Anxiety therapy is a type of counseling that helps people change harmful thoughts into helpful thoughts, thus reducing worry. Have you ever felt like your heart was beating so hard it was going to come out of your chest? You are not alone! Roughly 40-million Americans live with anxiety. Women are three times likely to have anxiety than men (Anxiety Depression Society of America, 2018 https://members.adaa.org/page/FATMain.) Feeling some anxiety can be normal because anxiety produces a rush. It can make performance better because people do well with stress. Anxiety becomes an issue when an individual’s thoughts are directed towards the specific event. The person focuses all their time on the situation. These thoughts become negative and harmful.
Common Symptoms of Anxiety
- Racing heart
- Sweaty palms
- Feeling hot and cold
- Hard to breathe
- Being tired a lot
- Muscles feel heavy and movements are shaky
- Feelings of danger or fear
- Wanting to leave a place or event
- Unable to focus
- Too many thoughts coming in at once
What Anxiety Feels Like
Most everyone, at some point in their life, feels anxious about an event or situation. It can feel scary, such as being stuck at the top of a roller coaster. Life changes can create feelings of being fearful. Feeling like you can’t breathe can cause anxiety or panic attacks. A panic attack is a serious and quick fear, such as starting a new job. Creating goals can produce anxious feelings. This doesn’t mean anxiety is bad or can’t be stopped. It may mean talking with someone outside of the family. Counselors who treat anxiety are accepting thus able to teach people skill to reduce their fears. Their goal is to change unhealthy thinking with skills therefore calmness can replace worry.
Types of Anxiety
People cope with many types of anxiety. Generalized Anxiety-worrying all the time even when there is nothing to worry about. Obsessive Compulsive – doing the same action many times in a row, such as washing hands or turning on and off a light switch. Social Anxiety- being fearful you may say or do the wrong thing in front of other people. This can make working in a large company hard because people with social anxiety find it hard to talk with other people. Being shy or quiet may be a sign of social anxiety.
Tips to Reduce Anxiety
- Daily workouts
- Get good sleep
- Eat healthy
- Take deep breaths
- Think of a happy place
- Change harmful thoughts into positives
- Smile or laugh
- Create a calming box
- Write out coping cards
Trying one or more of these tips helps stops the worries because we have something else to think about. Its putting the concern on hold thus forgetting about it. To learn more trick to reduce anxiety read my blog How To Reduce Anxiety
How Anxiety Counseling Helps
Anxiety therapy and counseling helps people understand the causes of their anxiety. People learn coping skills to reduce anxiety in the moment. This fights future episodes of anxiety. Guided Imagery requires the individual to focus their thoughts on a happy place. Looking at harmful thoughts and replacing them with positives works well because it stops worrisome ideas. This skill comes from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (http://www.nacbt.org/whatiscbt-htm/). One technique many people find useful is to ask themselves what they know to be true about themselves in the situation that causes anxiety. Becoming aware of a person’s strengths and focusing on positives creates calmness. It quiets unhealthy thoughts that lead to a high sense of fear.
Learning mindfulness skills helps stop harmful thoughts before getting out of control. Many people may be unfamiliar with this tool because its new. Mindfulness exercises focus on letting worries go. This can be done through breathing which creates calmness because the heart slows. Becoming more aware of thoughts and feelings reduces stress.
How to Get Started
Deciding to get counseling is a brave thing to do. How long a person stays in counseling depends on how quickly they learn the skills. Some people stay for 2 months and others continue for years. Its what you want to get out of therapy.
To get started fill out my Contact form, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call me at 503-841-2142 to make an appointment.