The words above might describe your response to an anxiety-producing situation that leads to uncomfortable symptoms such as excessive worry, fear, a racing heart, sweating, or a feeling of being overwhelmed, threatened or with a sense of danger.
Throughout our lives we may experience any one of these emotions. Our minds bring attention to concerns about work, family, finances, relationships and even health.
Anxiety and worry related to these issues can be healthy, can be motivating to prepare for the future, and can get us moving, or to fix a problem in front of us.
However, anxiety and stress can develop into a more serious problem when you are prevented from feeling present, you are unable to participate in your daily activities, you are in a constant state of fear and worry.
Individual counseling can be the opportunity to begin to understand the source of your anxiety, while discovering the tools and strategies to improve your symptom management.
Through our work together you’ll begin to notice a tremendous weight being lifted, feeling less stuck and free from negative thoughts and feelings that once felt so powerful.
First, anxiety is a natural response to perceived stress, threat or danger. You might recall hearing the phrase, “fight or flight”, our natural survival instinct triggering our physical, cognitive and behavioral systems to address the danger.
Today, we might not be fighting dinosaurs, however many situations may trigger such a “flight or fight” response.
Over the years, our experiences have informed us of what might feel threatening or distressing, and perhaps as situations arise, we have difficulty managing stressful events.
Anxiety can be useful or even motivating. For example, perhaps you dedicate more time to prepare for a test, or rehearse for a performance or presentation or begin to take better care of our health. In such instance, you will notice the positive changes in yourself as you appropriately respond to this stressor.
It’s when we experience challenges in learning how to use the “fight, flight or freeze” response.
Our mind and body then become flooded by a perceived threat, triggering a fright and frozen response. In those moments, we are unable to slow down our thought process and assess if a perceived threat truly exists.
As time develops, people struggling to manage their anxiety more effectively notice changes in their behaviors: avoidance, isolation, shutting down, increasingly irritable. These changes ultimately impact how they interact with others, perform in their school or work environments, and engage in daily activities.
If you feel anxiety is preventing you from sharing your strengths and talents with the world and is inhibiting you from living your most authentic self, call today to discuss how our individual counseling, group counseling, and marriage and relationship counseling services may be able to help.
Our therapists can help you address your anxiety, panic attacks, social anxiety or specific phobias.
· Difficulty concentrating
· Sense of worry, fear or avoidance
· Feeling restlessness, on edge
· Feeling out of control
· A sense of doom
In addition to distressing thought patterns, individuals also experience a range of physiological symptoms which can cause further distress and worry.
· Changes in eating patterns
· Changes or disruption in sleep
· Difficulty breathing
· Muscle tension
· Stomach pain or nausea
· Trembling and or shaking
· Heart palpitations, pounding heartbeat, accelerated heartrate
Often these symptoms may feel similar to a heart attack or stroke.
If you are ever uncertain if your symptoms are a result of anxiety or a more serious condition, always seek immediate medical attention.
Individuals who experience ongoing anxiety may develop panic attacks or depressive symptoms, so early intervention can be helpful to reduce long-term effects.
It is estimated nearly 1 in 5 individuals experience an anxiety - related disorder in a given year, and that nearly 31% percent of U.S. adults experience an anxiety disorder at some time in their life.
Watch this short video for a brief overview of anxiety
Individual Counseling can be the safe, nurturing and supportive environment to:
Perhaps you notice a sense of fear related to your health, relationships, work, finances, being alone. Our therapists can support your understanding of how these thoughts and response patterns developed.
We will begin to explore distressing past experiences which may have conditioned you to anticipate future negative outcomes, leaving you fearful, immobilized and helpless.
Gently, you and your therapist will begin to challenge those fears, freeing yourself from response patterns which left you in the quicksand of your mind.
As the anxieties begin to dissolve, you will experience yourself more aligned, positive and hopeful. You may begin to notice yourself being more present in your mind, activities and relationships.
As stressors arise between parties, partners notice patterns to either increase closeness/dependency or increase distance/avoidance to manage uncomfortable feelings.
As the need for closeness increases one might notice a partner:
· Seeking constant connection, communication and/or validation
· Overthinking or catastrophizing relationship issues
· Becoming worrisome, anxious, and/or indecisive
· Developing a sense of paranoia, fear rejection, or break-up
· Having trouble managing emotions (worry, anger, fear)
Conversely, the partner seeking distance may notice:
· Avoiding connection, communication and/or closeness
· Avoiding negative thoughts and emotions
· Holding back from expressing needs and emotions
· Increasing physical and emotional distance
· Empathizing with great difficulty a partner’s thoughts or perspective
Relationships in distress often report significant difficulty in managing their own response to anxiety, as well as understanding their partners reactions.
As these response patterns develop, partners feel a sense of shame, confusion, hurt contributing to further distress within the relationship.
Over time, partners report difficulty maintaining openness, communication, intimacy and trust, eventually noticing frequent, longer and more intense conflicts.
Relationship and Marriage Counseling can be an opportunity to effectively address negative responses associated with anxiety. You and your partner will be able to increase the awareness of your anxieties, develop the skills to engage in more effective communication as conflict surfaces and begin to repair and restore your relationship.
Couples in distress often report one or more of the following issues
which have led them to couples counseling:
is typically 12 to 18 sessions and
can vary based upon presenting issues.