Is Anxiety Wreaking Havoc in Your Life? Anxiety Counseling Can Help You Break Through These Mental Patterns
Have you been suffering from reoccurring, racing or irrational thoughts? Are these all-consuming thoughts and feelings complicating your ability to complete tasks and engage in relationships? Do you worry about everything, all of the time? Are you feeling overly emotional, highly reactive or uncharacteristically irritable? Has your anxiety and related stress manifested itself physically with rapid heartbeat, headaches or stomach pain? Have you experienced a change in sleep or eating patterns? Are you always amped or exhausted? Do you feel lonely, helpless or hopeless? Have you tried various activities, such as exercise, diet, sex, alcohol or more sleep to try to cope better, but feel that nothing helps? Do you constantly wish that you could find a calm place – if even just for a few moments – so you could collect your thoughts and breathe?
Living with anxiety can make you feel miserable. Heightened anxiety can affect how you sleep, eat, view yourself, engage with others and feel physically. Anxiety can take away your ability to feel happiness and create a sense of feeling stuck. You may feel unable to make clear decisions, question your perspective on everything or feel unsafe. You may even feel like you’re going crazy. And, it can be hard to understand these feelings and even more difficult to try to articulate them to others. Living with anxiety can be a lonely place – made even lonelier by the irrational fears and mental and physical exhaustion that anxiety can create.
Anxiety Affects Everyone At Some Point, On Some Level
Living with some level of anxiety is a very common part of today’s human experience. Part of this is neurological and reminiscent of our ancestor’s primal need for constant vigilance while trying to survive in the wild. The other part stems from living in fast-paced, high pressure, physically congested environments. We are part of a culture that tells us that we’re not supposed to fall down, we must continually accomplish great things and, no matter what, our lives must always appear fantastic. This is a hard burden to carry, and one that is lush breeding ground for the high stresses that lead to anxiety.
While living with some level of anxiety is a common part of today’s experience, heightened anxiety can impact your capacity to feel and function normally. The fight or flight response becomes triggered, which can compromise your ability to feel good and live a full life. Your anxiety may be situational – meaning that it was triggered by a specific event, such as a life transition, trauma or a significant loss. Or, you may be prone to a more pervasive – ongoing – form of anxiety. People suffering this low-grade, chronic anxiety may always experience unsettling and worrisome thoughts and feelings. In this case, stressful situations – even if they are not highly traumatic or significant – can trigger anxiety to heighten and increase worrying thoughts, making life feel unmanageable.
Everyone experiences anxiety in different ways. However, regardless of your personal experience with anxiety, anxiety counseling can be an extremely helpful way to quiet racing thoughts and calm your rapid heart.
Therapy Can Help You Find Calm, Clarity and A Positive Path Forward
On a very basic level, therapy can help you recognize your anxiety. It can help remind you of who you are apart from your anxious thoughts and feelings. It can help you develop a greater awareness of what your anxiety is, where it comes from and how it is triggered. Most importantly, though, anxiety counseling can help remove you from the isolation that anxiety creates. In therapy, you can learn that anxious feelings do not have to define you and your experience within the world. Human are social creatures. We are biologically conditioned to learn and grow with others in relationships. A big part of calming anxiety is alleviating isolation and building a trusting relationship with another. Building this trusting and supportive relationship is the foundation of my practice. Within that trusting partnership, amazing self-discoveries, awareness and calmness can occur.
The therapeutic environment – even the physical space of the room itself – is unlike any other you encounter in life. It’s an intimate setting where, together, we will build a trusting and a safe connection. I view the therapeutic relationship as a partnership, and my role is to genuinely hear, support and guide you as you sift and sort through the sources of your anxiety, unhappiness and unease. As you explore your anxiety and the emotions and challenges it creates, we will work on increasing your self-awareness and self-acceptance.
In our sessions, I will help you discover that your anxiety is just a piece of your wholeness. Although you experience anxiety, you also feel other complex emotions, such as joy and hope, as well as anger and sadness. In some sessions, we will slow everything down and focus on the intuitions and nuances that exist within you but are rarely given the opportunity to surface. Allowing those tugs of intuition to emerge can be a powerful catalyst to develop a deeper understanding of who you are. By slowing down anxious thoughts and allowing other, more mindful thoughts and feelings to emerge, you can broaden your perspective and create distance from the immediacy of your anxiety. Doing so can call attention to all the different parts of your self – the anxious pieces and all the others – and how they can or do integrate into a whole being.
Although you may be feeling hopeless now, learning how to manage and live with anxiety is very possible. You can feel more joy and contentment in your thoughts, in your body and within in the world. The fact that you’re looking for help now indicates that there is some level of hope residing within you. This is something to celebrate and explore. And, I will be committed to holding space for you, guiding you and offering genuine support while you are in the exploratory process. I will be there, listening and coaching as you learn to slow your thoughts down, shift perspective and better notice and understand intuition. Within this space, great healing can occur.
But, you still may have questions and concerns…
I think that I need anxiety counseling to help figure out a way to manage my anxiety, but I’m not sure that I can afford it.
Therapy is an investment. You are investing in yourself and your happiness. Take a moment and ask yourself how you want to be in the world and how you want your relationship with yourself and others to be. How much is your anxiety holding you back and causing you to suffer? Do you want to move through life with less worry and fear and, rather, with more clarity and ease? If so, it is very possible to learn how to manage anxiety and live a fuller and more joyous life. But, getting there requires an investment of money, along with time, energy and exploratory work.
I encourage you to take inventory of your monthly income and expenses. There may be simple budget shifts that you can make to cover therapy costs.
Also, I do not work with a contract. You can take sessions one at a time. It’s part of my practice to regularly check-in with you about how you feel about the progress of the work we’re doing together. If at anytime you decide that you are not deriving benefit from therapy, you are under no obligation – financial or otherwise – to continue.
I’m afraid of what I might learn about myself in therapy. I’m feeling like I’m already teetering on the edge, and I fear that therapy will shed light on all that’s wrong and make everything worse.
First, it’s extraordinarily brave to seek change and recognize that there might be other, better and healthier way of doing things. And, yes, therapy might be scary at first. But, the important piece is that you are not doing the work alone.
Anxiety makes people feel isolated and can it make you feel like you’re going crazy. The truth is that you’re likely not going crazy. Rather, feeling isolated and on edge are common parts of the anxiety experience. The nature of the therapeutic experience is to build relationship, which can remove you from that isolated space. Sometimes, just talking openly to another human being can provide immediate and extraordinary relief.
It is my role to support you, hear you, see you and hold a space where you can face painful feelings in a way that is far less daunting than you may now think. We often imagine things as being far worse than they actually are or will be. I will walk with you through your therapeutic process. I will help point things out and clarify important pieces along the way. And, I will set a comfortable pace with you so you don’t feel overwhelmed. In time, therapy – and your anxiety – can stop feeling scary and, rather, fill you with a sense of empowerment and curiosity.
I’m concerned that my close friends and family will think that something is really wrong with me if I chose therapy. Shouldn’t I be able to handle these anxious thoughts and feelings on my own?
We’re not meant to live our lives alone – that’s not how humans are built. We are meant to live in communities and engage in relationships with others. And, there are many variations of relationship – including the one that you may chose to develop with me. The therapeutic relationship offers benefits not often found in other places. This relationship is not lived in the outside world but, rather, in a private environment where it evolves at its own pace, in its own time. In therapy, there is no judgment and complete confidentiality. For many people – especially people suffering from anxiety – that offers tremendous relief and creates space for remarkable personal growth.
This relationship exists exclusively between you and me until you are comfortable sharing it with others. In time, you may discover that your perception of therapy has shifted, and you may feel a desire and not a pressure to share your process and discoveries with those close to you. At any time, you can choose to invite a parent or partner into a session. We can discuss and practice how you can share this experience with others in ways that feel comfortable for you.
This is your experience and it is my role to support you – in any way I can – while you explore your anxiety and all the other intricacies of yourself.
I invite you to contact me and schedule a free, initial session. It’s imperative that you find the appropriate therapist to work with as you embark upon this challenging and empowering self-exploration. Meeting will help both of us to determine if our personalities and styles work well together.
I also encourage you to download my free report, Are You Happy With Your Happiness Quotient? It can be found on the top right of this page.