You may feel anxiety in your body: your breathing gets shallow, your throat tightens, and your heart starts pounding. Perhaps you become overwhelmed with thoughts that are negative, doubtful, or catastrophic. You may feel the urge to flee a situation, avoid speaking to someone, or shut down and stay in bed. You may have experienced anxiety your entire life or it may be something new related to a work or relationship issue. While you might have some ways to cope with it, it can feel overpowering and out of your control. The good news is that there are very effective research-based ways to manage anxiety symptoms and live a richer and fuller life.
You may experience a general form of anxiety that often includes a lot of worry and feelings of apprehension, restlessness, and fear. You might be living in a constant state of dread of what could happen in your personal life, to your loved ones, or in the world around you. You may experience this for months at a time without any break and this constant stream of scary thoughts can get in the way of feeling OK.
Perhaps you have lived through the very intense experience of a panic attack. Certain environments and situations set off an abrupt surge of intense fear. You literally feel like you are going to die: you can't breath, your heart is pounding, your may be shaking or have chest pain. And once you've had a panic attack, you may find yourself avoiding situations or events where you might have another.
Social anxiety can take several forms - you might fear public speaking and become paralyzed at the idea of doing so. Or the idea of having a conversation or meeting new people can be frightening. Maybe you experience fear about what others think about you and you become very careful about how you eat, stand, move and interact with others. These fears can affect your career, your friendships and your enjoyment of life.
Heights, crowds, airplanes, snakes, spiders - just reading these words might trigger a very real experience of fear in you, and being present to these things can cause a feeling of panic. You may be puzzled by how your life got this way and frustrated with how these fears limit you.
You may already have some coping skills that help or maybe you want to learn some new ones. Perhaps you just want to live your life and not have anxiety always take over. The good news is that there are a variety of treatments that can help you manage your symptoms and live a fuller life.
You and I will work together to identify your strengths and coping skills that are currently working for you. We then build off of these as we expand your "tool kit" of ways to address anxious feelings and thoughts while identifying where anxiety is getting in the way in your life. Ultimately, we work to move you in the direction of living the life you want, where anxiety has less of an effect on you.
Different treatments work for different people. We will identify and explore possible ways to manage your symptoms.
Mindfulness and relaxation techniques can help you get centered and into the present moment, loosening the effect of anxious thoughts and feelings and creating space for you to act in a different way that feels happier and healthier.
Thoughts can be very powerful and have a significant effect on your mood and behavior. Identifying problematic thoughts and learning to address them in new ways can have a significant effect on your mood and how you live your life.
Sometimes trauma and deeper problematic beliefs about yourself and the world around you can lead to significant anxiety. Exploring and healing these can help you to move forward.