Worries, fears and anxieties can affect us all differently. People who experience anxiety problems often want to know ‘why me?’ Research tells us that there are 3 main factors that anxiety – related problems can be linked to;
• Environment, level of life stress and available support.
• Personality type and childhood experience (learning).
• Psychological coping style.
‘My job is really stressful, I’m sure that makes my anxiety worse’
Environment describes the world you live in, and some environments contribute to an anxiety problem. Environments can be continually stressful such as caring for a sick relative, or temporarily stressful such as covering for a colleague at work. Stressful environments can be positive or negative events. Weddings and house moves can be every bit as stressful as illness or injury. Remember that anxiety is cumulative. A few stressful events back to back can really start to fill up your anxiety bucket.
A protective factor in making stressful environments easier to cope with is the amount of social support available. Our vulnerability to anxiety decreases with the amount of time others can support us. This makes talking to people around us in times of stress, particularly important.
‘I always imagine the worst-case scenario’
People who seem more vulnerable to anxiety and worry problems often cope with life problems by expecting the worst. People feel that this strategy will help them deal with problems as they have prepared for the worst and anything else will then be a better outcome. This coping style is known as ‘catastrophizing.’ Walking around catastrophizing means that you become somebody who assumes the world is a negative place and this may lead to feeling life is a constant struggle.
‘I’m from a family of worriers’
Research has shown us that anxiety can run in families. A mother who had herself been bitten by a dog, may now be afraid of dogs. Every time this mother is out, she may caution her child to avoid parks where ‘dangerous’ dogs may be. She may tell her child that dogs ‘will’ bite and should be avoided at all costs.
The good news is that these fears can be overcome, despite being in a family for generations. Think of it as growing up in a Spanish-speaking family and only being able to speak Spanish. You would always be able to learn to speak English, just as you can learn to undo a fear response.
Dare to dream big and Wendy’s THE person to help get you there.
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The most exciting thing in the world is getting a chance to tear it all up and start again. Keep all the things you want and throw out everything you don’t.
Beauty, lifestyle and fashion blogging sensation Becky Sheeran (TalkBeckyTalk)
It’s great to have a leading psychologist such as Wendy in the Manchester area, outside of her Harley Street practice. After publicly raising awareness of mental health issues and myself recovering from depression, I know how immensely life-changing expert intervention can be.
Retired ex-professional football who played for Bury, Wigan, Stoke, Preston, Norwich, Leicester and Brighton during a 14 year career. After leaving professional football, Jason battled depression and recovered with the help of therapy and family support.