Is your life limited by your anxious thoughts or excessive worry?
Do you lose sleep at night due to racing thoughts?
Do you feel stressed, nervous or worried all the time?
Do you experience panic attacks, social anxiety or constant worry?
You may be suffering. Living your life with a constant stream of anxiety, fear, panic attacks, unsettling thoughts and/or excessive worry. I imagine you are here because you’ve tried all you can or know how and your anxiety hasn’t gotten better or perhaps it’s even gotten worse. Now you’re at your wit’s end. You’ve come to the right place!
Did you know, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting approximately 40 million adults. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
Both stress and anxiety are normal and natural components of our daily lives. All of us will experience fear, worry and anxiety from time to time, but for some people anxiety can feel so overwhelming and all consuming that it feels like it creeps into every aspect of your life. This amount of anxiety can make life feel very limiting at times.
I know what it’s like to live with anxiety. I know that cognitively it can seem irrational and yet emotionally, it can stop you in your tracks. Anxiety does a wonderful job of pulling us out of the moment and fearing what might come next.
Some of us are hardwired at birth with more anxious temperaments than others, but this does not mean you are doomed to live a life controlled by your anxiety.
Anxiety isn’t something you can will your way out of or even talk yourself through at times. If you are reading this, this probably isn’t news to you. Professional help is available and is often needed to help you overcome your anxiety. There is no shame in this.
Understanding Different Types of Anxiety and its Effects
Anxiety can present itself in many forms and oftentimes people with anxiety experience both uncomfortable physical symptoms as well as a wide range of emotional problems. There are several categories of anxiety disorders.
Some people experience generalized anxiety, which can feel like a constant stream of anxiety over lots of areas of life. People may experience feeling unsettled and insecure, or a lack of control on a daily basis. If left untreated, these symptoms can become a way of life for individuals.
Some people experience panic attacks. Panic attacks have a rapid onset and are often unpredictable in nature. Panic attacks often have very scary symptoms, including racing heart, excessive sweat, increased heart rate, dizziness or lightheadedness.
Other people experience anxiety from past trauma in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is characterized by flashbacks, hypervigilance, emotional numbing and in some cases dissociation.
Fear versus Anxiety
You may be experiencing some of the following biological responses to anxiety:
- Sweaty hands
- Shallow breathing
- Increased heart rate
- Lack of Focus
When we experience anxiety, our sympathetic nervous system gets revved up and we get into what is called “fight or flight”. This serves us very well when we are being attacked by a mountain lion, but anxiety becomes a problem when we experience these responses to situations in which we are not physically threatened.
It’s important to understand the difference between fear and anxiety…
Fear is a present oriented basic emotion that we experience as an alarm response to help us survive. Fear activates the body to take action to protect itself. When you have a fear response, you might experience rapid heartbeat, increased blood pressure, break out in sweat, shakiness, etc. These are all the bodies way of kicking into overdrive, also known as an adrenaline rush, to help take any quick and necessary action to protect yourself.
Anxiety is a future oriented mood emotion. In contrast to fear, anxiety is often experienced when no danger is imminently present. This is partly due to the fact that anxiety tends to be fueled more by what the mind says and thinks. Anxiety can also produce bodily changes similar to fear.
One of the most critical differences between fear and anxiety is that fear is a present oriented experience and anxiety is based in stresses about the future.
Anxiety often removes us from life.
Take a moment and answer this question:
“Because of my anxiety, I have missed out on or avoided ____________________?”
When we spend our time trying to manage our anxious thoughts or symptoms, oftentimes we also remove ourselves from life.
“I’m too anxious around new people, therefore I’d rather not go out to that party”
“I want to advance my career, but public speaking makes me too anxious and I always avoid opportunities for advancement as a result”
Sound familiar at all?
Imagine for a moment that you are floating along on a boat looking towards the shore. The shore represents all the things you want in life (a healthy relationship, social interactions, career advancement, or whatever else you can imagine). You see it and you like it. But as soon as you start moving your ship towards the shore, these scary sea monsters pop up (anxiety thoughts/feelings) and in order to avoid them, you turn your ship around and continue floating in the sea, letting go of your true values that would lead to a fulfilling life.
During your anxiety treatment, I will help you to identify and recognize:
- Situational triggers
- Using mindfulness in dealing with anxiety
- Relating to your thoughts and emotions more effectively
- Ultimately take action towards the things that matter most to you
I will help you start moving your ship towards the sea and learn how to relate to those sea monsters in a way that doesn’t limit your life.
The sooner you are willing to do the work, the easier it becomes. I have worked successfully with countless numbers of people consumed by anxiety. There’s no reason to suffer from this any longer. I look forward to connecting with you soon to see how I can help. Contact me today.