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Helpful Information and Articles

 

Coping With Anxiety/Stress/Panic Attacks: Tips to Calm the Nervous System

What happens? The nervous system goes on alert as a reaction to perceived threat or excessive/chronic stress. This can trigger a cascade of stress hormones that produce physiological changes such as heart pounding, quickening of breath, tensing of muscles, etc. This combination of reactions to stress is known as the “fight-or-flight” response and it has evolved as a survival mechanism. Unfortunately, the body can also overreact and become activated to stressors that are not life-threatening, such as work/exam pressure, family difficulties, traffic jams etc. However, while such life stressors are not life-threatening, the body reacts as though they are. Over time, this can cause anxiety, fear and/or depression.


There is a need to dampen down your reactions if this happens in order to avoid the nervous system becoming activated to the extent that it takes you outside your “Window of Tolerance”  (a state in which feelings and reactions are tolerable, we can think and feel simultaneously, our reactions adapt to fit the situation). Should we be taken outside our Window of Tolerence, it can lead to hyperarousal (emotional overwhelm, panic, hypervigilance, defensiveness, feeling unsafe, reactive, angry, racing thoughts) or hypoarousal (numb, “dead”, passive, no feelings, no energy, can’t think, disconnected, shut down, “not there”, ashamed, can’t say No).



There are 4 basic steps which can help calm our nervous system. Please click on the link below for more information.

The Masks we Wear - Is your Mask Holding you Hostage?
Written by Evelyn Barlow

Most people are familiar with presenting a certain face to the world. In fact, we all do it to some extent. During the course of any given day, we can use a variety of different masks as a social disguise to help get us through a variety of situations. It’s part of human nature.


The reasons for wearing a mask can be both positive and negative and some of the reasons might include:


To hide fear

To hide anxiety

To be liked and accepted

To hide vulnerability

To hide sadness/depression

To hide happiness

To deceive

To hide anger

To show masculinity/femininity

To manipulate

How many of us live life behind a mask – a mask of self-assuredness, confidence, authority, perfection, efficiency etc, while all the while hiding who we truly are? The problem with masks is when they become the norm and we lose ourselves in the process of trying to please others.


What mask do we show to the outside world - to family, friends, employers, employees, teachers etc? Are we showing things like “I’m confident”, “I’m fine”, “I’m in charge”, “everything’s good”, “I’m happy”?  But, do you smile to hide the pain in your heart? Do you laugh to conceal the tears in your eyes? What is behind your mask? What are you hiding? Could it be that you are actually feeling “I’m not good enough”, “I’m useless”, “I’m in pain”, “I’m feeling really anxious”?  Maybe you behave in an outgoing manner at a party with your friends, but you may actually feel somewhat shy. Maybe you are the last person others would say has any problems, but you are actually crippled with anxiety. Maybe you are really struggling in your relationship, but you put on a mask of happiness around others. Have you been wearing the mask for so long that you have actually forgotten who you are underneath?


Cont'd..../ please find the full article by clicking on the link below.

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Clonmel
Co Tipperary
Ireland

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©2020 by Evelyn Barlow Counselling & Psychotherapy.