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Counselling for Anxiety in Bromley

If you have a constant feeling of anxiety or feel like a panic attack is just around the corner counselling can help.

Is anxiety increasingly affecting your life?

Anxiety is very often debilitating, limiting your enjoyment of life and making day to day activities challenging. When anxiety becomes a problem that simply will not go away counselling gives you a space to consider what is going on and why it might be troubling you right now. Therapy for anxiety considers what your triggers are and together we can consider how to lessen the impact anxiety has on your life.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety can hijack your life, making you believe that things are worse than they are. If anxiety takes hold it can stop you carrying out everyday tasks such as going to work, shopping and socialising. Anxiety is the bodies way of informing you it feels threatened. When your body believes it is in danger or under threat it uses anxiety to ready you for action, be that fight, flight or even freeze. Sometimes our body gets it wrong though. Perhaps something about a current situation or experience triggers an old memory that was uncomfortable, and your body recognises the need to be alert to danger. For example, a child who experiences a teacher as impatient when they read aloud in class might trigger performance anxiety when we come to give a presentation at work. Most people experience stress in their lives, this is something that will come and go, anxiety can be more persistent, affecting you even if the cause is uncertain.

We can be anxious about a range of things

For example...

   •   Unexpected phone calls or visitors that overwhelm us
   •   Needing to navigate something new, like a new job, or travelling somewhere we have nott been before
   •   Social invitations that make us feel awkward and fill us with dread

How do I know if I am experiencing anxiety?

The symptoms of anxiety are varied. You might experience some or all of the following...
   •    Hard to concentrate
   •    A worry that the world around you is able to cope but you are stuck in a cycle of worry
   •   Overthinking - that is thinking through every possible scenario and repeating these thoughts so that concentrating on other matters becomes difficult
   •   Nausea, churning stomach or excess sweating
   •   Feeling fidgety as if we cannot quite manage to calm ourselves down
   •   A feeling that our heart is racing, or that someone or something is sitting on our chest
   •   A feeling of dread, as if something terrible might happen any moment
   •   Fast breathing
   •   Dizziness
   •   Trouble sleeping
   •   Feeling irritable

Anxiety can lead to panic attacks, a physical feeling that we are very unwell which might feel like we are having a heart attack. The first time a panic attack is experienced can be very frightening. This can be followed by feelings of shame when we realise our body has had a panic attack. It is not unusual for anxiety to lead to avoidance. For example, if phone calls make you anxious perhaps you now avoid the phone as much as possible. The difficulty with this approach is that is can make the idea of conquering the issue ever more remote. When anxiety and panic are affecting your life counselling can help you take control of your symptoms.

Coping strategies for anxiety

Perhaps you manage your anxiety with medication, perhaps you smoke, comfort eat or exercise to excess. These help to take your mind off the anxiety but create their own problems. Sometimes they can even make your anxiety worse. Therapy to address why you feel anxious can help you take back control. Counselling gives you a space to understand what the physical symptoms are trying to tell you and gives you the insight to make changes, so the anxiety becomes more manageable.

If you would like some help to understand why you have panic attacks or to manage anxiety Contact me. I am an experienced private anxiety counsellor offering counselling in Bromley. Kent and London SE8.

Anxiety is like a bucket of water

Samantha Merry, Counsellor, MBACP,