On being strong and staying as strong as possible when you experience anxiety.

Being strong doesn’t mean hiding your pain. It doesn’t mean forgoing help when you’re struggling. It doesn’t mean refusing to show sadness and vulnerability. And it doesn’t mean carrying the burdens of life all by yourself. Anything that prevents your healing and stifles your growth does not correspond with strength. Being strong means refusing to tolerate people and things that wound your soul. It means practicing self-care when you’re hurting. It means honouring your feelings by actually allowing yourself to feel and express them. It means treating yourself with compassion and kindness, even when you feel like you don’t deserve any. It means doing what makes you happy and being with people who make you feel good. It means asking for help when the weight of the world has become too much. It means giving yourself permission to get your needs met by setting boundaries. It means to take care of yourself.

If you feel like you could do with somebody to talk to about any issues you have, I can help.  I offer private and discreet therapeutic appointments, bookings available at http://www.maholochi.com.

There are so many different ways that people experience physical anxiety, and so many ways people describe the symptoms, that an all inclusive list is impossible.

For instance, it’s a common anxiety attack symptom to feel some kind of tingling or numbness in your extremities, such as toes, fingers, and scalp. But all kinds of variation are possible in terms of where you feel it and exactly what you feel, not to mention the words you choose to describe it.

So don’t be fooled by the thought that one or another of your anxiety symptoms is something unique. Anxiety disorders occur to millions and millions of people around the world and yet so many of those people think that they’re “the only one”.

No list is all inclusive, but here are the common anxiety symptoms as they are often described.

*Variations in heart activity: faster, slower, skipping, louder

*Feeling light headed and/or dizzy

*Laboured and impaired breathing

*Pain and/or heaviness in the chest

*Numbness and/or tingling in the toes, fingers, and scalp

*Sweating

*Blushing

*Feeling weak

*Urge to run

*Bodily trembling

*Voice cracking or trembling

*Various pains: back pain, headache

*Stomach upset

*Urge to urinate or have a bowel movement

*Feeling “hyper”

*Feelings of head expansion or contraction

*Visual disturbances

One of the problems people have with physical symptoms of anxiety is that they tend to expect that anxiety symptoms should just be thoughts and emotions, not physical sensations. They often believe that if they have a physical symptom, it means they have a physical problem. Nothing could be further from the truth! Your mind and your body are linked together in so many ways that it doesn’t really make much sense to think of them as separate structures.

If you watch someone eat a lemon, you’ll probably find yourself salivating; if you read a scary book you might find your heart racing; if I asked you not to yawn while you read this, you’d probably find yourself yawning, or struggling to suppress a yawn; if you see an attractive member of the opposite sex across the room, your body will respond even if that person is completely unavailable to you; and so on.

Don’t be confused by  “it’s all in your head”. Anxiety symptoms will be experienced throughout your body as well.

Another problem people have with physical sensations is that they seem so extreme, so unreasonably powerful and out of proportion to the situation. Well, yes, they are. The fact that you notice them is a strong clue to what’s happening. If a dog suddenly charged you from behind a hedge, you’d have many of the same sensations, but you wouldn’t be bothered by them. You’d be too busy protecting yourself to notice. The symptoms aren’t a sign of danger. They’re a sign that the fire alarm has rung in the absence of a fire.

You are not alone, millions of people suffer with these thoughts and symptoms every day.

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