Counseling for Anxiety
What would it look like to overcome the anxiety, fear, or worry that is holding you hostage?
How would life be different for you if you were confident rather than anxious in social situations?
What could you accomplish in life if you were in control rather than anxiety or panic?
Anxiety, fear, and worry can be very uncomfortable feelings. Anxiety disorders come in many varieties, from social anxiety, to panic disorder, to generalized anxiety or uncontrollable worry. There are more, but those are some of the most common. Anxiety has a very physical component and you might notice when you feel anxious your heart starts racing or thumping in your chest, your body feels hot and gets sweaty, your stomach gets upset, or your hands start to shake. You may also notice that your thoughts tend to jump into the future and predict negative outcomes. For example, “If I go up and talk to that person they will just think I’m stupid and reject me.” This leads to the last part of anxiety, our actions. Anxiety, fear, and worry almost always make us want to avoid or get away from whatever it is that is making us feel anxious. All of these thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, and urges can become incredibly overwhelming and are hard to make sense of. So, if sounds familiar to you, how do you know if anxiety is a problem in your life?
How do I know if anxiety is a problem for me?
A little bit of anxiety is not a bad thing. Anxiety is actually designed to show up and motivate us to take action. For example, if you never felt a little anxious before a big job interview or meeting a significant other’s parents, you might not prepare adequately and put your best foot forward. Emotions like anxiety, fear, and worry, have a bad habit of getting bigger then we’d like them to be. The flip side of anxiety is that when it gets too big to motivate us, it tends to make us feel like we want to avoid whatever it is that is making us anxious. On one hand this makes sense. If we feel too anxious, why not do something to make that feeling go away? For example, if you are filled with anxiety about going to a friend’s party or to a busy store, why not just stay home if it feels so much better? The problem is that the more we avoid things that makes us anxious, the bigger anxiety and fear get. In addition, we also start to develop worse self-esteem and maybe even depression because we aren’t living the life we want, we are living a life about avoiding anxiety and fear. If this sounds familiar, then anxiety might be a problem for you. The good news is that anxiety therapy is highly effective helping people get life back on track.
How does therapy help with anxiety?
You may have read already that I believe strongly in doing therapy that is known to be effective. In my experience this helps people to meet their goals and get back to fully living their lives much faster. There are two types of therapies that are the gold standard for anxiety treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). The foundation of either approach is to help you better understand the various parts of your emotions and how you have gotten stuck in patterns of anxiety and avoidance that aren’t working. From there we may help you learn how to step back and look at your thoughts in a more objective and helpful way or learn how to be more accepting of thoughts and emotions. Most anxiety therapy involves some type of exposure therapy or facing the things you have been avoiding in a gradual, systematic way. Think about it like climbing up a ladder, we start with facing the smaller triggers first before we get to the big ones! Ready to get started? Head on over to my contact page to send me an email or give me a call to take the next step!