Anxiety in it's most basic form. (Expectational Anxiety: when your body has already set a trigger for a later moment) Our boy climbs across a climbing frame, always a little nervous at the start, but he knows the path he wants to take and nerves turn into trust. We have been here many times, always 3 or 4 other families around. It is a sunny day, we get out of the car, we have random conversations and everything is normal during the few minutes walking to the park, we walk through and see there are more people than normal, for Kingsley, this was his trigger moment, we still chat normally but this time he is more focused on wanting us to join him on the climbing frame. My wife joins him, they take off their shoes because of the sand and they get onto the climbing frame. Very quickly Kingsley's body could not move further, he is on the first part of the climb and his body has gone into shutdown, he becomes more and more scared. His words are:"I do not know which way to go". His path is right in front of him, he knows this path, he knows how the wood and rope feel on his feet and where to reach for, but anxiety is taking over. We first let him know he has done this before,"You know which way to go". He asks for help, I walk up to him and rather than push him to carry on or help him down, I first hold his head so he can see me and I say: "Pretend just me and mum and a few kids are here with you". I ask him to take a deep breath in. He looks up and sees the path he has taken so many times before and does his normal thing, we ask if he needs our help on the second run and he says: "No, I am good". The images above are from the next day, we went again, it was quiet and kings had his shoes off and had already done two rounds before i got the camera ready. His body (head) had already started triggering his anxiety the moment he saw more people than usual. Notes:
recognizing are we nervous or is anxiety the overriding emotion?
Ways to re-purpose the anxiety we feel?
Understanding our anxiety so we can deal with it ourselves.
Asking for help.
recognizing anxiety in others.