Give me the strength!

And then the announcement. It came from nowhere. It shocked, and you took an involuntary intake of breath.

FullSizeRenderImagine the scene.  It has been a wearying time.  You left your hotel room at 11:00am on the final day of your much-needed holiday.  You spent a final few hours trying to enjoy the last dregs of the Mediterranean town you have inhabited for a week, but at the back of your mind a voice is chanting with increasing volume: “I just want to get back home …”

At 3:00pm you, your holiday rep, and your bags are thankfully reunited at the local airport for the 5:30pm flight.  The temperature outside is just below 30C.  The queues for the ham and cheese paninis and coffee are long, and the Mediterranean males are shouting and stomping  as they serve, while their resigned women sit quietly and take the money.  The airport lounge is overcrowded and there are not enough seats.  “I just want to get home,” you say to yourself.  “I just want to get home.”

And then the announcement.  It came from nowhere.

Continue reading “Give me the strength!”

Three Effective Tools To Cut Anxiety

Excessive anxiety is a misuse of imagination. Using truth to challenge the lies we tell ourselves can help us bring excessive anxiety down to levels that we will almost certainly cope with.

FullSizeRenderThere’s a lot of anxiety about and it gets everywhere. The executive who is anxious about going to the management meeting and speaking, or the traffic accident victim afraid to drive or cross the road, or the parent afraid to go to the school gates and face teachers or fellow parents.

Of course, in many cases it is a normal response and doesn’t become excessive. It might be strange if we didn’t feel slightly worried about delivering a public speech to an audience of hundreds, or when moving house or job, or when crossing a road following a road accident. Anxiety only becomes dysfunctional for us when it becomes too frequent, too prolonged, too disproportionately intense for the situation.

An Honorable History

The good news is that anxiety serves a purpose, and in evolutionary terms, has an honourable history. When we sense a threat to us in any way we are hard-wired to fight, flee, or freeze. The amygdala in our brain delivers this primitive core function with conviction, and without it the human race would never have evolved, or wouldn’t have survived for long if it did.
However, as humans, we are no longer completely ruled by instinctive responses. We have the pre-frontal cortex to use reason, assess the risk, and overrule our instincts when necessary.

Excessive anxiety is caused by us listening to our instinctive alarm system and not putting it into context. There are three things to do to help us get a true perspective on the alarming messages.  Continue reading “Three Effective Tools To Cut Anxiety”