Emotional stress, fear and anxiety can be experienced as interchangeable reactions inside of us (compounded when we are hungry, irritable, angry, lonely, tired, lost or stuck, under threat, traumatised, feel shame or experience loss, separation), triggering our tears or fight-flight-freeze response in order to protect us. And many of these aspects have a biological component. (Some even an "inherited" component as if we have taken in the same beliefs, behaviours about stress, fears, anxieties as that of one of our parents out of maybe unconscious loyalties, rules, obligations, duties.) If we are in this aroused state, the qualities of our faculties, responses, may not be as affected.
Our stress, fear, anxiety don't always warrant the level of response we experience, as if something else inside is controlling us, that our overwhelming feelings, irrational emotions, mistrust of ourself and others and active imagination takes us over, incapacitating us at times. We may also have allowed our anguish and other our feelings to dominate our thoughts. Observing them, distinguishing between how these feelings positively helps us or contributes to our situations in unhelpful ways, can be explored in the stress therapy.
We may experience our stress, fear, anxiety as real, yet what we attribute to these feelings may not always be real or rational and we may lose perspective. We may also have absorbed others' stress, fear, anxiety (our parents, partner, friends) as our own and not protected ourself from this impact. We may have learnt to disguise our anxiety, so people can't see it, yet feel it inside or maybe start stress-eating. Some of us can be fuelled by nervous energy, some of it dating back to previous traumas. We may struggle to manage this and allow this to take us over.
Sensitive at times, others can get stuck or immobilised in our fear, stress or anxiety. In its grip or overwhelmed, we may be caught in the past or be fretting about the future - trying to predict it, not in the present moment, and so we struggle to get much done (especially if we make our future a scary, fearful place, without considering the future as an unopened gift that awaits us). It can be exhausting, yet familiar, as if there is no other way of being, as our stress, fear or rolling anxiety begins to dominate our life too much, making small problems big, maybe snowballing out of control (and of control, it may be that our stress, fear, anxiety is a direct consequence of struggling to accept what is not in our control and just be in the moment).
Some may have an anxiety overload leading to panic attacks. The manner in which we respond to stress, fear and anxiety, influences many things (e.g. our appetite, sleep, physical health & vitality, assertiveness, inspiration & creativity). Prolonged stress, fear, anxiety can compound our negative thoughts and takes a toll on our health, stops us enjoying life. We may struggle to be aware of other options, perceptions, attitudes, see a bigger picture or be aware of what is in our control and what isn't, maybe trying to get others to take responsibility for our feelings. What we tell ourselves and our early unconscious beliefs may also contribute to our stress, fear and anxiety.
Some of us may for example experience anxiety, yet mistaking this for our primary emotion, which in fact may be fear. Stress can be seen as a milder form of anxiety. Anxiety can be seen as a fear of choice in our hands. We all have our templates for responding to our waves of stress, fear & anxiety, and the anxiety treatment and stress therapy can explore these with you, alongside determining whether our fears are rational, irrational, how we can put things into perspective, face and tackle our stress, fear and anxiety, taking back control of them, disidentifying from them when we need to. Losing hope that we can manage this, we may have given up or turned to unhelpful habits or addictions. In our head we may be overwhelmed, overloaded, overstimulated and we may make mountains out of molehills - magnifying situations in our mind as waves of thoughts, feelings are experienced.
Regulating our stress, fear, anxiety, so it doesn't double, quadruple, etc., having faith, remaining anchored, centred, grounded in spite of what's happening inside or around us, understanding that we have a rich palette of other feelings, a range of choices, that our choice is in our control (supported by our personal boundaries), can bring stress relief, reduce our anxiety problem and empower us as can enjoying a range of experiences (e.g. being in touch with supportive others - building a circle of people around us, exercise, enjoying a healthy sex life).
The stress therapy can also explore whether we look outside or inside ourself for the source of our stress, fear, anxiety and also explore our internal safety, inner security, connecting to who we are, being grounded and secure, inhabiting our body.
For more details see <a href="https://www.counselling-london.org.uk/psychotherapy-camden-issues/stress-fear-anxiety/">Counselling for Stress, Fear & Anxiety</a>