Anxiety is something we have all experienced a one time or other. Or at least I’m assuming you have by the very fact you’re on this site.

Here are some fun facts about anxiety that I found here;

  • An estimated 284 million people worldwide experienced an anxiety disorder in 2017, making it the most prevalent mental health disorder on the planet (Ritchie, Hannah and Roser, Max. “Anxiety Disorders.” Our World In Data. Accessed May 14, 2019)
  • Anxiety disorders are the most common of mental disorders and will affect nearly 30% of adults at some point in their lives.[4]
  • Even though anxiety disorders are highly treatable, only about 1/3 of those suffering receive adequate treatment

What is anxiety?

According to authors Kaplan and Sadock, anxiety is “a diffuse, unpleasant, vague sense of apprehension ” and is often a response to an imagined, imprecise, or unknown threat.

For example, let’s say you’re walking down a dark street. You might feel a bit apprehensive and have butterflies in your stomach, or be overcome with a sense of dread. These feelings are caused by the anxiety that is related to the possibility that a nasty stranger may jump out from behind a van and ask for your wallet, or worse. This anxiety is not the result of a known or specific threat because you don’t know for sure that there’s a nasty man lurking about.

Instead, it’s all in your head; you’re imagining that there might be a nasty man. You may argue with that, saying, “Well, I’m in a dodgy part of town that’s littered with questionable characters on every street corner, so I’m pretty confident that this is a real threat,” but it only becomes real when a man actually appears.

Then fear kicks in.

Fear is an emotional response to a known or definite threat. Staying in our darkened street, let’s say someone does appear from behind that rusty old van and holds a knife up in your face, asking for your mobile phone and wallet; this would trigger your fear response. In this case, the danger is real, definite, and immediate.

Anxiety vs fear – what’s the difference?

So the main difference between fear and anxiety, is that anxiety is this vague sense of unease and apprehension,  about things we IMAGINE about the future, whereas fear is triggered in the moment when we are faced with a threatening situation.

This all gets very fuzzy though because our fear radar is completely out of whack because of modern society and the fact that we rarely face situations that threaten our life. And given that fear and anxiety produce very similar physiological responses, it’s obvious why we might confuse the two or think of them as being interchangeable.

Thankfully when it comes to getting rid of fears or anxiety, it doesn’t matter which it is because Head Trash Clearance doesn’t care. But it can be very useful to make the distinction for our own self-awareness and being able to manage or cope with it.

If you want to read more about the difference between anxiety and fear, this blog post dives into this in more detail;

Fear and Anxiety — what’s the difference?

What does anxiety look like?

At least, what does it look like in terms of head trash?

Here is an example of how anxiety might show up for someone, maybe you?

Let’s say you hate not being in control because you can’t stand chaos. Things need to be ordered and well planned for you. Everything you do, you prepare to the nth degree. And you do that to help you to FEEL in control. Your need for control also means that you hold on to stuff (emotions, dramas, things). This means that you can’t fully let go AND let yourself go because you’re worried about looking silly or appearing weak. If you look silly or weak you won’t be taken seriously and then people might not like you. If people don’t like you then you might feel like you don’t belong or rejected and if you’re rejected you think you’re not good enough. And if you’re not good enough then you’ll mess up and be a total failure and no one will want anything to do with you and you’ll be all alone. And if there’s one thing you fear more than anything it’s being, feeling, living and dying alone.

This is what anxiety looks like. Does this seem familiar to you?

This kind of tangled up head trash is hiding in all sorts of pockets in your life and mind;

  • Health
  • Food
  • Relationship
  • Parenting
  • Work
  • Business

And unfortunately it creates lots of rubbish side effects.

The unfortunate side effects of anxiety

Anxiety is the obvious symptom but there’s more. The conflicts that are in place will create self-sabotaging patterns and keep you stuck in unhelpful patterns of behaviour.

You’ll procrastinate on things you actually WANT to do.

And because your mind is juggling all of these conflicts and fears, it takes AGES to get anything done: your productivity and effectiveness will suck.

And all of this will probably keep you up at night and stop you from getting a decent nights sleep. Which means that during the day you’ll reach for the caffeine and sugary snacks to give you the energy to make it through.

To avoid facing up to the barrage of these thoughts, you’ll want to find ways to escape.. a few drinks, recreational drugs or sleeping tablets.

It can be a slippery slope, but that doesn’t mean we can’t put a stop to it. And it also doesn’t have to take that long.

So how do we get rid of anxiety?

How do we get rid of anxiety?

It’s simple. We unravel it and clear it one piece at a time.

In the unravelling, themes begin to emerge. From what I’ve shared above, one of the key themes would include control. This is a biggie for a lot of people and shows up in all aspects of our lives.

Other themes might includes

  • decisiveness and hesitation
  • change and uncertainty
  • procrastination and action-taking
  • adulting (growing up and acting like the adult you are)
  • trapped and stuck
  • how we relate to others
  • honesty and integrity

These themes are extensive and show up for everyone in varying degrees. It’s the nature of being human. If you want to reduce your anxiety, then I would recommend exploring these key themes and asking yourself what you fear or worry about.

Do you worry about things like;

  • making the wrong decision or messing up?
  • things changing or your life/body changing?
  • taking on responsibility?
  • having no choices or feeling trapped?
  • feeling unsupported or asking for help?
  • being lied to?

These are just some of the questions that will help you to unravel your head trash.

Once you’ve unravelled, you’re probably going to find yourself facing a long list. Thats OK. Don’t feel overwhelmed by it. If you do, then put “overwhelm” at the top of the list. Typically, someone with anxiety will have around 40-60 things on their list. If you commit to clearing 6 things a week, then you could be noticing a HUGE impact in how you feel in just 10 weeks. That’s not even 3 months!

Helping you to clear your anxiety

To make this easy for you, I’ve compiled the most common clearances that people have needed to do in all of these key themes and they are all in the Clearance Club. The Clearance Club is a vault of head trash clearance resources that have been created to help you clear your head trash quickly and easily. You just need to be able to read and follow simple instructions and you’re good to go.

Of course, you might prefer guidance and support on this journey. If you would like to work with a Head Trash Coach then head over here to find out more and book a call.

Alexia Leachman
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