Has Life Become Stressful And Unmanageable?
Do you often feel restless, irritable, and on edge?
Is your daily routine punctuated by excessive worry or intrusive thoughts and do you have trouble staying focused?
Are you uncomfortable in social situations and find it’s easier to isolate from others than subject yourself to the distress it causes?
Perhaps you’re someone who doesn’t like to admit when you’re struggling, having been told growing up never to talk about negative emotions. Now as an adult, you may find it difficult to function in your everyday life. Your mind might become preoccupied with “What if?” thinking, anticipating future worst-case scenarios rather than feeling relaxed and calm in the present moment. Daily stressors, from work to relationships to family and social situations, may flood you with anxiety.
The Physical Manifestations Of Anxiety
In addition to mental exhaustion, you might suffer from the physical fallout of anxiety. Perhaps you experience pain throughout your body—headaches, stomach aches, muscle aches— become easily fatigued, have trouble sleeping, or notice your heart races when you’re stressed. These symptoms might culminate in occasional or frequent panic attacks that mimic the signs of a heart attack.
If you’re overly self-conscious, maybe you avoid being around people you don’t know for fear of being judged negatively. To alleviate your discomfort, you might have developed adaptations that have become destructive, such as relying on food or substances for relief.
Your anxiety can worsen when you try to push emotions away or don’t acknowledge that you need help. But the good news is that anxiety therapy can help you make sense of your symptoms and teach you how to process your feelings. Rather than allowing anxiety to rule your life, treatment can curb panic attacks and decrease other unwelcome symptoms.
Anxiety Disorders Affect Nearly Twenty Percent Of American Adults
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), “anxiety disorders affect nearly 1 in 5 American adults each year.” In addition to the psychological distress that often interferes with our normal daily functioning, suffering from anxiety can also put us at higher risk for other medical problems, “such as heart disease, diabetes, substance abuse, and depression.”
Throughout our lives, almost everyone experiences periods of anxiety. The underlying reasons for anxiety can range from difficult life events—such as losing a job, experiencing financial instability, or going through a breakup—to chronically hectic lifestyles that, over time, cause persistent stress and worry.
We Live In Challenging Times
Even if our lives are relatively stable, the current geopolitical climate may fill us with existential dread. Between the ongoing environmental catastrophes, political and civil unrest, global economic recession, and increasing ideological division within our nation, many of us feel a heightened level of unease that keeps our minds racing.
Because most of us didn’t learn good adaptations to deal with stress when we were younger, our anxiety can compound over time. Without understanding how our bodies are connected with—and impacted by—our emotional state, we often don’t realize to what degree stress and worry manifest both physically and mentally.
Unfortunately, we often ignore our symptoms until they become so distressing that we are forced to address what’s happening. And even if we acknowledge we have an issue, we may feel ashamed about asking for professional help. Instead, we might use destructive adaptations—like substances, food, or sex—to help numb the pain and discomfort, which can ultimately lead to more problems and pain.
But you don’t have to suffer in silence. Therapy can help you understand how anxiety affects you so you can tap into your mind’s ability to heal.
Therapy Can Help You Demystify Anxiety So It’s No Longer In Control
Perhaps you’ve tried to keep anxiety at bay on your own without success and have become resigned to feeling on edge most of the time. If you wish to worry less, address your social anxiety, and have more self-confidence, counseling allows a new experience of being in relationship to yourself and others to occur.
For anxiety therapy to be successful, the relationship established between you and your therapist is key. Connecting with an empathetic counselor provides you with the emotional safety to explore and deepen your connection with yourself. Here you can be open and vulnerable without judgment. When you are no longer alone in your pain and suffering, you can begin to deconstruct old, painful experiences and replace them with helpful and healing ones.
What To Expect In Sessions
Throughout anxiety treatment sessions, your therapist will help you develop an awareness of what is happening in your mind, body, and relationships and explore what those symptoms are trying to communicate. When you give yourself permission to acknowledge and be curious about why anxiety is present and where it is coming from, it allows us to identify the core pain that underlies your symptoms.
Over time, you will develop an expanded awareness of your internal experiences which, in turn, will shed light on how those internal experiences translate into your external world in the form of symptoms and distress. In this way, not only will you recognize the capacity you have within yourself for emotional growth and healing, but you will also become more connected to the core elements of who you are.
Making Friends With Anxiety
With an experiential and somatic approach to therapy, we encourage you to move out of the cognitive realm—where you merely talk about symptoms analytically—and experience what anxiety feels like in your body. What is your anxiety trying to tell you? While we will touch on past history, we will go back and forth between your previous experiences and the present moment to discover the connection points between the two.
Your therapist may incorporate elements of Internal Family Systems (IFS) to help you connect with all the different parts of yourself, allowing room for the uncomfortable parts—like anxiety—to exist. Once you accept the more problematic parts of yourself, the symptoms they bring along with them will diminish in intensity and no longer take over your life.
Similarly, with Narrative Therapy, you can examine how anxiety negatively impacts you. Rather than try to banish anxiety altogether, we invite it in and, with curiosity and acceptance, explore the function it serves. Understanding why anxiety is there and how it affects you is the best way to positively integrate it into who you are.
Your body and brain are powerful and resilient. Because they are designed to be self-healing, oftentimes, all it takes is some gentle therapeutic guidance to restore optimal functioning. At the Center for Secure Attachment, we are honored to offer you that guidance.
But Maybe You’re Not Sure If Anxiety Therapy Is Right For You…
I don’t think I’ll ever feel better and doubt seeing a counselor for anxiety will help me.
Those feelings of fear you are experiencing are valid. When your body and mind are anxious, it’s understandable to assume that you will always feel that way. But consider what it would feel like if the possibility that things could get better took hold. Imagine breathing easier, your muscles relaxing, and your mind slowing down. Once you realize that anxiety only comprises one small part of who you are, you can begin to make gentle shifts toward a different mindset.
I don’t think my symptoms are so severe that they require anxiety treatment.
Many of us downplay our symptoms until they eventually reach a point where they can’t be ignored anymore. If you are experiencing distress in any part of your life due to anxiety, now is a good time to start counseling. Starting sooner rather than later ensures you won’t have to suffer needlessly.
What if I don’t mesh with my therapist once I go to anxiety counseling?
The therapeutic relationship is one of the most important components of counseling, so finding the right one is a top priority. As a client looking for quality anxiety treatment, you have the right to find a counselor who is a good fit for you. We are always happy to provide you with additional referrals if needed.
Anxiety Doesn’t Have
To Control Your Life
Tuning into your body can help you understand and manage anxiety. If you would like to find out more about anxiety disorder therapy with us, you may visit our contact page or call 719-506-2070 to schedule a free 15-minute call.