A Light at the End of the Tunnel

It’s been a while since my last blog post and I’m now at the mid way point in my treatment at Yorkshire Psychotherapy. I think the main thing I have realised so far on my therapy journey is that in order to effectively cope with your anxiety you have to understand it better.

I have always thought of anxiety as an annoyance, a negative and something to be feared which in turn leads to more anxiety.

The fact is that although some anxiety does have negative connotations it’s also the thing that saves us and keeps us alive. Imagine this; you are crossing a road when suddenly you hear the screeching of car tyres close by, you turn to see a car hurtling towards you. What happens to you if anxiety doesn’t kick in? It’s a scary thought isn’t it!

So relating this to the things that cause me anxiety really helps me to understand it better. My mind perceives a threat and anxiety kicks in. Even though the threat is mental and not physical the reaction and feelings are just as powerful. I can’t physically see it but I can picture it. But in order for me to picture it and feel anxious about it I have to change and develop my thoughts around the perceived threat.

To explain this better here’s an exercise that Dave got me to try; Spend a minute thinking about a big pink bunny. After a minute think about all the thoughts you have had about the big pink bunny. So for me I could describe the big pink bunny as being like an animated character, wearing blue dungarees, with big buck teeth. He lives in a hole under a tree. It’s a sunny day, he has bunny friends he gathers carrots etc etc. The purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate how our thoughts work. Dave asked me to think about a big pink bunny – he didn’t ask me to create a story around it or develop the image in any way. What this demonstrates  is that in order to maintain that image in my mind I had to constantly change and develop it. I’ll leave you to think about that one!

I’ve noticed a change in my thoughts over the last few weeks. I’m in no way ‘cured’ but I definitely feel that in understanding my emotions and thought process it has helped to ease my anxiety.

I suppose what I’ve found is that you only get out of therapy what you put in. There is no magic wand, but I can see light at the end of the tunnel.

To be continued…..

Briony x

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