Anxiety. Sometimes just hearing the word can be enough to make us feel anxious. It affects us in varying degrees and in different ways, just as it means something different to all of us.

Anxiety is a normal part of being alive as it alerts us to real or imagined danger. Problems begin when our minds get a little too involved - that anxiety is associated with the imagined outcome of an event, and considering that our minds are capable of imagining just about anything, it makes sense that anxiety can become pervasive, chronic and crippling in our day to day lives.   

So instead of living in fear of it, let’s begin to understand how we can start building a more healthy relationship to anxiety. In this episode, we explore what anxiety means to each of us. We explore how unaware we can be in responding to the uncomfortable feelings of anxiety, and how doing so – whilst giving us temporary relief - doesn’t address the question of where those feelings are coming from in the first place.

Listen to the podcast link using the Spotify player above or by going to our Youtube channel

The handout accompanying this podcast can be downloaded as a PDF here or viewed as a webpage here.


This time instead of suggesting a film with anxiety as its theme let’s look at how a director can use film techniques to lead the viewer to feel tension subliminally. As with the handout, let’s keep with the Alfred Hitchcock theme. Hitchcock is the famous, mid-century film making master who has been described as one of the best architects of anxiety the cinema has ever seen. He uses unsafe and claustrophobic spaces, clever camera angles and carefully composed shots to turn the audience into voyeurs – a style he became famous for. 

In Rear Window he instilled a feeling of tension and anxiety in the viewer by constructing huge studio apartment sets with a window view straight into the flat. That puts us in the same position as the lead character Jeff who’s broken his leg and is confined to a wheelchair leaving us feeling powerless to act in just the same way he is.


 Also check out Vertigo – a must watch for cinema enthusiasts! Here Hitchcock plays with perspective and vertical camera angles to make us feel like we are about to fall off a ledge ourselves. Once again we feel a part of the action as it takes place - the audience are the ones most manipulated by Hitchcock… and he make us all the more anxious for it!

Here’s the famous bell tower scene: