Anxiety Therapyin Moscow, Idaho
Living with Anxiety is Exhausting. Anxiety Therapy Can Help.
Do you tend to feel hyper-responsible? Like it’s your job to keep everything running smoothly and everyone around you feeling OK? Do you lie awake at night dreading morning, unable to shut off your worries? Do your anxious thoughts cycle around from upcoming events or responsibilities to bigger worries about your future?
Are you more comfortable when you know exactly what to expect, and do you pass up opportunities when you don’t know how things will go? You might even dread everyday things like talking on the phone or running to the store if you can’t be sure of who will answer or how crowded the store will be.
Anxiety limits your ability to enjoy life and go after your goals, and it changes what you do and how you are with the people you care about. It can limit you in your career, your social life, and your family life.
Common Symptoms Helped By Anxiety Therapy
There are various types of anxiety, from generalized anxiety to social anxiety, panic, phobias, and more. But, they often have a lot of symptoms in common.
You are frequently:
- Geared up and unable to relax
- Tired but unable to get to sleep, or to stay asleep
- Overwhelmed by situations or tasks that don’t seem to bother others
You avoid certain places or situations:
- Crowded grocery stores
- Places without enough open space—or too much open space
- Social events where you don’t know what to expect or how you could leave gracefully
Your thoughts are relentless:
- Focusing on negative outcomes, worst case scenarios, and “what ifs”
- Criticizing or “nit-picking” of others
- Alternately putting yourself down and obsessing with perfection
You’re uncomfortable in your body:
- Muscle tension and headaches
- Upset stomach or intestinal distress
- Racing heart, trembling, or difficulty taking deep, relaxed breaths
Your symptoms might include some or all of these, or they might be a little different. But in general, anxiety probably keeps you from feeling free to do all the things you want to do, and you’re tired of feeling limited in your life as the trade-off for keeping yourself somewhat comfortable.
Whatever your type of anxiety, you’d like to feel in control of your mind, body, and life again.
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If this is You, You’re Not Alone.
Everyone feels some level of anxiety from time to time. And low to moderate levels of stress can even enhance performance, such as getting a little nervous prior to a sports match or a business presentation.
However, it seems like our culture is almost designed to create anxiety these days. Looking around at our family, friends, and workplace, most of us can observe that for many, life feels a little like running on a wheel chasing unending deadlines, commitments, and expectations.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental health issues reported, with about 40 million Americans over the age of eighteen affected. Unfortunately, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, only about a third of those affected will get anxiety therapy.
But, anxiety disorders are highly treatable.
Anxiety Therapy Can Give You the Skills to Restore Relaxation and a Sense of Control
You might think about your nervous system and responses to stress like an old fashioned thermostat dial. A thermostat has set points that tell it when to kick the heat on, and when to shut off because the room is plenty warm already. When someone experiences chronic anxiety, the set points get a bit out of whack. The heat comes on really quickly, sometimes out of nowhere, and it stays on too long, creating a lot of discomfort.
Counseling for anxiety is a little like learning how to regulate the thermostat and adjust the dial with ease. When you are back in control of your own thoughts and responses to stress, the anticipation of anxiety decreases, and you regain your confidence.
The great news is that our brains and nervous systems are flexible and it’s possible for us to change our responses to things that stress us. We can also increase the things that relax us. There are lots of ways to do this, and when we plan your anxiety therapy, we’ll talk about which ones you might like to start with. These are strategies that will work in the real world, in your daily life, and in the specific situations that currently make you anxious.
You are not destined to live a life of anxiety. Your anxiety is not you. With support and practice, you can get your freedom back. Why do I believe this? Because I’ve seen so many clients do it.
It’s Common to have a Few Questions
I’m already anxious enough. What if therapy is even more stressful?
If you experience chronic anxiety, your whole life might feel like one big effort to stay within your comfort zone. This is completely understandable, given what you go through. But, it’s important to pay attention to how much anxiety is created from the anticipation of events, and not just the events themselves. I probably don’t have to tell you this, because you live it all the time.
Clients are often surprised that once they start to work on their anxiety with a skilled therapist and specific techniques, they start to feel a new sense of control much sooner than they thought was possible. Read on to learn more about what you can expect. Just knowing how we might get started is often enough to make coming in seem more manageable.
How does anxiety therapy work?
First of all, when we get started, we’ll make sure the approach is tailored to you, and that you know you won’t be boxed into a corner you can’t escape. You can choose from a variety of ways to get started.
Most effective anxiety approaches will combine: some forms of cognitive behavioral therapy to help you get a handle on your excessive worry; relaxation/grounding techniques to soothe your nervous system more and more predictably; and gentle, gradual exposure to some of the things that bother you—but with new tools at your disposal for a new experience. It’s important to know that when you practice new self-management tools when you’re not stressed, you will find you have increasing ability to utilize them in situations where you are typically anxious.
What is the first appointment like?
It’s the nature of anxiety to worry about new situations, especially if you know that talking about your anxiety can get you geared up and make it worse, not better. But, talking about anxiety in a counseling setting is usually better, because you know you’re doing something about it, and not just spinning your wheels.
I know firsthand what it’s like to be anxious. Anxiety was an issue for me in an earlier part of my life, so I have a lot of compassion for anyone who makes the choice to get their life back by seeing a counselor. Our first appointment will be friendly and informative, and you’ll leave from the very first day with a few new strategies for change.