Do you ruminate on past events, often thinking about what you could have done differently? Do you fear some aspect of your future? Are you never quite fully present in what you are doing during each moment? Are your anxious thoughts negatively impacting your relationships with your loved ones? Do you wish you could slow your thought process down and feel more at peace with who you are?
Anxiety can take a toll on your life throughout your day. You may find yourself so anxious about your performance at a work meeting that you dread the event. You may avoid doing things such as interacting with strangers, driving over bridges, riding elevators and escalators or making phone calls. Anticipatory worry can sap your energy and leave you in a chronic state of fear. As a result, your interpersonal relationships with your loved ones, friends and coworkers may suffer.
As much as we want to have control over our lives, we all face stressful hurdles. Children can get sick and parents age. We may move across the country, lose a beloved job or get divorced. It’s only natural that the losses and changes we experience in life create anxiety, fear and distress. Layers of challenges that occur over time can quickly spiral out of control, making you feel consistently overwhelmed.
Anxiety and stress are normal human responses. However, when anxiety greatly interferes with an individual’s well-being, it can become an unnecessary burden. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health issues in the United States. Approximately 40 million people in the US experience significant anxiety. One in four adults is expected to have an anxiety disorder in their lifetime and one in ten adults have chronic anxiety. Some research shows that people often live with an anxiety disorder for a decade before seeking anxiety treatment.
Our society’s “keep up with the movie stars” mindset, combined with global fears and uncertainties about our future welfare often create a sense of being on edge almost all of the time. The good news is that anxiety treatment can help you live in the moment instead of focusing on the stress of the past or the chaos of the future.
During anxiety treatment, I provide a safe, confidential and non-judgmental environment in which you can share your concerns and fears. Through education, you can learn how your body, brain, beliefs and behaviors are impacted by stress. Once you have a clear understanding of what happens for you personally in these areas, we will craft a personalized program that supports you in identifying triggers, recognizing stress and meeting it with techniques from your growing life skills toolkit.
In addition to healing conversations, you will have the chance to learn a meditation technique that suits your personality, try different types of relaxation skills, learn self-observation skills and create a self-care toolkit that will support your mind, body and spirit as you learn to live more fully. Practices you learn can help you reduce cortisol levels in your system and increase your ability to calm your agitation. Breathwork and Emotional Freedom Technique are two more strategies we may incorporate during our sessions.
While you might think you have tried everything and nothing helps, recent research offers therapists and patients new approaches, tools and skills that can support you as you face your fears.
The painter, Georgia O’Keefe once said, “I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.” While not everyone has O’Keefe’s tenacity, you can learn that you are essentially okay even when bad things happen.
All of our life experiences – including anxiety, trauma and panic – present us with opportunities to learn, grow and become wiser, more compassionate people. Challenges and difficulties are portals into new worlds of greater wisdom, understanding and aliveness.
Since 1998, I have worked with many people living with anxiety. I find that as people do the important work of making meaning of what they are going through, their lives begin to change. No matter the severity or triggers to your worry, anxiety treatment can provide you with a safe space to effectively learn strategies to mitigate your symptoms and live a more fulfilling life.
I’m worried about what others will think of me if I attend anxiety therapy sessions.
It’s very common to worry about the social stigma that surrounds therapy. Unfortunately, the media often perpetuates the idea that therapy is reserved for those with severe mental illness. The truth is that most of the people I work with are highly functioning people who hold meaningful jobs and have established healthy relationships. Getting help when you need extra support is not a weakness. It’s actually a strength!
In addition, our sessions are completely confidential.
Shouldn’t I try to mitigate my anxiety on my own?
One of the values American society holds is that of the strong individual. But who is totally self-sufficient? From our food to our entertainment, we are interdependent on each other in nearly every aspect of our lives. Similarly, when you are feeling stressed and anxious, reaching out to a professional for anxiety treatment is nothing to be ashamed of.
While you may be able to mitigate some of your anxiety symptoms on your own, you may also end up adding stress to your life. By opening up to an experienced therapist, you will have the professional support you need to feel calmer and more resilient in the future.
What if I still feel stressed after attending therapy?
Different therapy approaches benefit different people. If you feel like our sessions are not helping you feel calmer, talk to me about it. It’s possible that you will benefit from a different therapist, medication or adjunct treatment. There are so many avenues of support – including nutrition therapy, exercise, bodywork, acupuncture and much more. I will work with you to find the ideal type of anxiety treatment to support your healing needs.
Entering therapy is a courageous step! It is typical to feel unsure and ambivalent – just as you would if you embarked on anything else new and important.
As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
If you are ready to learn more about yourself and stop patterns of stressful racing thoughts, I invite you to call me for a free 15-minute phone consultation to discuss your needs and how my approaches can help.