When people ask me how I am, I normally respond with “good thanks, and you?” which I believe is a natural response that a lot of us have. The thing is, it removes the focus from us, straight onto the other person. Some days the answer is true and I am actually having a great day, other days I can’t say it quick enough or my strong facade may be broken. Anxiety Anxiety itself is an interesting thing to explore, the more you explore it, the more you thrive from it. While my above answer takes the other persons focus off me, my focus on my problems remain – I am just surviving: living purely to not die; which isn’t really living. The thing is, we will never actually get rid of anxiety – and we wouldn’t want to either. See, anxiety is a great tool that helps keep us safe, tells us that something is wrong and we need to deal with it. Consider an alarm clock – you set it for the time that you need to wake up, you want to hear it otherwise you might be late. Though you fall into such a deep, peaceful, (rare) sleep – then you hear the noise, it sounds like a truck is backing into your bedroom and it is getting louder and louder. Then you realise it is just your alarm clock, but the clock has been knocked down by your thrashing arms and you can’t find it to switch off. You become more alert and agitated, focused only on finding the one thing that will switch it off. Anxiety is our natural alarm clock that goes off when it needs to and it won’t stop until we find the off button. Though the off button can be different each and every time. Dr Russ Harris from ACT Mindfully encourages us to carefully observe our strong feelings as though we were a scientist, to be mindful of all its different properties. Anxiety may only show up at different times depending on the cause, though if we are just trying to hit that off button, we only get the snooze and it keeps coming back on whenever a trigger is present. By carefully observing it, we can notice patterns such as: time places people thoughts and so on Once we find the cause, we can then explore how best to attend to that need and then we can actually thrive from it, not just survive with it. Sources: Jessica Mannion – Assistant Director – Diploma – Distance Education Program (DEP). Grad. Cert. in Family Therapy, Grad Member CCAA, Provisional Member PACFA – 22436 If you experience anxiety talk to your GP or talk to a qualified counsellor. Where to Get Help in Australia Talk to your doctor who can point you in the right direction. Visit CCAA to search for a Christian counsellor near you. Visit ACA to search for a counsellor near you. Free 24/7 Counselling Services Lifeline on 13 11 14 Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800 MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978 Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36 Headspace on 1800 650 890 Studying at aifc Equip yourself with a Christian counselling education and become skilled in extending God’s love and grace with empathy to the hurting out in the community. For those who would like to enrol in aifc’s accredited Christian counselling courses we have two intakes per year for courses commencing around the following months: At The beginning of each year in February. Mid-Year courses commence in July. Enrolment season opens 2-3 months prior our courses commencing. Enquire now and fill out the form with your details to receive course information by email. Enrol online here during our enrolment season. Those living overseas can study aifc’s courses via our Distance Based Program. The International Student Program enables those with a student visa to Study On Campus in Sydney. Note: A Master of Counselling course will be commencing in 2018. Contact aifc Monday to Friday from 9am – 5pm with your enquiries on 6242 5111 or toll free on 1300 721 397 Share this Facebook Twitter Pinterest Where to get help 24/7 Helplines Lifeline: 13 11 14 Kids Helplines: 1800 551 800 Mensline: 1300 789 978 Beyond Blue: 1300 22 46 36 Headspace: 1800 650 890 Talk to your doctor and see a mental health professional. Visit CCAA to search for a Christian counsellor near you.