COUNSELING FOR ANXIETY
Helping You Find Freedom From Anxiety
WHAT IS ANXIETY?
Anxiety is one way a person’s body may cope when experiencing a form of conflict. It may be an internal conflict, like imagining the worst possible outcome of an event, or an external conflict, like having to participate in public speaking. When a person feels threatened by conflict, the amygdala in the brain releases hormones that instigates the body’s “fight or flight” reaction.
The “fight or flight” response has served humanity well through the generations. It was the “fight or flight” mechanisms that helped humans survive dangerous interactions before we have reached the domesticated lifestyle we now know in much of western civilization. Without having a release of the “fight or flight” that our ancestors had from previous generations either from fighting off the attack of a wild animal or running from it, there are less immediate ways for us to release the anxiety-inducing hormones.
TYPES OF ANXIETY
Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A form of anxiety that includes continual and irregular worry that interferes with regular day-to-day activities, such as sleeping, eating, and concentration on tasks.
Panic Disorder: Recurring panic attacks, an overpowering grouping of physical, emotional, and psychological distress, is the primary symptom of panic disorder. This anxiety disorder may include trembling or shaking of the body, heart palpitations, chest pain, fear of dying, and more.
Social Anxiety Disorder: People with social anxiety disorder have significant anxiety and distress around the thought of being humiliated, embarrassed, or mocked in social interactions. This form of anxiety interferes with day-to-day activities.
Separation Anxiety Disorder: People with separation anxiety disorder is excessively afraid of being physically absent from people they are attached to. This person may struggle to sleep away from home without the attachment figure or experience nightmares about being separated, and it typically causes concerns with day-to-day functioning. Typically expressed by children with regards to attachments to their parent(s), adults may also carry symptoms of separation anxiety disorder.
Agoraphobia: The fear of situations where escape may be difficult to accomplish, or that safe space or assistance is unavailable in the occurrence of a panic attack. The person with agoraphobia intentionally and actively avoids possible situations or circumstances where they feel closed in or alone. In extreme cases of this type of anxiety, a person may not be willing to leave the house.
Phobias: There are many circumstances or things that can cause a phobia. A phobia can be described as a form of anxiety caused by fear of an object, activity, or setting that would typically not be considered harmful. An overwhelming fear of spiders, heights, or the dark would be examples of possible phobias.
Pay attention to your pace of breathing. Quick, shallow breaths raise anxiety. Fill up your lungs. Anxiety struggles to grow when you’re intentionally breathing slow.
Go for a walk or run outside.
Stop reading the news or consuming social media
Talk to a friend. But make sure it’s the kind of friend that gives you energy.
Listen to music you enjoy or relaxes you (even Disney music…if that’s your thing).
Drink less caffeinated beverages
You can find more information by reading the following blog posts:
TECHNIQUES TO EASE ANXIETY ATTACKS
Slow Your Breathing: Shallow, quick breaths are the friend of anxiety and the enemy of calm. You will want to fill up your lungs and your belly with each breath you take. To decrease anxiety, breath in through your nose for five seconds. Then, hold for two seconds. Finally breath out for another five seconds.
Gratitude Journal: Anxiety preys upon our fears and sucks into the negative. Writing down the things that we are thankful or grateful for gets us out of that headspace. And it doesn’t have to be something dramatic. Writing down that we are thankful for a paper and pen can do the trick. So, find that paper and pen and make a list of three to five things you are thankful for.
Hold and Sway: This is one easy way to get your body involved that has a soothing effect. Wrap your arms around your body like you are giving yourself a hug and sway gently from left to right. You can even include the faint humming of a favorite song. It may feel a little odd, but this movement can help provide a calming sensation when anxious.
Breath in Some Lavender: Lavender has some properties that help to lessen an experience with anxiety. Maybe it's not lavender for you. Whatever it may be, find a scent that you enjoy and break it out when you begin to feel an increase of anxiety.
Suck on the Sour: When you are feeling an increase in anxiety, stick a sour candy into your mouth. Make sure it is something that requires some time to melt away. Warhead candy is one of my favorites.
For more information, click the link below for video and blog post on techniques to ease an anxiety attack:
WHEN TO SEEK COUNSELING?
You may consider seek professional counseling services for anxiety if:
Anxiety is Consistently Disrupting Your Daily Activities
You’ve Been Experiencing Anxiety Consistently for a Month
Your Experience with Anxiety is Increasing
Whenever You Feel You Would Benefit from Counseling
For more information, click the link below for video and blog post to help you know when it might be time to seek professional counseling to help:
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