Whilst short term anxiety is a perfectly normal reaction it can become debilitating when it becomes a long-term state. A lot of people are suffering with the effects of anxiety at the moment – perhaps magnified by the uncertainty around COVID. If you are suffering from the effects of long-term anxiety, I would really encourage you to get help, it is a horrible way to feel. Counselling can help.
Short- term anxiety
We all recognise the signs of short-term anxiety, which can be different from person to person, but often include sweaty palms, raised heart rate, “butterflies” in the tummy and some restlessness. It can also interrupt our sleep particularly the night before an important exam or job interview. This short-term anxiety can help us to really focus on the task in hand and make us perform better.
Long-term anxiety is not helpful and can affect you both physically and mentally. It can cause an almost constant feeling of dread with an inability to relax. It might make you irritable and have difficulty concentrating. You may feel unable to meet people as you associate that with feelings of worry. You may also need to take time away from your regular daily routine – for example taking time off work.
Physical symptoms may include headaches, dizziness, stomach ache, fatigue and interrupted sleep.
You may not know what makes you feel this way which can make the anxiety worse – I often hear people say “but my life is good I have nothing to complain about so why do I feel like this?”.
If you think you are suffering from long – term anxiety I’d recommend a trip to the GP – they may diagnose General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and may well suggest therapy.
How can counselling help with anxiety?
Counselling can help you to work out why you feel the way that you do and help you to deal with your fears. You will also work with your counsellor to put in place relaxation techniques which you can use at home and other techniques that you can use in the situations that make you anxious.
Please take a look at how to choose a counsellor if you decide that this is the path for you.