How do we get rid of anxiety? This is the ultimate question. People who struggle with anxious thinking, fear, nervousness and avoidance, often feel as though anything can trigger the feeling. So many people I work with feel afraid. They shut down. They feel paralyzed.
A person’s ability to understand anxiety is imperative!
Thats why we have to ask ourselves – what is anxiety and why does it come back? In this post I am going to try to help you understand how anxiety can compromise you and the situation at hand.
The diagram below is an example of a pattern. Patterns are human. They keep us safe. There’s a reason we do them over and over – they feel good. They work. Every time that anxious feeling shows up, the pattern repeats and you feel better when its over.
Did you know your anxiety is a learned pattern that can be broken?
Below you will see definitions for each segment of the diagram.
- Event is any change in the day – especially one of some importance. An event can be brings you into the present moment. You can be going to work, sitting in school, you lost a loved one, someone is bullied, a baby is born. Some are pleasant, others are not.
- Reaction is how you react, emotionally and psychologically. You may not be aware of what you are feeling or what you say to yourself. We all have very specific thoughts that repeat in our minds and help us get through difficult situations – often they are ingrained in us.
EVENT + REACTION = BEHAVIOR
- Behavior is Protection! When you are too overwhelmed by the event there is a choreographed set of actions (chain of events) that help you handle what just took place. This is a way to remain safe when facing a threat. Emotions intensify and you must find a way to comfort yourself. Some examples are walking away, shutting down, avoidance, or using substances.
Why does this happen? Most people hate vulnerability. This leads people to cope in harmful ways, particularly if the person can not find a secure behavior that offers support and comfort. Where we often see this take place is in the subconscious – suppressing or ridding oneself of feeling.
This all leads to RESULT + SENSE OF RESOLUTION
- Result: This is normally a positive or negative consequence after the behavior takes place. The result is often what we are in search of – some type of understanding that helps keep us feeling good. It allows us to avoid any further stress and the anxiety begins to lessen.
- Sense of Resolution is the solution. This settles the problem and often feels better. The problem is over. This is also where you begin to formulate perspective, whether positive or negative. This perspective meets the need of your sense of self. Oddly, this sets you up for the next event…
Here’s one of the most important parts to understanding anxiety:
If your pattern of anxiety does not create change it will become a pattern. A person who becomes stuck in this way of being advances to creating a habit and will find difficulty finding peace.
In fact, the more this cycle happens, the habit will increase intensity leaving you without a way out, reinforcing the pattern to occur again and again.
If this is a negative habit, it will harm you.
The above diagram is an important aspect of understanding how to get rid of anxiety. You first need to know what is going on before you can learn to make change. The more aware you are, the more insight gained in how you cope from day to day.
THE MORE AWARE YOU ARE THE MORE POSSIBILITY TO MAKE CHANGES YOU HAVE!