Updated: Aug 19, 2022
Along with so many of our participants at Quest for Life, I have often asked myself the question: "How do I do to get rid of my anxiety?"
Having a lived experience of anxiety spanning my lifetime, placed me in an ideal position to address the question. So Petrea and I got to work and Befriending Anxiety was created! It covers what we need to ease anxiety and learn how to befriend rather than resist anxiety and find freedom from its debilitating effects.
So, what is anxiety and why do we try so hard to extinguish it from our lives?
Anxiety prepares us to confront threat by putting the body on high alert. The feeling of anxiety arises in a region of the brain called the amygdala that governs intense emotional responses.
As our neurotransmitters carry impulses to the nervous system, our heart and breathing rate increases, our muscles tense, blood flow is diverted from our abdominal organs, and we prepare to flee or fight. The ‘flee’ part leads to anxiety.
Physical effects may include light-headedness, nausea, diarrhoea, and frequent urination. When it persists, anxiety takes a toll on our mental and physical health.
Research on the physiology of anxiety-related illness demonstrates strong and growing evidence of the mutual influence between emotions and physical functioning. Yet anxiety often goes unidentified as a source of myriad physical and behavioural such as illness and addiction
Anxiety is also often overlooked as a contributing factor in conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, heartburn, migraine headaches and more. It is interesting to note that each of these conditions involves inflammation in areas associated with the sympathetic nervous system (fight / flight /freeze).
Anxiety plays a role in what doctors describe as "somatoform disorders", which are characterised by physical symptoms such as pain, nausea, weakness, or dizziness that have no apparent physical cause but are related to psychological distress.
Anxiety is also implicated in other illnesses including heart disease, chronic respiratory disorders, and gastrointestinal conditions. When people with these conditions have unrecognised anxiety, the disease may be more difficult to treat, physical symptoms may become worse, and in some cases, they will suffer more than necessary.
Also, there is often social stigma attached to anxiety which only contributes to the stress thereby adding to the anxiety. A vicious cycle. The notion that its 'all in the mind' somehow lays blame on the person who is suffering. As if they created it on purpose for sinister 'attention seeking' purposes which is not true.
It is no wonder the idea of anxiety being the ‘enemy’ that we need to get rid of is so common. Unfortunately, the adage is true when it comes to all emotions…” what you resist persists.” Not only do denial and avoidance fail to reduce anxiety, but they also actually serve to increase it.
Help is at hand!
Befriending Anxiety provides a fantastic way to get on the path to freedom and inner peace.
If you are feeling anxious, this online course could be just the ticket. Simply download at any time from the Quest for Life website where you will find this brilliant online course comprising four easy to understand modules along with other fantastic resources.
I personally use the strategies in this course every day and I highly recommend this course. I wish you well on your path of heart and hope this online course can ease the way. Let me know how you go by contacting me here.
Until next time
About the author Margie Braunstein
Margie is a Clinical Psychotherapist, teacher, and leader in transformational learning. She is a senior facilitator with Petrea King Quest for Life Foundation.
Margie is passionate about becoming conscious and teaching others to realise how amazing and unique they are as human beings.
Her philosophy in to teach love and to know love from an inner foundation of compassion, generosity, and gratitude through the practices of awareness, acceptance, and heart-based action. She believes that inside each one of us is an essential nature and that when you look deeply you will find the beauty that always lives within.
“There is a little pilot light within you that cannot be extinguished.
It keeps you on a path of heart and serves to light the way” …