“When I feel threatened, vulnerable, or insecure, whether it from simply walking into a room of unknown people, meeting someone for the first time, an unexpected or expected confrontation, or doing something new, I affirm in my mind (over and over): There is no danger, there is no threat. From there, the discomfort lessens and I become open for discovery and adventure.”
― Charles F. Glassman, Brain Drain
WHAT DOES YOUR ANXIETY
"I am not enough."
"Happiness isn't available for me."
"I can't get my thoughts to stop going round and around."
"I replay what I say to people in my head to make sure I didn't sound stupid."
"I can't get to sleep because I am thinking about everything I need to accomplish."
"Other people seem to have life all figured out and I don't"
"I cannot ask for help. If I get rejected I would not be able to bear it."
"I wake up with a feeling of dread and I don't know why."
"The world is a dangerous place."
Do you have thoughts like these racing in your head? It is normal to experience anxiety and worry from time to time as everyone does. Anxiety is a built-in internal guide that warns us of danger or threats that may cause us harm. However sometimes anxiety can get stuck on overdrive and we begin to see threats everywhere. This can lead to chronic stress and interfere with our ability to function well, relax or enjoy life.
When anxiety is excessive, we may become easily overwhelmed, fearful, worried or have thoughts that are painfully intrusive and repetitive. It can be hard to interrupt or stop anxious thoughts and this can interfere with our sleep, appetite, our ability to stay connected socially with others or the ability to commit to desired life changes since stress significantly reduces goal-oriented activity. We live in a complex world where it is not always easy to deal with the different things and feelings that come up in our lives. Anxiety is no.1 mental health challenge in the world today. So you are definitely not alone. Anxiety disorder is a serious syndrome that severely restricts a person's quality of life. However, help is available and cognitive psychotherapy combined with occupational health measures is a good way to take steps to freedom, away from the distressing storms and limitations of an anxiety-driven life.
Anxiety could be stemming either from a past trauma, sadness over a loss, a difficult transition or a chronic distorted self-image or false self. There may also be underlying existential issues, a life situation that perpetuates a sense of insignificance or emptiness, a yet-to-be-discovered unknown situational factor, or even an on-going unhealthy habit associated with low-grade inflammation of the body and thus inflammation of the brain. The identified types of anxiety disorders at the moment include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder and panic disorder. Comorbidity with depression is high. Usually, anxiety disorders begin or are diagnosed in adolescence.
In therapy, it is important to pinpoint the mental structures that produce and maintain your anxiety. Basics in treatment include exposure therapy, reduction of symptom-checking and cognitive restructuring. Therapy can be a helpful avenue to move towards a more meaningful, anxiety-free daily life.
Anxiety can also be a way of masking or avoiding other underlying emotions. When these emotions are tended to, you will feel less anxious. Often times, people tend to judge their feelings and try to control them as a preventative measure to feel safe. It is critical to accept, experience and validate our actual feelings and learn to tolerate also unpleasant emotions in a more neutral, non-judgmental way. Eg. "I blew it with a colleague. Therefore I am a completely unworthy loser, and I have to resign." -> "I blew it with a co-worker and I feel really bad and almost worthless right now. However, I am neither bad nor worthless, and this feeling will soon pass when I choose to think that making mistakes is common and normal, everyone makes them and the Earth still continues on its circuit. I will get through this."
The use of substances like alcohol temporarily reduces anxiety. In fact the use of intoxicants as self-medication for anxiety is extremely common. Addictions in general are attempts to regulate the nervous system. Eventually however intoxicants increase anxiety. My sessions are attended only when not under the influence.
I'M AN ORIGINAL CATCHPHRASE
How Therapy for Anxiety Can Help
There is hope for anxiety, panic, phobias, and chronic stress and worrying. Through therapy, you can find a way to live a life where anxiety does not control you. Instead, you will learn how to regulate your own emotions when they arise. You can learn to relax and find peace, even though your life and the world at large can seem overwhelming. Since there are many causes of worry and anxiety, there are also many approaches to managing it. Most importantly, we will figure out what your anxiety is rooted in and what in your life maintains it. You will learn to identify your fears and how they can become magnified and excessively irrational if not treated. Feelings are kind of like an enthusiastic student raising their hand in class endlessly and not lowering it until he is heard. Likewise, your recurring feeling most likely demands your attention until you really acknowledge its message to you and tend to it. In therapy we also strengthen your ability to tolerate uncertainty. You're not going "crazy." You’re just going through a lot of challenging things in a complex world where you quite rightly sometimes feel distracted by anxious feelings. However, feelings in themselves do not have the power to destroy you.
Sometimes therapy for anxiety is about processing traumas that have never been dealt with or understood before but that are currently demanding to be noticed. In revisiting trauma you may feel fear but by doing so it has less control over your life. Since anxiety often serves a purpose of keeping us safe, it is important to proceed sensibly so that the therapy process itself does not overwhelm you or stall your growth. We will discuss and map your life path gently and try to understand your pain from various viewpoints. Often the person him or herself knows best what he/she is ready for at any given time. Are you ready to write a new story today, whatever your story has been so far? You can count on me to walk with you and give you the help you need. You will soon find that the old things no longer make you anxious as they did before.