Anxiety can be triggered by real events happening in the world and is needed.
Healthy clean anxiety in the here and now is more than just useful, it supports an awareness, an acute awareness to protect us from danger. Without anxiety, we would drive through red lights, walk out in front of cars, not lock our homes or tap into a multitude of behaviours that support us. Without Anxiety, we could die. We may not seek help or ask for help when we need it. Clean anxiety is a normal human experience that we all have and need.
Anxiety can be triggered by thoughts, nothing more than thoughts.
Dirty Anxiety is when our inner world, our thoughts, reasoning offer us “stuff” and we do not discriminate between it being a thought and what is happening in the present. General anxiety disorders start with a thought, become a feeling, often progressing into powerful and difficult sensations.
When our minds are hooked into unwanted thoughts, amplifying anxiety, being fearful about being anxious, maybe getting advanced physical symptoms related to breathing, acid stomach, dread, then time for some ACT Anxiety Counselling.
Without ACT counselling, most people will continue to struggle and fight thoughts they do not want. When that does not work, most people will start to take action to avoid the consequences. Social anxiety, then don’t go out. Exam anxiety, leave the course. Relationship anxiety, stay single.
Unwanted thoughts and feelings lead to avoidant behaviours, that in some ways work, in the short term. In the long term, anxiety that is not directly connected to a real-world risk, is manufactured and amplified by our minds (thanks for that mind!), and we stop being with who we want to be with. We stop going where we want to go. We cease to do what we have a desire to be involved with.
ACT – Acceptance Commitment Therapy For Anxiety
Look around you right now, what can you see. Just notice that.
Listen, what can you hear right now? What can you smell? Taste?
Notice, what can you feel, touch, right now? Just spend a couple of moments noticing.
Rarely, when doing the here and now mindfulness grounding exercise is there a reason to be anxious. Try telling that to your mind. Our minds are busy, looking out for us, checking, inspecting, judging, comparing, linking, constantly on the outlook for who knows what. Pulling up the past, projecting into the future and in doing so, we get anxious. We get auto-piloted into anxiety as our minds take everything we have ever experienced, seen, heard, know about connect it all in a hotchpotch, and come up with a thought.
Now we have a challenge, lets step back from the thought and ask ourselves, is that thought useful in the here and now with what I am doing right now, or is it just a thought.
Let’s press pause, and live in the here and now. You can argue and struggle with thoughts if you like, but as you know, that just beefs up the thought.
You can try to not have thoughts if you like. Good luck with that. (Don’t think about a …um.. “yellow mini” for the next 30 seconds. ).
So, maybe just thank your mind for all it does, acknowledge that the thoughts are not going to be acted upon right now. Then, take action. We offer a clinic in South Manchester supporting Cheshire and Greater Manchester. Our service is private and bespoke.
ACT NOW. 0800 530 0012 Counselling 1:1 sessions . Wilmslow. Cheshire.