Anxiety: The Paradox
Anxiety is such a strange beast. It is paradoxical in nature, meaning it will cause you to do exactly the opposite of what would support your goals.
It will “What if “ you to death when you spend wasted energy trying to be certain of everything.
Anxiety In Action
- The partner who wants more emotional intimacy within their relationship, but instead feels too needy or demanding, and as a result, pushes the other person away.
- The socially anxious person who wants to meet others, but can’t bring herself to speak with anyone at the party.
- The shopper who abandons her cart in the middle of the aisle, struggling through a panic attack.
- The pleaser who exhausts herself attempting to pacify her partner or care for family members, and ultimately has nothing left to give, and no longer even recognizes herself.
- The estranged parent of an adult child who is desperately trying to understand what happened, and grieves the loss of contact, but often ends up stuck in blame, which is not helpful.
People find that simply knowing anxiety has a hereditary component provides emotional relief. They can tell me immediately which side of their family was most affected. Learning that anxiety has become a habit, and that habits can be changed, is also a revelation.
Oh boy does our body loudly announce anxiety to us! We must learn to respond to it differently. Anxiety is an evolutionary gift. It is our early warning system, but the message can get distorted over time. That causes us to overreact a bit.
And when an anxious client tells me they don’t understand what it feels like to be relaxed, or says they just can’t slow down their minds, I help them remind their bodies how it feels via clinical hypnosis. The focus and peace that results is often a wonder to them.