Anxiety disorder is a mental illness that can affect people of all ages. There are many different types of anxiety disorders, and symptoms vary from person to person.
Here’s what causes anxiety, what the symptoms are and how it affects people’s lives.
What is fear?
Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension or unease caused by an object, situation, or event. Fear can be appropriate and helpful in certain situations. But when anxiety begins to interfere with life, it can be a sign of an anxiety disorder.
People experience fear in different ways. Some people have physical symptoms of increased heart rate, sweating, and elevated blood pressure. Other people may experience intense anxiety or panic for no apparent reason. Still, other people develop phobias that lead to avoidance behaviours that severely limit their lives.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in Germany, affecting over 18 million adults Statistically, one in five people will be affected at some point in their lives.
What causes fear?
Anxiety is caused by a variety of factors including genetics (family history), brain chemistry (neurotransmitters), and life experiences (trauma).
Fear is a natural emotion that we can use to protect ourselves from danger. In evolutionary terms, it thus fulfilled an enormously important meaning by warning us of dangers such as fire, heights or animals. It still helps us today to avoid dangerous people or situations and prepares our bodies for fight or flight.
What are typical symptoms?
Anxiety disorders are characterised by feelings of intense anxiety and worry about everyday events and activities. They affect how we feel, think and behave, which can lead to problems in relationships, work performance and other areas of life.
The symptoms of an anxiety disorder in adults can vary from person to person, but there are some symptoms that can be common with an anxiety disorder:
- Nervousness or discomfort
- Restlessness or feeling exhausted
- Acute challenges or problems
How to overcome your fears and live a happier life
Some people are just born happy. They have no fears, they are always optimistic, and they always find a ray of hope wherever they go. But for the rest of us, it’s a whole different story. It’s not that we don’t want to be happy or that we don’t know how to be happy – it’s just that sometimes we need a little help.
Here are some of my favourite ways to overcome your fears and live a happier life:
Did you know that our brain has a natural way of making us happy? This is called a positive feedback loop. The more we do things that make us feel good, the more we’ll want to do them again and again.
If you want to be happier in general, there are a few things you can do:
- Focus on what’s going well in your life, not what’s not.
- Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings.
- Take time for yourself every day.
Of course, these recommendations only scratch the surface. Adjusting your own compass needle to luck requires practice and conscious work on your own thoughts.
People are afraid of many things in life. Some of them are more rational than others, but we all have fears. Fears cannot be controlled; you cannot turn them on or off like hunger or thirst. That’s why it’s not about fighting fear. The perception of fear is an important compass in our lives. It can also be a signal to us and provide important impetus.
But that doesn’t help at the moment when the dark cloud of fear settles over the previously carefree day. In anxiety coaching, we work together on a long-term improvement in mood.
The following tips can be helpful for the specific moment of fear:
- Be clear about what you fear most
- Realise that the worst that can happen isn’t that bad
- Stop thinking about it and get on with your life
- Accept that you cannot change anything
What is anxiety coaching?
Anxiety coaching is the process of working with a health anxiety coach to learn how to manage your anxiety. Coaching can help you identify the triggers that are causing your anxiety, allowing you to avoid those triggers or learn to manage anxiety more easily.
How do you find the right counsellor or anxiety coach for you?
A good counsellor or anxiety coach can make a significant difference in your life. These coaches are there to help you through difficult times and to offer your insight and support. Finding the right one for you can be a daunting task, but there are some things you can do to make it easier for yourself.
You should start by asking your friends or family if they know of good counsellors in your area. You can also ask your doctor for a recommendation. Another option is to search online for reviews of various counsellors or anxiety coaches in your area. You should check out their website and see if they have testimonials from other clients that you can peruse to get an idea of how they will work with people like you.
Ultimately, nothing helps better than direct contact with the coach to find out whether the wavelength between the coach and the person being coached is right.
For this reason, I offer you a free and non-binding initial consultation to get to know me.
What is the difference between an anxiety coach and a psychologist?
Anxiety coaches are professionals who specialize in helping people manage their anxiety. They are trained in a variety of methods and techniques to help their clients manage the symptoms and triggers of anxiety. Coaches will help you explore the triggers of your fear and teach you, for example, breathing exercises or mindfulness techniques that will help you to relax.
Psychologists specialise in the study of human behaviour and mental processes. They can help people with anxiety disorders by giving therapy sessions to relieve their symptoms.
Coaching should enable those seeking help to activate their own resources. Discussions with a coach should then ideally lead to the person concerned regaining confidence in their own abilities and better recognizing their own needs. Coaching can be seen as helping people to help themselves. If that is no longer sufficient and self-help is no longer an option, psychotherapy is the method of choice.
Many psychotherapists now offer to coach themselves. Unlike therapy, the client pays for coaching out of their own pocket.
If a coach notices during the sessions that a client needs therapy, they will refer them to a psychotherapist.
A coaching session with me – what you get and how it works
I am a certified Life & Business Coach and trained in cognitive behavioural therapy. However, since I myself was confronted with the topic of fear for a long time, after my coaching training I started a second training as a non-medical practitioner for psychotherapy. I will complete this in 2023.
My goal: I would like to help patients with fears in the best possible way to deal with their fears better and to go through life with more self-confidence.
Based on my own experiences, we will of course be sensitive to your fears in the sessions. However, if it turns out that it is an acute anxiety disorder, psychotherapy is advisable. If this is the case, I can put you in contact with a psychotherapist.
All further information about the process of coaching with me can be found here on the coaching page.
Regardless of whether you suffer from a generalised anxiety disorder or social anxiety coach or whether your fears limit you in some other way. There are countless good reasons to take advantage of anxiety coaching.
Lynn Nichols has two feet and is able to walk.