Cycle of Anxiety
The cycle of anxiety is a self-perpetuating pattern of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that can exacerbate feelings of anxiety. The cycle typically involves the following stages:
Trigger: The cycle often starts with a trigger, which can be an event, situation, or thought that activates feelings of anxiety. The trigger can be internal (such as a worrisome thought) or external (such as a stressful situation).
Physical response: In response to the trigger, the body may experience physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, sweating, and muscle tension. These physical symptoms are a natural response to stress and are part of the body's fight or flight response.
Negative thoughts: The physical symptoms of anxiety can lead to negative thoughts, such as "I can't handle this," "I'm going to fail," or "I'm not good enough." These thoughts can further exacerbate feelings of anxiety.
Avoidance behaviors: In an attempt to cope with the anxiety, individuals may engage in avoidance behaviors such as avoiding the trigger or withdrawing from social situations. While avoidance behaviors may provide temporary relief, they can also reinforce feelings of anxiety and limit opportunities for growth and learning.
Short-term relief: Avoidance behaviors may provide short-term relief from anxiety, but they can also reinforce the cycle of anxiety by preventing individuals from learning new coping strategies or confronting their fears.
Long-term consequences: Over time, the cycle of anxiety can lead to long-term consequences such as social isolation, decreased quality of life, and increased risk of depression.
Breaking the cycle of anxiety often involves learning new coping strategies, challenging negative thoughts, and gradually confronting fears and triggers. With time and practice, individuals can learn to manage their anxiety and live more fulfilling lives.
We'd like to invite you to learn how to interrupt this cycle of anxiety by attending our newest group ACT Now with Natalie Callely, LMHC. Group starts in just a few weeks and will be held online on Tuesdays at 6pm. Email us at email@example.com to sign up today!