A journalist asked me an interesting question this week. She wanted to know how I can be so confident about fixing anxiety when everyone’s anxiety seems so different.
Some people have a specific anxiety of panic attacks, social anxiety, or health anxiety but most have anxiety that has bits of different types of anxiety all mixed together.
The answer I gave the journalist was that all anxiety, regardless of the type, has certain underlying factors. These factors are the same for everyone and the things that I go for when helping people to overcome anxiety. The factors that everyone shares are these:
Safety seeking behaviour.
Looking for ways to stay safe from anxiety.
A total avoidance of anything that will cause anxiety.
Anxiety tends to make us move our focus to how we feel, rather than on the outside world.
Challenging negative thoughts.
Stopping worry and overthinking.
Misinterpreting things and catastrophising.
Common to anxiety are things that run alongside such as depression and low self-esteem. Sometimes these problems resolve when the anxiety does, and sometimes we must address these separately. What I notice is that for the clients that need something targeted after the anxiety has resolved, are often one of the main factors underlying their anxiety.