Anxiety is a feeling triggered by perceived danger. It’s our bodies own built in alarm system, alerting us to threats ahead. This causes a rush of adrenaline to our system, activating our fight or flight response. This helps us when there is a physical threat particularly to be able to fight, or to run away.
If you’re running from a tsunami or fighting an intruder, our bodies need this adrenaline to keep us safe. But when we have an important meeting, or a new social gathering, or are stuck in traffic, this feeling is not so helpful. Adrenaline triggered by internal thoughts, worries or memories is exhausting to deal with every day. Often, we’re simply over-estimating the threat, and not believing in our own ability to cope with the challenges.
It’s normal to feel anxious and worried sometimes, but this shouldn’t come at the cost of living your own life. If this feeling is becoming too much, you may be experiencing some symptoms of anxiety.
Of course. The knock-on effects of triggering thoughts cause feelings of anxiety that manifest in behavior that makes you feel safe. The problem in this cycle is you may feel better in the short-term, but in the longer term anxiety can increase and stick around for longer.
Anxiety is good – in small amounts. Being a little nervous about an exam or job interview can help us study and prepare, and therefore be more likely to do well. However, when anxiety builds to a stage that it is interfering with achieving the things we want to achieve, it can be helpful to think about doing things differently.
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This resource was developed by a Fresh Minds psychologist, adapted from Te Hikuwai developed by Te Pou o Te Whakaaro Nui resources. For more information on our qualified therapists visit our team.our team