Or, they could be much less obvious: you might be carrying an old trauma that you are not consciously aware of, but that is quietly still running in your subconscious and affecting you daily.
Most commonly there are multiple causes that result in a ‘tipping point’ where the nervous system is in overload, and this begins the cycle of chronic anxiety symptoms. Typically some of these causes are conscious and some are totally unconscious to the person being affected.
Rather than seeing anxiety as a condition to be treated in itself, it needs to be viewed as a symptom. As health practitioners we should be asking a lot of questions to find out all of the causes, and address them one by one. What is happening at work? What is happening in your personal relationships? Do you have any personal relationships? Do you have someone to talk to – a soft place to fall when things are hard? What are you eating? What do you tell yourself about …….? Understanding where the causes of anxiety are coming from, and addressing each one, is pivotal to regaining a person’s balance and sense of control.