I am noticing lately in the counselling room the label of “anxiety” is being used a lot. I will meet clients for the first time and the first thing they tell me when they meet me is they have been diagnosed with the anxiety label. I also notice in society you hear the statements; he has anxiety going to school, she will not leave the house as she has anxiety. It is like it has become that persons identity. Sometimes I wonder do people feel like they cannot get away from it? And, if so, it must be really scary for them, in particular young people because once they are labelled with anxiety, can they ever get past the label?
I personally and professionally think they can. I think we forget as a society that anxiety is only the label and if you work on the emotions behind the label, you can feel like you are in more control.
Sounds simple and of course anxiety is something that is very personal and unique to each person but how about going beyond the label of anxiety and looking at the emotion behind anxiety just for this blog….
The biggest emotion behind anxiety is FEAR. Fear is something that we are experiencing daily now with the global pandemic of Covid 19, however, fear is always with us. Fear is something that can have us spending our time and thoughts in the future. When we are in fear, we ask ourselves those questions… what if this happens? what if that happens? It’s always about what if rather then what is happening right now. If we are spending our thoughts and time in the future, why wouldn’t you be afraid?! We cannot control the future. Human beings think that we are in control all the time however, in the future you are not, so… Stop running to meet the future, it is coming anyway!
Fear can also cause the chemical reaction in our body of adrenaline so when you are fearful about something, and living in the future which you cannot control, you create adrenaline and so you panic! Think of fear as the horses in front of your cart if you were to control them or pull them back you would feel more stable on your cart.
Being present is another antidote to fear. You cannot be in the future and the present at the same time.
One other thing I cannot talk about fear without mentioning is trust. Fear can take over when you do not trust. Trust starts with you, so start trusting in you, trusting that you will be ok when your fear arrives and that you got this.
I know this is easier said than done and I am not just speaking from a professional point of view. I have personal experience of anxiety and the emotion of fear behind it so I do know if you have been diagnosed with the anxiety label you can feel like you cannot change it. However, I have seen clients really get a handle on the emotion behind the label and so the label fades away. Most of us want a label for our behaviours, thoughts and feelings, myself included, so we can feel like we are in control of them.
The label is only half the picture, you owe it to yourself to see the bigger picture.
The article is written by Emma, newly qualified and pre-accredited Counsellor at The DMC Clinic. If you would like to discuss how any of the topics mentioned above are impacting your mental health please contact The DMC Clinic to arrange an appointment.