Healthy anxiety helps to keep our own emotions under control and to deal with difficult or dangerous situations in a more efficient manner. It involves caution and awareness and prevents potential danger.
Unhealthy anxiety has consequences leading to loss of self-control and the ability to cope effectively in difficult times and interferes with the prevention of adequate real threats.
Often taking the form of:
- teeth chattering
- physical disorders
- psychosomatic disorders
Healthy anxiety or concern is based on a rational or realistic fear. For example, if you try to cross a very crowded street, you feel justified to fear that you may be hit by a car and injured or even killed. Why? Because there is a quite realistic probability for this to happen.
Similarly, if you have a good job, but you continue to be late, telling your boss he is a jerk and complete very few of the tasks you will have a realistic fear of being penalized or fired. That’s because, given the conditions mentioned, it is very possible for this to happen.
Realistic fears warn us to adopt a strategy with appropriate action if we do not want bad things to happen to us.
If we behave poorly against some hostile people, it is very possible for them to act in our detriment. Our fears are realistic based on the observations that a major, destructive event can occur if we act in a certain way and the likelihood of the things that worry us to happen. Realistic fears warn us to adopt a strategy with appropriate action if we do not want bad things to happen to us.
However, many fears are unrealistic or irrational. Let`s suppose you walk on the sidewalk and you are horrified by the thought that a car passes over the rim and will strike you. Or the assumption that, you manage well at work, you are praised and rewarded by your boss, but you are terribly afraid that, if you are late once or commit a minor mistake, you will be fired with no warning.
Or, suppose you are afraid to get on the elevator thinking that you might be unfortunate and the elevator will crash and you will suffocate and die. Or it will get stuck between floors and you will not be able to get out of there for the next few hours or even day. Unfortunately, people conceive often irrational fears being terrified and proceeding to cope with them in a foolish way.
Unhealthy or unrealistic fears often cause overwhelming feelings of anxiety, especially when there is no manifestation of any real danger, or when it is too small to be justified. Thus, some people refuse to board the elevator, escalators, fly or walk on the sidewalk even when the danger of something bad happening to them is insignificant.
How can you make the difference between healthy and morbid anxiety? Through careful research of reality and by using the laws of probability.
You can notice the installation of unhealthy anxiety in the three situations below:
- When you ignore the known facts, and you convince yourself, for example, that the elevators, escalators, airplanes, sidewalks etc. are dangerous, even those using them are never injured or die because of them.
- When fears are exaggerated or unrealistic generalized to extreme. Because you have heard that a person got stuck in an elevator or escalator, died in a plane crash or got hit by a car, you think that this could easily happen to any person, including you.
- When you see things only in black and white, with no intermediate shades of gray. For example, if it happens to get stuck for two hours in an elevator, you tend to relate to that as a loss and an absolutely unpleasant thing. You see it as a disaster, when you probably may have gained something else in those two hours being busy “thinking” (you did not have anything else to do) about a great idea for a business you want to start.
Clinical hypnotherapy is perhaps the most well validated form of therapy for unhealthy anxiety and it is often recommended as a standard response for this issue.
In other words, unrealistic anxiety, is largely the consequence of an inadequate way of generalized thinking, and that moreover is quite common for many people.
Each of us is prone to the manifestations of anxiety, both realistic and unrealistic. Rational and irrational fears quickly make us cautious and worried when dealing with the risks and dangers in our daily lives.
Clinical hypnotherapy is perhaps the most well validated form of therapy for unhealthy anxiety and it is often recommended as a standard response for this issue. People with anxiety disorders are more vulnerable in certain situations like: public speaking, panic attacks, obsessions, failure, phobias.
Furthermore, these people fail to effectively control their reactions to anxiety / fear. With hypnotherapy, people learn effective strategies to relax, learning how to be aware of their self-thoughts and behaviors. In the long term learning how to replace the limiting, fear based thoughts, with new patterns of positive, relaxing thinking and actions.