Anxiety is a horrible business. It’s okay to pass through but 100 times worse if you get stuck there. It is one of the most common emotions that we deal with during a Counseling Retreat or Life Change Holiday. It haunts some of us more than others, and I’ll explain why, and how to begin to manage it.
Anxiety comes in 2 varieties and responds and acts in very different ways:
- Firstly the sort that we are all familiar with when waiting to do something scary or trying to prepare for an exam that we don’t feel particularly confident about. This type of anxiety is transient; we move through it and come out the other end. It’s part of life, it goes up and down. This is known as State Anxiety.
- The second type of anxiety is called Trait Anxiety. This is a personality trait and is part of who we are. We are, as my Mum used to say “worry prone”.
Dealing With State Anxiety
This is the one that most people are talking about and writing endless self help books about how to manage. To deal with it is relatively easy once you understand the principles of how it is working.
A vast majority of State Anxiety is generated when we have a prominent, difficult situation on the horizon and are feeling unprepared about it. If you analyse any anxieties you have at the moment you will discover that it feels a bit like staring at something from a distance. You know it’s there but can’t quite see it properly.
The best and simplest way to reduce State Anxiety is to identify the episode/s you will be dealing with and prepare for them as thoroughly and properly as you can. This might well involve enlisting the help of others, friends, family or dare I say it, professionals. Good Counsellors, Therapists or Life Coaches should be familiar with this type of work. In fact most Therapies or Life Coaching approaches are merely convenient vehicles with which to prepare for and overcome anxiety.
Dealing With Trait Anxiety
You can’t. And this is really important. If you are somebody who has a high Trait Anxiety Score it is part of you and impossible to change, just as you can’t change your sense of humour. The good news is though that we can learn to cope with ourselves better. I fear that much counseling time is wasted with people simply trying to be something they are not.
There are very effective ways that we can learn to live with our high anxiety score. One really good method for some is to allot an “anxiety hour” at the end of the day where we allow ourselves to worry over whatever crops up during the day. We are quite good at delaying anxiety if we know that we can confront it at some point. This is a useful technique that provides that solution.
If you would like to know more about how to deal with anxiety or our Life Change Holidays, Couples Therapy Retreat or our luxury Counseling Retreat, please do contact me through our contact page.
Hope this Counseling article on the Life Change Blog article has been helpful.
Talk to you next week. Have a good week.