Are you constantly worrying?
Do you try and try to let it go and just can’t shut your mind off? Are you missing out on your life because you just can’t stay connected to the present moment? Do you sometimes feel like your chest is tight or heart is racing? Do you feel like your thoughts are all over the place? Are you avoiding social interaction because you’re afraid of what people might think of you? Maybe you are carrying your worry in your body through muscle tension, headaches, or stomach issues.
There is so much to juggle throughout our days. Our minds are balancing too many things. We are navigating work, home, relationships, and more. It’s so easy to get stuck in the minute details of life that we get taken away from the present. We are afraid of messing something up, forgetting something important, or making a bad impression. With our minds going and going, the worry feeds into itself – becoming a vicious cycle. This worry can rob us of our ability to think straight, making us even more anxious. It can also keep us up at night – lost in our thoughts – and get in the way of our ability to get a good night’s rest. It can even start to impact how we feel physically as our worry can manifest as muscle tension, stomach issues, or headaches. Eventually it can impact our performance at work or even in our relationships. Anxiety transports our mind to a future state that we can’t control and it robs us of our ability to be in the present. We might think the anxiety helps us to get more done or helps keep us safe, but what it does is trap us in our own worry and prevent us from experiencing joy.
You can learn to manage your worry
What would be on your mind if you weren’t consumed by worry? What’s important to you that you’re currently missing out on in life? Some of us may not even know because the worry feels so heavy and difficult to manage. It’s nearly impossible to focus on anything when our minds are going a mile-a-minute.
Whether your anxiety or panic attacks are old familiar tunes or more recent experiences, you can learn to manage them through anxiety counseling. Sometimes people with life-long anxiety can’t even imagine what it would feel like to be freed from the burden of excessive worry. Anxiety treatment can help you learn how to manage your worries. You can begin to take control of your worries rather than feeling controlled by them. You can also learn to manage your panic attacks, lessening their effects and eventually preventing them. Anxiety is very responsive to treatment. What would it be like not to be so weighed down by your anxiety?
Anxiety is quite common
A little bit of anxiety is helpful for all of us – it helps us get things done, perform well, prepare for meetings and presentations, and to remember to do what’s important in our lives. However, sometimes our worry transforms into debilitating anxiety without us even noticing.
Excessive worry can easily go unidentified for a long time. After all, we live in a “busy is a badge of honor” society. We thrive on getting things done and letting everyone know how busy we are. Sometimes our stress can help motivate us to be on top of things in our lives. We don’t even notice how much our mind is juggling because it begins to feel like a normal part of our lives.
Until one day…it feels like we can’t take it any more. It becomes too much. And that’s when we start to feel shame about ourselves. Why can’t I do it all? Does this mean I’m weak or incompetent? No, it may simply be that your anxiety has reached an unhealthy level. It can happen to any of us. You are not alone. Anxiety is quite common and many people live with undiagnosed anxiety because they have simply weaved it in as a “normal” part of their lives. It’s a problem that sneaks up on us and robs us of our enjoyment in life.
You might be wondering...
My anxiety helps me get things done – why would I want to give that up?
This is a fair point. Anxiety is a motivator. It helps us in many ways. We are actually evolutionarily wired with some anxiety for our own protection. For instance, if you were being chased by a bear in the woods, you would want your flight or flight system to kick in so you could run away. The problem comes when we are operating in “fight or flight” on a constant basis. This wreaks such havoc on the brain that it begins to detect danger even when there’s not any. Our minds are seeing bears when we are not even in the woods. We begin to perceive normal life worries as causes for panic. This pattern starts to feel like a never-ending cycle of excessive worry – sometimes to the point that we are even afraid of giving up our worry because we might forget to do something. Anxiety counseling can help you to adjust your perception so that your brain starts to perceive your daily stress more accurately. You can learn how to strike a healthy balance of letting an appropriate amount of worry help prepare you for an upcoming deadline or event without that worry hijacking your life and robbing you of your ability to enjoy the present moment. Therapy can help you learn how to manage your worries rather than your worries being the focal point around which you live your life.
Won’t talking about my anxiety just make me more anxious?
Our minds tell us if we say something out loud that it will make it worse, but in actuality giving our fears voice helps us begin the process of being free of worry. Early on in treatment, you might feel uncomfortable talking about your fears. Counseling can be a vulnerable process as it opens the door for exploring issues in your life that may be unexamined. It’s normal to be a little intimated by the thought of talking about your anxiety. However, once you begin to build a trusting relationship with your therapist, this fear usually dissipates. Your counselor will help you learn how to tolerate the sometimes anxiety-provoking process of starting therapy. You will be able to explore your anxiety, panic, and worries in a safe environment with an empathic listener who will equip you with tools for helping you manage your anxiety. Although you might feel anxious upon entering treatment, the work that you do and the skills you will acquire in therapy can help to reduce your anxiety overall.
My anxiety is genetic – what if there’s nothing I can do about it?
Yes, anxiety can run in families. You may have noticed that you come from a long line of highly anxious people. You might feel like there’s nothing you can do about your anxiety since it seems to just be a part of who you are and maybe even how your family operates. However, anxiety is treatable, even for the most anxious of people. Your counselor will conduct a thorough assessment of your experiences and symptoms of anxiety. She will develop a treatment plan that is catered to your unique needs. For some people, this plan may include a physical exercise component or even a referral to a psychiatrist to be evaluated for anti-anxiety medication. Should this be the case, your therapist can work with your psychiatrist to manage your symptoms as you gain skills through psychotherapy to manage your anxiety. Many people only need medication on a temporary basis and many people don’t need medication at all. Regardless, your anxiety can become more manageable even it runs in your family.
You can be free from excessive worry and panic
Anxiety is one of the top issues that bring people into counseling. Our therapists have been treating anxiety for many years. We approach anxiety treatment with a holistic perspective and are aware of the biological, physical, emotional, and social contributors to anxiety.
If you are considering counseling for your anxiety, feel free to call us. We are happy to answer any questions you might have and to schedule an appointment with you