“West Side Story” composer Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 2 The Age of Anxiety was composed from 1948 to 1949 in the US and Israel. It is titled after W. H. Auden’s poem of the same name. Was 1949 the Age of Anxiety or is it now? Most of us have some form of anxiety in our lives and with the continued events of 2020 it is becoming more prevalent.
To combat anxiety people will employ different coping mechanisms to help deal with their anxiety. These may include, exercise, going for a walk, listening to music, or some other form of distraction, though when it strikes these often fail, because the problem is neurological, so therefore to successfully cure anxiety the changes need to take place at the neurological level. Another mechanism many use is to try and avoid the situations that cause them to feel anxious or panic. This though prevents, change and growth. Another thing I often come across is hearing clients say “It happens to me – I don’t make it happen”. This mindset can unfortunately prevent the person from taking ownership of the problem.
Causes of Anxiety
Anxiety is caused by an over arousal of the autonomic nervous system, so someone will often get anxious before they even know it, and by the time this happens it’s too late. So they say “it’s not my fault since it happens automatically”. However they created it due to reacting to an external stimulus such as crowded spaces, social gatherings, giving a presentation. This can then generalise, so even the thought of it becomes enough to create the anxious state.
Fight or Flight
This triggers the fight or flight response in part of the brain called the amygdala and can cause a myriad of issues both psychologically and physiologically. Dry mouth, sweaty palms, palpitations, racing heartbeat and thoughts, tightness or pain in the chest to name a few.
Taking responsibility and owning it is one of the steps to overcoming this debilitating issue towards recovery. Anxiety and panic is often a function of the internal dialogue and the images one creates in the mind. Intervening by changing the images and speed of what is said internally are key to becoming anxiety free. Now, depending on the type of anxiety there will be more activity in one hemisphere of the brain and another tool for change is to engage both hemispheres whilst thinking of the anxious state. If you are curious about to take back control and become anxiety free then join our workshop here on send us a message here.
Written by Eric Moore , Smart Coaching & Training Ltd.