Is there a tiger in front of you?

Then, why are you stressed?

Anxiety management with george lagios life mentor

Stress affects everyone, up to a certain extent—and it’s actually a natural and normal response to a trigger. Have you ever experienced shortness of breath, your heart pounding, sweating, a fear that you will faint or even die? If yes, then you are not alone. Millions of people suffer from some kind of anxiety. If we faced a tiger which happened to be in front of us then automatically the fight or flight or freeze response would be activated. That is a primitive response and has to do with evolution. Our body is preparing itself for survival. However, if we were walking on the street and suddenly our body started having the same physiological responses with no actual danger in sight, then something else must be going on. Let’s take for example Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). GAD will affect about 3-5% of the general population at some point in their life. Generalized Anxiety Disorder is characterized by constant and immoderate anxiety and uncontrollable worry in different domains, accompanied by various psychological and physical symptoms (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).  GAD is now considered one of the most chronic, costly, and impairing mental disorders and is affiliated with social, occupational and economic burden (Tyrer & Baldwin, 2006).  In general, the most consistent physiological finding in patients with anxiety disorders seems to be increased muscle tension which may be associated with trembling, twitching, feeling shaky, muscle aches or soreness, sweating, nausea or diarrhea and excessive reactions to sudden sounds.

That is just one type of anxiety. There is also social anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, phobias, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and more. No matter where it comes from it can create great distress and make many areas of our daily life dysfunctional. Some people have the fear of speaking or eating in front of other people in formal or informal occasions, which could be limited to a situation, like a social phobia. Some people cannot perform when it matters. Just the thought of criticism or rejection can freeze them. It’s frustrating to have the skills or knowledge or the ability to be good at something and let anxiety be a barrier. Whatever the causes many people struggle to work, socialize, or be functional. The feeling of anxiety can overwhelm us and make life seem unbearable.

Personal experience

Personally, I have experienced anxiety for many years of my life. When I was 30 years old I went to the hospital because I had extreme stomach pain. After a gastroscopy I was diagnosed with severe gastritis. I reflected a lot on my medical condition. What was the real cause? Yes, it was anxiety, but why? How did this happen? Back then I was working hard as a stockbroker, and the only thing that could make me feel good about myself was making a lot of money. That’s how I perceived success. I thought money was the ticket to my well-being. As it turned out, me being anxious all day was not my ticket to well-being but to my psychosomatic condition. My physical problem had actually been created by my mental activity. What does that mean? That my thoughts created the excessive worry which eventually resulted in my gastritis. In essence, I had created my problem.

Over the years I have had the opportunity to talk about this with other individuals in the financial sector and 99% of them experience severe psychosomatic symptoms because of stress. They even create unhealthier behaviors to cope with this stress such as alcohol, drug or sexual addictions. Years go by and then they contemplate whether this is the right path, chasing a bigger return on investment, being preoccupied all day and all night with that thought, feeling more and more anxious or being scared about the future, forgetting all the other roles in life; that of the spouse, the friend, the son or daughter, the traveler or the volunteer. Even medical conditions are not enough for them to realize when to stop. They are in denial and they continue reinforcing the same cycle. That is a sad story but for those who can put things into perspective the ending is not sad.

What can we do?

You do not need to learn how to “live with anxiety”. There are many techniques I can teach you that will help you deal with stressful situations. Challenges are a part of life, but you can learn to anticipate them and be better prepared.

WE WILL NOT LET ANXIETY PREVAIL! I will guide you every step of the way, so you will learn how to manage your stress. Together we will build the necessary skills and identify healthy ways to cope with your stress. Most importantly, we will restructure unhelpful or distorted thoughts. Restore your inner calmness …become peaceful again… and regain control of your life!