Anxiety – Why Your ‘Safe Place’ Isn’t Quite So Safe!

If you are struggling with anxiety, then you may be aware of the debilitating effects.

Having helped many people though anxiety over the past 14 years, I’ve seen, heard and witnessed the biggest problems that people with anxiety face.

Having personally experienced anxiety myself many years ago, I know how it can impact someone’s life and their happiness.

Without the right help, anxiety grows.

As a result of uncomfortable and stressful feelings, it’s common for someone with anxiety to develop what we identify as “protective behaviours”.

If an anxiety attack is experienced in a public place, then it’s not unusual for the sufferer to stop visiting certain places.

If it happened in a shop, then the protective behaviour is to avoid shops.

If anxiety is experienced by a teenager with a school, then it’s not unusual for them to resist going to school.

Home becomes their ‘safe place’.

They begin spending more and more time at home, and less time in public. They often speak about their ‘safe place’, using this exact phrase.

Being away from home can cause huge stress. The further away from home a sufferer may be, they feel equates to the anxiety that it causes them.

I’ve worked with clients who haven’t stepped out of their home for years.

I’ve worked with families who have been unable to go on holiday because one family member feels that they cannot go too far from home.

And I’ve worked with victims of physical violence who suffered anxiety as a result.

If you are suffering from anxiety, then you may recognise some of these behaviours.

You yourself, may call your home your ‘safe place’. But nothing could be further from the truth.

What brings short term comfort, causes long term pain.

Home is not and will never be your safe place.

Staying at home we lose so much which causes long term pain.

Staying in what we deem to be our ‘safe place’ is actually potentially dangerous for the reasons listed below:

  • We become less social and lose connection with others. Connection with others is one of our basic human needs; without it we suffer.
  • We lose variety. Placing so much importance on certainty and things ‘staying the same’ every day becomes the same. We lost the opportunity to smile, laugh and feel joy.
  • We start to feel insignificant. Every human being needs to feel significant. We all need to feel that we have a place in the world. Without a purpose or identity we struggle.
  • We feed our anxiety by staying at home. Imagine you had a house guest that you wanted rid of, but you kept feeding him or her the best roast dinner. I’m talking roast beef, fluffy roast potatoes, pigs in blankets, stuffing balls, and every vegetable possible. Would that house guest ever go? No. By staying at home you are feeding your unwanted guest every day which greatly reduces the chance of anxiety leaving.
  • We lose the chance to live the life that we truly deserve. We think that anxiety takes it all away. We don’t realise that WE ALLOW it to take our life away.

To overcome anxiety, we need to face anxiety.

With the right help, you can learn tips and strategies to help you overcome a feeling of anxiety so that you can gradually start to take back your life, bit by bit, day by day.

One top tip is to try 7/11 breathing when you feel anxious.

This involves breathing in for a count of 7, and out for a count of 11.

When you feel anxiety, you are experiencing the ‘fight or flight’ response, for which the sympathetic nervous system is responsible.

In this state, although seemingly unpleasant you are powerful and ‘getting ready for action’.

(In “Conquering Anxiety” by Nik & Eva Speakman, they refer to this as a “protection attack”.

Your mind and body has responded as if a lion is about to attack, but there is no lion! Just a perceived danger!

Using 7/11 breathing you will activate the parasympathetic nervous system which is the exact opposite. This will activate a natural relaxation response. Your blood pressure will lower, your pupils will dilate, and your heart rate will slow down, lowering emotional arousal.

If you are scared of being in a shop, or in a public place then try to face your fear.

Avoiding the environment feeds anxiety.

My suggestion is to:

  • Practice the 7/11 breathing technique a few times before facing the situations which trigger anxiety.
  • Face a situation or environment in which you feel anxious and use 7/11 breathing to calm you down and create a relaxation response.

The more that you do this, the more the anxiety will decrease.

You will be surprised at how effective this technique is. It can make a huge difference in a very short amount of time.

My clients have re-gained their lives and their freedom with this technique.

You could too.

Understand that anxiety doesn’t take our life away. We allow it to.

Understanding this allows us to access our power.

Isn’t it time you said, “enough is enough” and stepped into your power too?

P.S A highly recommended device which enables you to observe the effects of 7/11 breathing is the Inner Balance Sensor which plugs into your mobile telephone.

Using an App, you are able to see the effects of breathing calmly displayed right before your eyes!

It gives you scientific proof that the techniques that you are using are working!

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