Anxiety can be debilitating, a state of mind that seems to permeate every aspect of a healthy life: sleep, eating, motivation at work, and relationship. And anxiety can be both acute and generalized. Anxiety is often the result of our wayward thoughts interacting with our nervous system. When we have a negative or anxious thought, it activates our system to respond as though we are under threat. When our bodies respond to a perception of threat, we automatically come up with even more reasons we might feel threatened, thus continually activating our nervous system.
Insomnia is a classic example of how this works: For most of our lives, we have heard that we need a certain amount of sleep. You go to bed and set an alarm, hoping for this "needed" sleep, but thoughts intrude on your agenda. Then, you begin to worry that you will not get enough sleep. The cycle of anxiety continues and your body, responding as though there is a threat (with adrenaline, among other chemicals), cannot rest.
If you are coping with anxiety, this is likely similar to a cycle you experience. Fortunately, we have the ability to override the cycle by becoming witness to our body and mind. Mindfulness practices and body awareness are keys to alleviating anxiety. Although we may have "deeper" reasons for our anxiety (childhood trauma, the presence of anxious caregivers, difficult life circumstances), I can assure you that you can learn to lessen the edge and live more fully despite external circumstances. I work with my clients to help them see their wholeness -- using mindfulness therapy -- despite whatever might be happening in their lives. And I work this from both professional and personal experience.