Anxiety and Similar Problems

< Back to Common Issues

Anxiety has become one the most common issues of our time and has been around as long as people have. It has other names, worry, stress, concern, fear, shyness, and panic to name a few. It makes people feel bad and tends to control their choices. It’s most typical effect is worry, one’s brain going over and over the same issue. Along with the worry, people experience many effects including racing heart, fast and shallow breathing, blushing, feeling hot, stomach tension (butterflies to nausea), muscle tension in the neck, shoulders, back, arms and legs, headaches, trouble sleeping and concentrating, as well as others.

For many people, anxiety seems to be connected to one or a few very specific concerns or fears, as varied as snakes, social situations, heights or driving, to name a very few. For others, it seems to appear for different reasons, just whatever is currently a source of concern in their life. It seems to be able to connect to pretty much anything although each person has a limited number.

I have worked extensively with anxiety and find that various approaches are helpful, but it is important to find one that works for the specific person. My general approach is to get to know how anxiety is affecting someone, and then look at ways that they have used to make changes in the past and adapt those to deal with the anxiety. It can also be helpful to consider the history of the anxiety in the client’s life, whether it is a new thing for them or has been there as long as they remember. Normally, an important step is building confidence that the person can effectively challenge the anxiety prior to other work. Other techniques include meditation, relaxation, changing perspective and challenging the anxiety through Narrative, Cognitive Behavioural and Behavioural Therapies.