In the context of stress and anxiety, how do you describe yourself?
Do you tell people (and yourself): “I’ve always been an anxious person;” “I’m a stressed mum/ dad;” “I’m a lifelong anxiety sufferer”; or something along similar lines?
What if I told you …..
….. You are not an anxious person
Anxiety and stress are actually “verbs” rather than “nouns” – i.e. that they are activities – things that we “DO” rather than “Who we really are.”
What you are is someone who experiences anxiety and stress in certain situations. This fact is reflected in the definitions of stress and anxiety:
Stress – the name we give to the cocktail of physical sensations and emotions we experience when faced with an immediate threat.
Anxiety – the name we give to the cocktail of physical sensations and emotions we experience when faced with a future threat.
Why it matters to stop saying “I’m an anxious/stressed person”
When you view yourself, as an anxious person, psychologically it turns you into the problem – you become the anxiety or stress. You adopt its identity and are influenced by the things that are associated with it – the avoidance behaviours, the emotions and the physical symptoms, such as shortness of breath, increased heart rate, and so on.
The danger with becoming the anxiety is that you then become stuck because; it’s harder to change your identity than it is to change how you experience anxiety.
Anxiety is something we do
Once we understand that anxiety is something we do, it puts us back in the driving seat because if it’s something we do, we can choose to adopt new thinking and behavioural habits that enable us to stop doing it or minimise its impact on us.
The S.T.R.E.S.S Process – how we do stress and anxiety
The model I use to explain how we do stress and anxiety is called the STRESS Process. I gave an overview of the process in this post and followed this with blogs on each of the six steps in the process.
Take back control – choose to change how you experience anxiety
Contrary to common belief, gaining relief from anxiety and stress doesn’t have to be a long drawn out, expensive process. With an understanding of the STRESS Process and with the right mind-set, skills and support, change can be quite rapid and long lasting.
The techniques I share with my clients are drawn from the fields of life coaching, positive psychology, and cognitive and behavioural therapy. They’ve been chosen because they’re evidence based and – most importantly – they work. They are also practical, simple to learn, easy to use.
Imagine having a set of life skills and techniques that enable you to change the way you think, the way you feel and the way you behave. Skills and techniques that enable you to stop doing stress and anxiety. Now that’s truly empowering!
Is it time you stopped saying you’re a stressed or anxious person?
So perhaps it’s time you stopped saying you’re a stressed or anxious person and started to take back control of your stress experience and your life? After all, why suffer any longer than you have to?
Need help in mastering your stress and anxiety?
If you are suffering with stress, anxiety, panic attacks and want to stop suffering and to start enjoying life fully again, call me on 021 056 8389, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name & number, or use the Book Now button below.
REMEMBER – “When you change your mind you change your life.”
Tony helps people of all ages live their lives free of unnecessary stress, anxiety and depression, and be happier, healthier and more fulfilled.