Does It Feel Like You’re Losing Control Of Your Life?
- Do you often take on more than you can handle and then become overwhelmed?
- Are your constant deadlines and “to-do” lists making it impossible to sleep?
- Because a panic attack may strike without warning, do you often feel on edge waiting for the other shoe to drop?
No matter what’s going on in your life, anxiety seems to always be waiting in the wings. Whether it’s the demands of work or school or the dynamics of your close relationships, excess stress and worry may cause you to become easily panicked or irritated. And if you’re in the habit of saying yes to everyone, you might feel frustrated that you don’t have time left over for yourself.
You Might Overthink Or Procrastinate
When too much is going on all at once, you might have trouble focusing and procrastinate over what to do first. Frozen by “analysis paralysis,” you may get increasingly stressed out by your inaction which, in turn, could trigger physical symptoms. Maybe you wake up in the middle night with racing thoughts that make it impossible to fall back asleep. Or anticipating the day ahead may cause you to break out in a sweat or for your stomach to ache.
It might be difficult for you to identify how you’re feeling or express to others what’s going on. Rather than confide in friends, perhaps you self-isolate, preferring to be alone as a way to avoid feeling anxious in social situations. If only you knew how to banish the constant worry and find inner peace.
Fortunately, anxiety counseling can help you restore calm and regain control of your emotions. In therapy, you will learn what fuels your anxiety and what modifications you can make to decrease its frequency.
Anxiety Affects Twice As Many Women As Men
We are all wired for anxiety—after all, it can help motivate us and protect us from physical threats. However, excess anxiety becomes detrimental to our health. “An estimated 31.1 percent of U.S. adults experience an anxiety disorder at some time in their lives.” However, according to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA), “From puberty to age 50, women are twice as likely as men to develop an anxiety disorder.”
The Unique Challenges Women Face Can Exacerbate Anxiety
In addition to the hormonal fluctuations women experience throughout their lives, “women faced with life stressors are more likely to ruminate about them than men, which can increase their anxiety.” In addition, women are more likely to endure physical, sexual, and mental abuse than men, a common underlying cause of anxiety disorders.
As women, the cultural expectations we face can make us feel like we’re not measuring up. Not only are we expected to juggle the demands of work and home life, but other external influences—such as social media and societal beauty standards—put additional pressure on us to be perfect. Trying to achieve these impossibly high expectations can be emotionally exhausting and anxiety-inducing.
As people pleasers who often put others’ needs ahead of our own, we may avoid seeking help when we need it. To save time, we might rely on “Dr. Google” to treat our anxiety rather than look for a qualified counselor. Or maybe we fall back on unhealthy coping mechanisms, like drinking too much wine, to take the edge off. But ultimately, turning to drugs or alcohol as a way to escape only makes our problems worse.
The good news is that a therapist who relates to your experience can teach you helpful ways to reduce anxiety, making a difference in how you think and feel. With treatment, you can find long-term solutions to distressful symptoms like panic attacks or crippling social anxiety.
Anxiety Therapy Is Self-Care That Addresses Body And Mind
When you suffer from anxiety, you often can’t see the forest for the trees. You may become habituated to stress and worry without realizing how much it impacts every facet of your life. However, recognizing you need help and making time for anxiety counseling can vastly improve your quality of life.
Therapy is a form of self-care that can have profound effects on how you think and feel. It allows you to express yourself in a safe and peaceful setting where you won’t fear being judged or shamed. Your therapist will ensure you feel supported, validated, and heard while teaching you how to cope with anxiety in healthier ways.
What To Expect In Sessions
By identifying the negative thought patterns that trigger anxiety, we will help you apply better coping strategies to alleviate your symptoms. When undesirable feelings and situations arise, we will offer you different relaxation tools to use, such as deep breathing techniques, meditation, mindfulness and grounding exercises. Perfecting these techniques can be particularly helpful in preventing panic attacks.
Although anxiety has saved your life, we will ensure it's not behind the wheel any longer. Not only will your counselor provide you with psychoeducation that explains how your primitive “fight-flight-freeze response” is activated when you become anxious, but you will also gain valuable insight into where the root causes of your anxiety come from. Additionally, in therapy, we will talk about the downside of people-pleasing and work on setting healthy boundaries with others.
CBT And EMDR For Anxiety Counseling
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), considered “the gold standard for psychotherapy”, is an evidence-based modality we use to treat anxiety. CBT aims to stop the negative thought patterns that make you feel bad, anxious, or scared. By challenging deeply held beliefs that aren’t necessarily true—for example, the belief that nothing you do is ever good enough—you will begin to realize when your flawed thinking exacerbates your anxiety.
Once you recognize and stop these negative thoughts, you will be encouraged to replace them with healthier, more positive ones. In addition, we may incorporate Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) to help you process traumatic memories that may be contributing to your anxiety symptoms.
Although it may feel like you're alone, you are not. With a little self-care, there are better days ahead. By learning more about yourself and the coping skills that work best for you, you can live a more balanced and peaceful life. With effective therapy, you can learn to manage your anxiety in healthier ways—physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.
But Maybe You’re Not Sure If Anxiety Therapy Is Right For You…
Can’t I just take medication for my anxiety disorder instead of going to counseling?
Medication can be a great tool for treating anxiety, but we don't believe it should be the exclusive tool. Before exploring medication options, the first line of defense for treating anxiety is typically CBT. Even if you were referred to us by your primary care provider, they will usually recommend you try CBT therapy to treat anxiety before writing you a prescription. And if we determine you would be a good candidate for medication, we will suggest that it be taken in conjunction with anxiety counseling. Although we don’t prescribe medications, we can refer you to a physician who does.
How long does anxiety therapy usually take?
Understandably, before starting counseling, you want to know how long it will take until you start feeling improvement. Or perhaps you’re concerned that once you start anxiety counseling, you will be in therapy forever. However, the duration of treatment is unique to your needs and level of motivation to make changes. While some only need a few sessions to find relief, others choose to remain in therapy on a more long-term basis. Ultimately, it’s entirely up to you how frequently and for how long you want to attend anxiety counseling.
What if I can’t afford anxiety therapy?
We understand that the expense of receiving anxiety treatment may be a concern for you. However, we don’t want the cost of anxiety counseling to be an obstacle for you to receive the help you need. After all, investing in your emotional well-being is just as important as investing in your physical health. If you work in corrections, we offer your initial consultation—or half of your first session—at no cost. And if you are unable to afford ongoing anxiety therapy, some of our counselors may consider a sliding scale fee based on annual income.
Learn The Tools That Can Make Life More Manageable
You’re not alone. If you would like to find out more about anxiety therapy with us, you may visit my contact page to schedule a free 15-minute call. In addition to in-person and virtual services in Illinois, we now offer virtual therapy sessions to clients who reside in Washington State.
Did you know we offer a free De-Stress book? Get yours now!