Do you struggle with Anxiety?
All of us have moments when we behave in ways that we later regret. We live in a culture that is reactive. We all have things that “trigger” us. Everyone has “buttons” that get pushed. We react without thinking when we get stirred up. We say things that we don’t really mean, or we do things that don’t really reflect who we are or who we want to be. The cause of our reactivity is anxiety.
Anxiety is the intense emotional energy that is triggered by a perceived threat. This energy is biochemical in nature and operates without consulting your thinking processes. In fact, it bypasses your thinking processes. When you feel threatened, your brain kicks off a series of chemical secretions that allow you to react instantaneously without having to stop and think. The biochemical reaction begins seven to nine seconds before you begin to “feel” any sense of threat. When you do begin to feel the sense of threat, you will react in many different ways—for example, anger, depression, elation, terror, distracting yourself, disengaging, etc.—it is not limited to feelings of worry or nervousness.
“After anxiety reaches a certain level (different for each person), it overpowers thoughtful response. Logic is unavailable. Without the ability to be logical or give a thoughtful response, a relationship snag cannot be resolved. So, the anxiety continues to escalate.” (Roberta Gilbert in The Eight Concepts of Bowen Theory, p. 21)
Prolonged seasons of anxiety have a deep impact in our emotional, physical, and relational health.