• Are you constantly worrying about something?
• Have you tried to stop worrying but can’t?
• Does that get in the way of your everyday living?
You may be suffering from Anxiety, and you have plenty of company. Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure. It is characterized by an unpleasant state of inner turmoil, often accompanied by nervous behavior such as pacing back and forth, somatic complaints, and rumination. Anxiety is not the same as fear, which is a response to a real or perceived immediate threat, whereas anxiety involves the expectation of future threat. It may cause psychiatric and physiological symptoms.
What Are Some Symptoms of Anxiety?
Psychological symptoms may include:
- Feelings of apprehension or dread
- Feeling restless or irritable
- Feeling tense or jumpy
- Anticipating the worst
- Constantly watching for signs of danger
Physical symptoms may include:
- Rapid or pounding heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Excessive sweating
- Tremors or twitches
- Fatigue or weakness
- Nausea or upset stomach
- Frequent urination or diarrhea
Anxiety usually arises in response to seemingly fearful situations or is the product of subjective, internal emotional conflicts the causes of which may not be apparent to the person. People facing anxiety may avoid situations, which have provoked anxiety in the past. Anxiety as a way your body is alerting you to some sort of irrational fear of the future, failure, or embarrassment.
Anxiety can be experienced with long, drawn out daily symptoms that reduce quality of life, known as chronic (or generalized) anxiety, or it can be experienced in short spurts with sporadic, stressful panic attacks, known as acute anxiety.
Symptoms of anxiety can range in number, intensity, and frequency, depending on the person. While almost everyone has experienced anxiety at some point in their lives, most do not develop long-term problems with anxiety. A chronic, high level of anxiety indicates an anxiety disorder.
Persistent, intense, chronic, or recurring anxiety not justified in response to real-life stresses is usually regarded as a sign of an emotional disorder. When such an anxiety is unreasonably evoked by a specific situation or object, it is known as a phobia.
There are several anxiety disorders: including generalized anxiety disorder, specific phobia, social anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, panic disorder, and selective mutism. The disorder differs by what results in the symptoms. People often have more than one anxiety disorder, which can be a caused of genetic and environmental disorders.
If you think you may be suffering from anxiety let me help. Please contact me to set up a free 15-minute phone consultation or to schedule an appointment,
Managing Your Anxiety
Depending on your level of anxiety, there are some healthy coping strategies you can use to manage it. Here are 4 I recommend:
Slow, deep breaths have been shown to instantly calm a person. Your heart rate will slow, your muscles will relax, your entire body will return to a normal state of being. Don’t underestimate the power of just taking a moment to breathe.
Mind Your Mind
How often are you aware of your own thoughts? Our thoughts tend to bubble up from our subconscious without much control from our conscious mind. For those experiencing anxiety, many of these thoughts will be negative and frightening, although the majority will not be based in reality.
Start to pay attention to the thoughts behind the feelings. Instead of thinking the worst will happen, challenge the thought. What is the realistic likelihood the worst will happen on a scale of 1 – 10? Answer the questions.
Remind Yourself What Anxiety Is
Beyond frightful emotions, anxiety often comes with physical sensations like tightness in the chest, rapid heartbeat and shortness of breath. In other words, it can feel like you are dying.
But you’re not.
You are having a physical response to an irrational fear or thought. Remind yourself of that dialogue your mind and body are having and know that, in reality, you are okay.
Learn Your Triggers
Once you learn to pay attention to your thoughts and remain calm knowing you are having a natural reaction to what you perceive as a threat, find the threat. Observe your surroundings to find the potential trigger that activated your reaction. If there are other people in the room, notice their reaction to your trigger. Do they seem uneasy or concerned in the least? Chances are they don’t because the threat is not real. Store this information away so eventually your subconscious mind will stop thinking of the trigger as a threat.
All these techniques are effective, yet not always easy to learn by yourself which is why therapy is the most beneficial way to treat your anxiety naturally.
How Do I Stop Feeling Like This?
During our sessions I use a form of psychotherapy called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which is the most effective therapy to treat anxiety disorders. CBT focuses on changing unhealthy thinking and behavior patterns.
During CBT, we will work together to develop positive techniques for coping with your anxiety symptoms. You'll also learn to identify and manage factors that contribute to your anxiety.
CBT may involve learning how to change harmful thought patterns so that you experience less anxiety over time. You will learn to identify your negative automatic thoughts that cause or contribute to your anxiety. We will challenge those thoughts and develop healthy thoughts to replace the unhealthy ones you currently have. You will also learn relaxation techniques — such as deep breathing exercises — to help you feel more in control of your thoughts and emotions.
"One of the biggest strengths of CBT is that the improvement tends to be durable and long-lasting," says Suma Chand, PhD, director of the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Program in the department of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at St. Louis University School of Medicine in Missouri. "By the end of the sessions, the person has learned strategies that can be used for the rest of his or her life. Most importantly, the treatment also results in changes in the thinking patterns and beliefs that maintained their anxiety."
I want to help you have a life free of fear and stress, and I am confident I can find that life for you.
Please let me help you manage your anxiety or anxiety disorder. Call me at 678-464-3941 or submit an online form for a free 15-minute phone consultation or to schedule an appointment.