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 while you spend tons of wasted energy trying to be certain of everything.
Here are a few examples:
- The partner that desperately wants more emotional intimacy within their relationship, but sounds whiney & needy, and as a result, pushes the other person away.
- The shy, socially anxious person who wants to meet more people, 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.
Do you need someone who is empathetic yet objective? Some one who can reflect back to you in a gentle, but direct manner what you are doing right—as well as what is not so helpful?
Often clients find that simply knowing anxiety has a hereditary component provides profound 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.
To improve our emotional lives, we need to know what is going on inside us. Our body announces anxiety to us, but 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 learn how via clinical hypnosis. The focus and peace that results is a wonder to them.