Anxiety is more than a nagging feeling of nervousness. Anxiety can have some problematic and severe symptoms. It is as much a physical issue as it is a mental issue, and one that can quickly control your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
There are many different experiences that can contribute to anxiety. But one issue that those with anxiety may not consider is the way their fear of anxiety creates further anxiety.
Yes – You Can Have an Anxiety About Anxiety
Many psychologists emphasize how important it is to understand why you’re struggling with anxiety as the anxiety occurs. Known as “mindfulness,” the idea is that it is helpful to stop and consider the cause of your anxiety so that you better understand it, rather than simply trying to manage or prevent the symptoms.
One of the reasons this is important is because attempts at prevention (rather than acceptance) of anxiety symptoms can cause anxiety of the symptoms themselves. When someone tries to prevent a symptom, they may start to fear the development of that symptom. That fear is anxiety.
It’s a common problem with all types of anxiety. With panic disorder, for example, a person with panic attacks begins to fear panic attacks so much they end up causing their own panic attacks. They also become hypersensitive to how their body feels, worried their panic attacks will occur again, and increasing their sensitivity to their panic attack triggers. Most forms of anxiety can suffer from this type of cycle.
What is the Alternative?
Anxiety isn’t going to go away just because you don’t want it. You need to treat it, and treating it is a process. In the interim, the best way to reduce the severity of anxiety symptoms is to accept the anxiety.
Since the anxiety isn’t going away, learning to accept that the symptoms are going to be present **for now** but that you’ll be able to treat them with time will prevent you from focusing too much on fighting it. By focusing on what you can do to eliminate anxiety rather than trying to push it away, you stop fueling that fear and stay on the course towards a more effective anxiety treatment.
If you are looking for a psychologist on Long Island with experience in anxiety treatments, contact Dr. Marc Shulman today.