Fear of Future
Thursday 21 NOVEMBER 2002 (THE SUN)
by Julian Aloysius Leicester
Anxiety attacks can strike without warning. Julian A. Leicester tells you way and what to do about it.
You are walking in a shopping mall on a Sunday morning. There are not many people moving around as it is still early. As you walk, you notice the sound of footsteps behind you and, for no apparent reason, you wonder whether these steps are purposely keeping pace with yours.
A thought crosses your mind:"Maybe I'm about to be mugged." As the steps come closer, your heart starts to race, your cheeks become flushed. You suddenly feel very dizzy, as though you will faint where you stand. Then just when you become certain you can't tolerate the fear, the sound of the footsteps turn off onto a different direction. You look aorund and see the cleaner women hurrying away.
Anxiety is an unpleasant emotion generated within yourself. It gives you a vague, enspecified feeling that harm is coming to you in some way. Contrary to popular belief, anxiety does not arise directly out of dangerous or painful situations. Anxiety actually arises out of your thoughts.
In a given situation, it's the thought of potential danger, that produces the symptoms of anxiety. Extreme forms of anxiety are called panic attacks.
I had a client with anxiety issues, who commutes on the Putraline from Ampang to Petaling Jaya. He gets panic attacks everytime he boards the train, till he eventually reaches his destination.
The powerful feeling of anxiety can involve some of these physical symptoms: a rapid heartbeat, body tremors, sweating, difficulty in breathing, dry mouth, chest tightness, dizziness, insomnia, fatigue, cramps, loss of appetite, sweaty palms, nausea or diarrhea.
The psychology, there are several theories as to the cause of anxiety. The Learning theory considers it as a reaction to pain, so the therapist will suggest keeping away from the source of the pain. Cognitive theory evaluates the cause of the problem and the therapist suggest using positive self-talk to combat anxiety.
Physiological theory suggest drugs to combat anxiety. Sometimes there are no other alternative, but most drugs cause side effects, so make sure this is the type of treatment you wat or need. Psychoanalytic theory recognises two types of anxiety. This is anxiety resulting from trauma and signal anxiety, which is in effect when the suffere is trying to protect himself from anxiety resulting from trauma.
Anxiety relates to a future time and a situation. It also somes from scattered attention and lack of focus. It is the unknown that causes apprehension and anxiousness. A good way to cope with anxiety is to live in the moment. We decide ourselves into thinking we can control, manipulate, or shape our future. In actuality, there are so many variables that we reallt can't see all the posibilities that can occur. In fact, worrying or being anxious causes more anxiety and may result in missing a valuable moment.
Alan McGirvan in his positive minutes once said that FEAR is just False Evidence Appearing Real. Think about it!
- Julian A. Leicester
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