- Have you ever felt like your heart was beating so hard it was going to come out of your chest?
- Excessively worrying over an event or situation occurring in the future?
- Inability to focus on your thoughts or convey feelings to another person?
- Feelings of profound danger or dread?
- Coping with involuntary muscle movements and perspiring heavily?
- A strong desire to leave a place, situation, or event?
There are Classic Symptoms of Anxiety
These are classic symptoms of anxiety. You are not alone! Roughly 40-million Americans suffer from anxiety. Women are three times as likely to suffer from anxiety than men (Anxiety Depression Society of America, 2018). Feeling anxious is a normal response in a certain circumstance. It can even bolster performance. Anxiety becomes a problem when all thoughts and energy is directed to thinking only about that particular event or situation. These thoughts become negative and destructive.
Most everyone, at some point in their life, feels anxious about an event or situation. It can feel scary and overwhelming, like being stuck at the top of a roller coaster. Life transitions often trigger feelings of being overwhelmed, unable to breathe, and fear. The fear of uncertainty or the unknown as you move closer or further away from specific goals can produce anxious feelings. This doesn’t necessarily mean it is severe or incurable. It may mean there are a few things you need to talk over with a professional, non-judgmental, neutral third party, such as a counselor.
For most clients, understanding the triggers or causes of their anxiety and developing several coping strategies reduces anxiety in-the-moment and combats future episodes of anxiety. Some of these strategies we will work on together include mindfulness, guided imagery, focused visualization, creating coping cards, developing calming boxes, and disputing irrational thoughts. One technique many of my clients found useful is to ask themselves what they know to be true about themselves in the situation or event that is provoking anxiety. Recognizing strengths and focusing on positives promotes calmness and quiets irrational thoughts that lead to a heightened sense of fear.