Anxiety is an inner tension that acts as a warning system for us. It may be experienced as just a negative 'gut feeling', light mode, or as an feeling of dread and impending doom, severe mode. But, as warning systems go, we cannot get rid of them and we need to make sure we pay attention to them. The problem is when we don't know what they are trying to warn us about, since our life seems perfect, or we do know what it's trying to warn us about but we don't know how to proceed. That's why so many find anxiety counselling so practical and beneficial.
According to the DSMV, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders that mental health professionals use, 'Anxiety disorders include disorders that share features of excessive fear and anxiety and related behavioral disturbances. Fear is the emotional response to real or perceived imminent threat, whereas anxiety is anticipation of future threat.'
In severe cases the anxiety is considered subconsciously as a potential danger. The brain may not be able to rationalise the “danger” to decide how the body should react; a potential “overload” can occur. The “fight, flight or freeze” syndrome results. If the brain cannot rationalise that the danger should be fought, or fled from; the tendency may be to mentally “freeze” – or be overcome and not able to emotionally handle the situation.
All of this sounds very scary, and it can be. The good news is that anxiety is highly treatable and both therapy and coaching work really well.