An attempt to define anxiety

There are many definitions of anxiety and it can come it many forms. Anxiety as a whole can result in a certain feeling of uncertainty, increased breath rate, increased speed of the number of thoughts that are going around in your head, thoughts that seem ‘irrational’ or potential future outcomes that seem completely far-fetched upon later reflection.
These are just some of the ways in which our body responds to “perceived threats”
Anxiety is a healthy natural response and is very useful in preparing for things/threats to come that are unknown.
It can become unhealthy when too much time is dedicated to this thought pattern/body reaction I described above as both the body and the mind can become trapped in this mentality.

If too much time throughout the day is spent preparing for perceived threats, it will not leave enough time and energy to actually deal with these perceived threats in the moment in which they occur. This is when it can become troublesome for some people.

Not everyone is equipped with self activating methods to prevent this anxious feeling from going overboard causing over-stimulation over and extended period of time.
By self activating methods I mean quite simply, taking a brief moment to take a look where you are from a birds eye perspective, acknowledge and review the thoughts that are running around your head and start to dismiss the ones that are not actually logical or need to be acted upon. It is only when we are looking inside ourselves from a non critical and non judgemental angle that we can see potential for change in our lives

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How to prevent being over stimulated in situations that cause you mental duress

Sometimes the best form of defence is offence; Staying in a regular defensive stance leaves you open for attack.

Certain people, places, times of the day, moods, emotions, atmospheres, mental and physical environments have the ability to trigger overwhelming feelings,anxiety, depression, rage or any other form of strong emotion.

If one is able to become aware of their own personal triggers (trigger situations/events), then one also has the ability prior to a ‘trigger situation’ occurring, form a set of actions (mental and physical) in place in an attempt to alleviate and reduce the strength and hold these triggers have on oneself at any given time. An example of this could be: instead of feeling intense rage in a trigger situation one may feel ‘slightly irritated’ instead.

Once one has identified a trigger situation they would like to adjust, think of all the many other possible ways that one could alter that trigger situation. Next time the  trigger situation occurs the emotions that occur initially are not as strong and overwhelming alleviating the pressure off and making dealing with the overall situation much easier. Mental preparation is key, but it takes time for changes to actually occur during trigger situations as, in a way training your brain and body to react differently.

If one is not able to mental prepare for a trigger situation there are still options on how one goes about dealing with the situation. Instead of being reactive, by thinking then acting the outcome is far more likely to yield better results.

Another potential way of  alleviating the strong emotions occurring during trigger situations, is by giving less focus on what is going on in your mind and more focus of the actual situation as it is occurring using your senses; what you see, hear, can smell, are touching/can feel, taste.

Imagine your brain like a computer, it can only handle so many tasks at any one time. By default your brain attempts to spend the majority of its processing in the mind itself, not the 5 senses, hearing, smelling, tasking, looking, touch/feeling. But if you are able to focus on the 5 senses instead, the mind will have less processing capacity and therefore less mental hold over you and any emotions you feel.

If you are not fulling utilising your 5 senses during any given moment, you are ultimately giving more power, time and dedication to mental thoughts and feelings opposed to actions. Actions are where change is made.

By developing and adapting your physical and mental habits accordingly, the overall effect during any given trigger situation will ultimately affect you less, giving you more control during these situations.

Working Timeline of steps towards Wellness and having greater control over ones life

I say working because I will always be adding to it, if you do take the time to read this feel free to add anything extra you believe could also be helpful 

Admitting to yourself and realising that some of the current ways that you are living your life is affecting you negatively in some way and YOU (no-one else can do this for you) make the conscience decision within yourself to attempt to make some changes, regardless of how large or small these changes might be.

Try to take advice openly from all the resources that you have available to you so that you can come to and make your own realisations and decisions as to what you believe is the right cause of action, NOT THEM:
–Friends and family members
–Medical doctors or health service professionals
–Information that you have researched yourself
–Spending time to yourself to notice what mental and physical ailments are affecting you negatively
–Spending time observing your regular habits and see how they may be attributing to the way you feel and the emotions that come with it.
–Listening to your internal voice, more often than not it has some wisdom to be heard

Make a short and long term plan that you believe to be attainable, do not try and force change too fast as it likely to result in some form of relapse.

Realise that positive change is not always an upward hill and that it is perfectly normal at times to slip back into what you perceive to be some ‘old bad habits’ every now and then. We were never created perfect and to aspire for perfection may seem great in our minds but goes against our very nature.

Make your plans adaptable to the unforeseen events that occur in daily life, a daily ritual is great, however you must make allowances for the forces at play around us.

Instead of trying to develop and master one singular coping mechanism during times of distress, rather try to collect a multitude of strategies that can be adapted accordingly to whatever the situation presents.

Write regular lists of obtainable goals, so that when you complete some of these you are able to feel success that YOU created and allowed YOURSELF to achieve.

Attempt to create as many positive atmospheres as possible for you to spend time in. Surround yourself in these areas of imagery / smells / sounds / sensations / tastes that bring you back to times in your life where you felt calm, relaxed and in control. As you spend time in these places try to fully absorb using all senses these positive feelings, so that when you want to do something you are able to go to this place in clear conscience and work on your projects.

You may hear or read about many simple mind and body exercises that may seem silly at the time. Examples might be, taking in 10 deep breaths before talking to somebody stressful, or spend 5 minutes each day stretching, or the simplicity of mindfulness which is paying attention to what is going on around you at the time, not paying attention to the thoughts that pop up in your head.

Before dismissing simple techniques that you hear about, it is always worth to give it a try over a period of time and see if any difference is made. There is no prescription as to what works for you because every human being is unique and has unique needs and wants. If you can look at all things with an open mind, maybe some of the things u learn and practice will hold merit for you and are worth looking into further whilst others may not. The fact that you tried is already making a huge step forward, many people struggle at this stage: the desire is not great enough to try something new to change the way their lives are going.

You may be prescribed medication, this WILL NOT cure you, make you better, fix you in some way. You don’t need to be fixed, you are perfectly fine the way you are.
However, medication if used in the correct way can also be very effective for some people over a certain period of time. The medication is not intended to make you feel better, rather to allow you some time away from your true self as living in your own skin 24 hours a day at this point in time is too overwhelming for you in some way. This allows the body and mind some down-time from whatever thoughts have been running around your head so that you can look at these thoughts and feelings in a calm, relaxed and logical minded state and make changes accordingly during the times that you do not feel overwhelmed.

This can be very effective provided that you do not get caught up in the trap of being allured more to the replacement stress free world that medication can provide.

By now your brain is probably overloaded with alot of information, finding a way to express those thoughts that go on in your mind and into the outside world. Examples could be, a journal, diary, drawing, singing, musical instrument, a favourite hobby, painting, computed related. Anything at all, find your way of expressing how you feel inside so that the thoughts do not build up and overload you at times.

After taking careful consideration of what information you have learned, develop what you believe to be an appropriate form of action. As time goes on and you learn more, you can alter, adjust and tweak your actions in the ways that you see fit.

If meditation and mindfulness are practiced over a period of time, it slowly becomes easier to see the ups and downs within yourself during the moment that they occur, instead of when it’s too late for action upon reflection.

The more aware and dynamic you are, the faster you are able to administer the correct action to put you back in into the correct body and mind state whenever it flows too far out of balance.

There may be some activities in your life that you would like to change, your role is to challenge these activities and see if the merit they hold is real, or is merely a perception in your mind that has been repeated over and over and knows no other path.

In respect to activities you would like to change, it is important to deconstruct each activity so that it can be looked at from as many steps and states of minds possible for a better rounded view on the activity. Identifying and changing 1 small step in the activity allows room for that 1 small change to act as a catalyst for larger change of the activity, instead of trying to drastically change the activity entirely which is much harder.

Psychology as an art form

Psychology is an art form in the fact is learning and understanding more about the most complex creature of them all, us humans!!! (that we currently know)

To learn, understand, connect, express emotions and feelings is essentially the primary goal of psychology.

Psychology is extreme dedication to understanding not the aesthetics of a person but the very essence of a person and the ways in which they are different and similar to others.

If one could sufficiently understand a persons expressive emotions, personality and personal perspective about the world, this would create a mental picture in ones mind of the another persons state of mind. This is not dissimilar to a painting a portrait; to capture a moment in time expressing the personality and emotion of the person being painted.

Psychoanalytic Listening: How to become a better listener

Psychoanalytic Listening: Methods, Limits, Innovations — Author: Salman Ahktah — Published 2013

To help avoid the stigma of seeing a psychologist or counsellor, I will attempt to address and show you the inner workings of the mind of a counsellor (referred to as analyst in extracts) to help you see that they are ultimately out for your best interests.

Extracts which believe are worth considering ( I have made minor adjustments to maintain the same tense)

–The fundamental rule of the psychoanalytic technique is that the client must say what comes to mind

— In domestic life we should try put aside analytic listening aside as much as possible and not let technical jargon crowd out the vernacular of ‘ordinary’ human conversation. Such restraints on the use of our analytical minds paradoxically sharpen their edge

–Maturity and mental health depend on the extent to which a person can acknowledge reality as it is and be rational and wise

— A selective strategical shifting of focus of attention is more useful than ‘evenly suspended attention’ when listening to analytical material

— By attention to postures, gestures and movement the analyst gains deeper knowledge of the client

— Analysts who have had significant experiences of bodily illness or trauma, or who perhaps for other reasons of an innate or experimental kind have a highly connected body ego, there may be increased capacity to utilise bodily response in their analytical work

— Empathy is simply a function of the experiencing ego, whereas intuition comes from the analysing ego

— The notion of an attainable certainty of an ultimate knowledge reality must be regarded as an illusion

— interpretation is, in the end a form of psychic violence

— Self is nothing but a collection of reflective appraisals and anxiety can only occur in an interpersonal context

–Nothing can be listening to without taking the impact of the relationship between the client and the analyst into account

— Subjectivity and objectivity are both necessary pathways to knowledge and are dependant on each other

— How present-day experience may be misinterpretation in terms of derivatives of persistent unconscious fantasies from the past

— the true self is indescribable

— A client might not be running away from disturbing mental contents but might be running towards the state of tangible mental content

— The analyst is not only interested in the un-mined (pun intended) areas of his mental field but genuinely believes the client can develop the ability to look at this realm himself

— Defensive ‘silence’ might appear spontaneously and is then a response to the emergent unacceptable wishes and fantasies in the client

— Enactments in the form of silence can reflect self-protection, important identifications, reversals of traumatic childhood scenarios and destructiveness towards the treatment process

— Genuine communication only arises when objects change over from being subjective to being objectively received

Words of wisdom

— Healthy relationships can take the form of engaging relationships that are not always deep, but make you feel good

— By being less cognitive, one is able to effectively feel and live in each experience as it occurs rather upon reflection

— If we do not acknowledge our feelings, be become desensitised and will end up holding others accountable for our own feelings

— It is not your responsibility to please everyone every single day, just do your best

— When you live in the moment the is far less focus on past or futuristic thoughts

— Love cannot be measured by intellect

— Sometimes learning to sit with uncomfortable feelings can be more effective than trying to prevent them

— The only person who stops us from feeling enjoyment is ourselves

— You cannot run away from yourself no matter how well you distract yourself

— The purpose in life is the purpose that you give it

— By doing one task at a time you are able to effectively put your full effort and attention to it, yielding a better outcome

— You cannot simply will away your cravings

— Success is 1000 small steps in the right direction

— Each time you deny your authentic self it becomes harder and harder to bring out naturally

— Society does not dictate the appropriate way to live your life, you do

— Don’t get angry at idiots, the same would be achieved by getting angry at a wall for being a wall. Acceptance of others for who they are is key

— We all want to be wanted, the trick is learning to want yourself first

— Waiting for the future to get better is a massive gamble, appropriating your actions in line with the future you want is more likely to yield better odds

— Life is not fair, it never has been fair, for all the plants and animals to live in symbiosis, some leaves fall to early, just the same as one animals offspring being a food source for another

— There is nothing wrong with a healthy distraction to get ones mind back to the task at hand

— Learn to let go of others expectations of you and focus on your own

— It is okay to realise some of our goals have been set too high at times and make adjustments accordingly

— The less time you spend hypothesising about the outcome of future actions, the more time and control you will have in affecting the outcomes of future actions

— Instead of being motivated by unrealistic dreams, find peace in the moment where all joy begins

— When one is not in the moment then they are living in the past or future projections created in one’s mind. This is not only completely unhelpful but also a large strain on mental energy. By dealing with life one moment at a time and only one moment at a time we are able to effectively function at our highest capacity

— It is very hard to see progress and success when looking from a short term perspective. Instead imagine your life as a stock value, whilst this can fluctuate daily, it is far more important that the value increases over the long term than the focus being on the daily ups and downs of our progress towards success

— The mastery of patience revolves around coming to terms and accepting the reality of each moment, one moment at a time. Nothing more, nothing less

— Your body is a temple. Every cell, organs and functions are dependant on the input that you choose to absorb and retain, and what you discard both physically and mentally

— To learn exactly where a friend or foe is coming from and the reality he see’s through his eye’s is crucial to come to any form of understanding

— Life is like an internet browser history list. Our reality is defined by the information we choose to give ourselves. If too large a portion is dedicated to the research of misery and negativity, it is then far more likely for us to refer back to this during abstract moments throughout our daily lives.

— Not everyone wants to be unplugged from the microcosm in which they exist in, learn to forgive and understand these people even if you view otherwise as they are the majority

— The mind is an organ, and just like any other organ it attempts to function constantly. By default your mind does not want to be in the present moment as this is where it holds no ‘power’. The brain’s powers lie in recollection and future projection, once you have accepted this you will realise that the past and future have no true hold on you

— It is very rare for someone else to be the root cause of your anger. Only by further introspection you may find a strong emotion you have been holding in without a healthy ability to let it all out and move forward

— To know your own bias and the microcosm from which your own ideals where formed is one of the first steps in learning to take yourself out of the equation and view things from a much larger perspective

— Life is like a boat on a rocky sea, bound to the fate of nature with waves and storms, yet still with the hope that the sky will clear and the sun will shine

— Each time you let someone else get in the way of your own personal happiness it is only you who looses

What can happen when starting a regular subscription of anti-depressant medication (Based on Australian prescribed Medications from Psychiatrists)

This article will go over the pros and cons of taking anti-depressants. Do your research and make your own choice after seeking professional advice from a doctor.

As is noted on the packaging inside is a list of potential side effects. These side effects do vary from person to person, but from my experience and from hearing the experiences of many others, along with empirical research data who had started a regimen of anti-depressant medication (irrespective of the brand or type) had none to quite sever side effects.

I would first like to note that after taking more than 10 different antidepressants, I eventually found the right one. The one that worked for me on a continual basis was also the one that I seemed to have no side effects upon taking. THIS IS NOT TO SAY that the right anti-depressant for you is one that does not have initial side effects but to show you that it can take quite a few trials to find an antidepressant that works for your body.

The main noticeable side effect were nausea, stomach cramps and sleepless nights and over tiredness. These side effects, provided you have been taking the medication on a consistent basis generally lasted no longer than 6 weeks. The reason why we may experience uncomfortable side effects at the beginning of a treatment is that most of these medicines operate on the basis of having a certain half life (the rate at which the medication in the system will start to decay once in the body) Medicine with short half lives generally has less initial side effects, opposed to medicine (in this case anti-depressants) generally have longer half lives and thus are more likely to cause initial side effects before they absorb into the system and work as intended.

Aside from these initial side effects, there are also long term side effects that are quite likely irrespective of the specific medicine but also very from person to person:

-Increased hours of sleep required each day

-Decreased sex drive

-Overall senses to situations are somewhat dulled

-When awake, feel like have less energy even if had a good nights sleep

-Can make you less emotional and reactive but not always in positive ways

-Easier to become self absorbed as outside world causes less overall concern as may be less connected to it

-Whilst still feeling the range of emotions, the desire and will to act on this due to being less emotional can lead to a decrease in ‘actions’ taken as already feel subdued and tranquil

-Propensity to alleviate mental pain but paradoxically cause mental pain due as the medication can make it hard to live a ‘normal life’ and live up to ‘normal’ standards

This may make things sound rather grim, however I believe being aware of what you may be potentially in for before engaging in anti-depressants. As explained above that anti-depressants generally have longer half lives than other medications, suddenly stopping taking them can cause withdrawal symptoms.

-Insert withdrawal symptons

There is a benefit to taking anti-depressants, which if utilised correctly can far outweigh any potential continuing side effects

-Allows the ability for your mind to deal with situations as they occur without completely overwhelming you to the point you are not able to cope and have to retract entirely from the situation. What defines one who succeeds and who doesn’t is not related to their failures, but to how many times they did not give up even when they could. Each time the medication allows you to deal with a situation, you succeed whereas prior you may have felt this situation to be too overbearing

-They allow us room to express our authentic selves where before taking anti-depressants, we may have not been able to calm ourselves down enough to be able to enjoy singular moments without having to constantly thing back to past experiences or create future projections. It is in this mindset that all joy can be find, so if we have to take medication to assist ourselves in expressing and feeling joy how could we possibly deny the opportunity that many others take for granted?

-Allow us the opportunity to operate in the real world without having to use extra mental energy to keep overwhelming/depressive thoughts at bay. This assists us in keeping a living, maintaining relationships, managing a job and fulfilling daily takes required from all of us