ANXIETY

Anxiety is by far the most prevalent mental health crisis faced by people in our modern world. More than 40 million American adults struggle with anxiety of some sort. Anxiety never exists in a vacuum, it's always accompanied by worry and emotional pain. It amplifies our fears and the worry and pain hijack our senses and prevent us from enjoying the present moment.


Most Common Signs and Symptoms

  • Shortness of breath

  • Heart palpitation

  • Chest pain

  • Sweating

  • Trembling or shaking

  • Ruminating or obsessive thoughts

  • Muscle tension

  • Fatigue or weakness

Types of Anxiety

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (chronic stress)

    • High frequency and high-intensity anxiety, exaggerated worry and tension. Generalized anxiety disorder consists of realistic but excessive worry about everyday things like work, family, health money or school. The worry is out of proportion to the stressor, causing you to feel regularly on edge.

  • Panic Attacks (Panic Disorder)

    • Acute episodes of intense panic and fear. A panic attack is an intense, sudden episode of anxiety and fear that often includes heart palpitation. A panic disorder is defined by repeated panic attacks.

  • Social Anxiety

    • Emotional discomfort in group settings, often accompanied by the fear of being embarrassed or judged by others.

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

    • Results from experiencing a traumatic or life-threatening event. Symptoms include flashbacks or nightmares about the traumatic event, overactive startle response, hypervigilance and avoiding people or situations that might remind you of the event.

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

    • Uncontrollable intrusive thoughts that are alleviated by some behavior. The thoughts are the obsessions and the behaviors are the compulsions. The compulsion is meant to reduce the anxiety caused by obsessive thoughts.

  • Phobias

    • Unrealistic and exaggerated fears of specific things, places or people. Phobic individuals usually know how unrealistic their fears are but cannot help their reactions.

Cycle of Avoidance

Because we want to avoid suffering we actively try to escape anxious feelings as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, we only rarely succeed at truly getting rid of those anxious feelings. Suppressing them, denying them or distracting ourselves only works momentarily as an escape from anxiety. They're temporary fixes at best. Anxiety inevitably returns, often with even greater intensity. We refer to this dynamic as the "cycle of avoidance." We cannot fix the problem of anxiety by avoiding it; we must instead learn how to change our relationship with it.


Treatment

Chronic or intense anxiety can end when properly addressed with the help of a therapist. Therapy helps break the cycle of avoidance by teaching you how to face the anxiety head-on. Evidenced-based psychotherapy treatments such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness, Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy (ERP), and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) can help you find freedom from the burdens of over-thinking, over-worrying and over-reacting to anxiety.  

During the course of treatment with one of our therapists at Simply Mindful Counseling you will not only learn tools to manage your anxiety, you will learn to recognize your triggers and to identify your internal warning signs that the anxiety cycle has started. You will learn to disengage from negative thoughts and to treat them as information, rather than absolute truths, so they have less influence over your behavior. You will also learn acceptance skills that allow you to feel the physical symptoms of anxiety as they occur in your body without trying to change them or run from them.

The mind wanders by nature. It revisits the past, it explores, and plans for the future. When we can’t make sense of what’s going on, the mind represses, distracts or fixates. With anxiety therapy, you will learn to step outside these thinking patterns. You'll learn to reach beyond the regrets of the past and the worries of the future to focus on the present moment, where you can take meaningful action. As you learn these skills, you’ll watch your relationship with anxiety begin to change. Those anxious feelings will become less intense and less frequent, allowing you to lead a more fulfilling, balanced and peaceful life.

Our therapists are skilled helping a you dive deep beneath the surface to confront the root causes of anxiety in your life. So much of what we do is dictated by our subconscious and our habits. Our clinicians can help you understand why certain fears, places, or situations induce anxiety and how to overcome them. You can then examine the situation with a renewed perspective and consciously design a life designed by your truth and hope rather than anxiety and fear.