Anxiety Therapy in Philadelphia

Good vs Bad Anxiety: anxiety can be either good or bad for a person. Anxiety is normal and necessary to make sure one survives. Some anxiety is based on the reality of a situation, but may end up sabotaging what the person needs to accomplish. Sometimes, anxiety can crop up which, to others, seems out of proportion in relation to the actual situation or which is not based on reality. In the latter case, there seems to be no easily discernible reason for the anxiety and it can seriously hinder what would be considered normal day-to-day life activities.

Normal and Necessary Anxiety (good vs bad anxiety): normal and necessary anxiety (good anxiety) arises out of a need to preserves one’s status, in some cases, and most importantly, one’s physical well-being. Ultimately, it is a matter of survival.

The “good anxiety” scenario that is more directly related to survival is the normal and necessary anxiety related to one’s occupational performance. For example one may be threatened with the loss of their job if they consistently do not make X number of sales by the end of the month or if they cannot satisfy the 1,200 widget assembly quota by the end of their shift. In these cases, one is always aware that their job is on the line and it would be normal to experience anxiety because of the repercussions, both in relation to one’s status and financial situation. This anxiety is exacerbated by questions like, “If I lose my job, how will I be able to pay the rent? How will I/we be able to survive? Will we lose everything we’ve worked so hard for up to this point?” This kind of anxiety is based on reality because it is normal anxiety, in light of the situation, and it is necessary for survival and optimal functioning which is how things get done in the necessary way . In this scenario, the anxiety is based on the real possibility of losing one’s job (and everything else), which means that it is normal and necessary for survival. The anxiety, which is a signal of impending danger, causes one to take action, either in the current scenario (opportunity to increase performance), if possible, or under different circumstances (which could be very negative, such as being unemployed), to resolve the issue of safety and survival.

One experiences normal and necessary anxiety in other areas of life, as well. In the matter of preserving one’s status, one has only to think about the very common phenomenon of “test anxiety.” While some anxiety is good so that you will prepare for a test and increase the likelihood of doing well on it, when one speaks of “test anxiety” per se, this is a bad kind of anxiety. A student, no matter what age, may “freeze” both mentally and physically while taking an exam (even when he or she has studied for it) because of fears about being considered a failure, or actually flunking the course, if he or she does not receive a passing grade, or even a very good grade when anything less would be considered deficient and a blow to one’s self-esteem. Interestingly enough, some people experience “test anxiety” because they fear success in general and all it entails, such as independent responsibility. In either case, the anxiety is tied in with the ideas of status, success, and failure, and the real consequences thereof for one’s life.

Irrational Anxiety (good vs bad anxiety) : irrational anxiety seems to have no basis in the reality of situations, although in many cases there are specific environments or situations that trigger it off. The fear of flying on airplanes sets irrational anxiety off in many people. When a person who lives in Middlebury, Vermont would rather stay home than fly to the family reunion outside of Phoenix, Arizona, because approaching and stepping onto an airplane gives them the sweats and heart palpitations, then the anxiety is interfering with normal life activities and professional help should be sought out. This kind of anxiety, like so many others, is not based on reality. Statistics prove that air travel is much safer than daily automobile travel. Therefore, the anxiety surrounding it is irrational and the person experiencing it may be missing out on important, enriching life experiences. This kind of “bad” anxiety can seriously limit and isolate a person.

Eradicate the “Bad” Anxiety (good vs bad anxiety): “Good” anxiety is a necessary part of life for it is what impels one towards rectifying or ameliorating a situation that has gone from outstanding or viable to worse, a very common phenomenon. But one should take steps to eradicate the “bad” or irrational anxiety which is defeating, and which keeps one from experiencing life fully.

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