Updated: Mar 27, 2019
When we have hidden or forbidden feelings they can instantaneously increase our anxiety levels. Our bodies exhibit typical symptoms of anxiety in our nervous system and muscles. Our minds create defenses for the anxiety produced by the hidden or forbidden feelings. The defenses can be long standing and burned into our cognitive brain process and are triggered automatically. We need to recognize this pattern to decrease anxiety and learn to relax our minds and bodies.
A defense such as catastrophic thinking or the future is impending doom can be an anxiety defense for a hidden feeling of anger that we are or were forbidden to feel. Recognizing and challenging this defense can provide a path to a more relaxed thought process and break a cycle of self fulfilling prophecies.
"The healing occurs when I give myself permission to feel whatever feelings live below the triggers."
A friend gave me a card with this quote on it. As you may have realized, I suffer from a level of anxiety. I never thought the label of "anxiety" would apply to me but it does and it consumed my life.
The battle is the unknown. We have hidden feelings, which automatically trigger anxiety levels. There is know turning it off or on. Those with anxiety would much rather turn it off and not feel the way they do. Believe me, having tried every way possible to get rid of anxiety and working with a number of professionals in the field, it doesn't just turn-off.
The only way to get control of anxiety is to understand the feelings triggering an automatic response in the sympathetic nervous system. The fight or flight system is continually triggered by these feelings. Sometimes, we know the feelings but most of the time they're hidden. The feelings trigger anxiety and then our bodies produce a defense. All of this happens in mili-seconds. The key is to realize what the defense is tracing it back to the anxiety and trying to understand what was going on just prior to the responses.