Although fear, or anxiety is an important emotion for our survival, it is also a very difficult emotion to bear. Ongoing, prominent, anxiety can result in a constant state of restlessness, sleeplessness and exhaustion.
For multiple and often complex reasons, we can sometimes find ourselves in a state of tension, anxiety or stress even when there is no perceptible cause. The world around us can start to feel like an unsafe or even frightening place. At best, this can make our day-to-day lives uncomfortable and exhausting. At worst, we may develop maladaptive coping strategies such as avoiding the outside world by staying indoors, not taking on challenges, and restricting ourselves to the point of lives feeling very limited and small.
In many cases, long-term anxiety can be linked to our childhood. We may have experienced a lack of good parenting, or negative or traumatic events may have taken place, which means that from an early age, our environment soon took on an unsafe or dangerous quality. We may not actually remember, or recognise the contribution of previous life events to our current difficulties, and this may only emerge during the course of psychotherapy.
Psychotherapy can help those who suffer from long-term anxiety. An important initial aspect of a successful treatment will involve developing a trusting relationship with the treating psychotherapist. Within the context of this safe environment, and with the reassurance of reliable ongoing therapy sessions, it is then possible to start to identify and explore what is behind the anxiety. Bringing these issues to the surface and exploring them in a way that feels manageable, at a pace that suits the individual, can be immensely helpful.