In the main, for most of us, being anxious isn’t a good thing.
The problems that present to us here often have some deep anxiety at their heart.
Young people and children are very prone to fears, but this is something that everyone encounters at one time or another in their lives.
Worry. Nervousness. That fear or doubt that just never quits.
It can cause problems that must never be underestimated.
Bearing all such things in mind, over Christmas we read interesting research suggesting that, despite all the downsides, angst might also have certain benefits.
Some anxiety is normal. After all it kept us safe on the African savannah for millennia.
Emanating from France, studies suggest that anxiety, in certain situations, can act like a ‘Sixth Sense’ and that, to quote The Telegraph, ‘Nervous people are more attuned to danger’. It sounds obvious, but is there more to it?
Like most newspaper articles that are drawn from in-depth scientific studies, this is a sweeping generalisation, but it’s one that does make for compelling reading and further examination.
The theory goes that anxiety harms us in a number of ways. Cortisol – the stress hormone that is produced during anxious periods – has long been thought to be damaging to health. Secondly, being over sensitive to threat signals, experiencing nervous excitement for a long period, has been thought to reduce the body’s response to dangerous situations. ‘Frozen with fear’ is a familiar phrase.
This latest research suggests that, in fact, the opposite might be true. Being anxious, it is said, allows warning signs to reach the regions of the brain that are responsible for action more quickly, triggering an adrenalin surge and the fight-or-flight response. Those a little more laid back, scientists suggest, can be slower to react. Anxiety, depression and other such issues are becoming very prevalent in modern life. This is a significant development that merits further research, debate and discussion because possibly this anxiety can help those in its grip recognise not just threat, but faces, subtle social signals and other elements important to survival.
Whilst those experiencing angst need our help, advice and support, our understanding is still not quite complete.
Here at CPUK, this is our specialist subject, but the learning process is just that: a process. Treatment for anxiety requires the fears to be faced in a gentle manageable way and learned from in a way that will lead to long term anxiety changes.
Like all in our field, the greater our knowledge, the more effective our efforts in the fight against distressing disabling anxiety.
Does YOUR child experience anxiety? Need our assistance, advice or support? Here at CPUK, we’re always on hand to help.