Anxiety can be a normal reaction to the stresses of everyday life. For most people, starting a new job or career path, making a move to a new place, or starting or ending relationships can cause feelings of worry, dread, or fear. It can be defined as the body and mind’s response and reaction to unfamiliar, stressful, or dangerous situations. It is an entirely natural response to stress that gives feelings of apprehension or fear about what is to come.
The symptoms associated with anxiety can be debilitating as it can cause racing thoughts, obsessive thoughts, phobia, constant worry, sleeplessness, or panic attacks that often times seem like they come from nowhere. On the other hand, feelings, thoughts, and physical symptoms related to excessive worry can be so debilitating that they interfere with one’s ability to relax, have fun, or effectively manage daily tasks. Persistent worry if untreated can result in sleep deprivation, low energy, and even sadness or depression.
The good news is that excessive anxiety is a highly treatable condition. While anti-anxiety medications can offer temporary relief from debilitating symptoms, by themselves they don’t address most of the underlying causes that keep the anxiety alive. For many anxiety disorders, counseling is the most fitting way to treat core issues. This is because counseling treats more than just the symptoms of the problem, unlike anxiety medications.
How Does Therapy Help With Anxiety?
Normalizing thoughts and fears associated with anxiety by talking about it to someone is the first step to relieving oneself of the burden of shame and having to go it alone. Often times, because of anxiety’s illogical nature, it can leave people feeling ashamed of what they are dealing with and not wanting to talk about it. Simply speaking it aloud to someone can feel like a huge relief and a start to eradicating it.
Counseling also helps because it allows you to be fully understood by someone that understands what you’re going through. A counselor can fully understand what you’re talking about without making you feel uncomfortable or judged.
Counseling also gives you complete clarity on why you suffer from anxiety. A counselor or therapist is trained in helping you sift through your life and help you understand how you may have developed anxiety in the first place. This can often be impossible for people to see on their own because anxiety makes so many people feel disconnected. Not only can they figure out what created the anxiety, but counseling can also help you see what triggers the anxiety. Anxiety is connected to certain triggers for people. This is especially true for anxiety disorders such as social anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Counseling is most helpful in helping you find productive and effective ways to handle your anxiety when it does arise that are more healthy than simply trying not to feel it. Instead, you can learn new techniques to bring relief when it does come on. Counseling teaches many different ways to combat it such as:
- Breathing techniques
- Visualization techniques
- Body relaxation techniques
One of the best forms of therapy that are recommended for treating anxiety is Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy, which is a type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. The idea behind this is that is you are afraid of something, the best way to get past it is to face it head-on so that you can learn for yourself that you can handle it. Avoiding fear and anxiety increases it over time. Learning how to face your fears and practice during real-life situations is the best way to decrease anxiety and even get rid of it for good.
Connect With a Therapist That Specializes in Treating Anxiety Disorders
At The Counseling Center for Growth and Recovery, we truly focus on how to overcome your anxiety. We also offer a support group for those who suffer from anxiety where you can safely explore your fears and anxieties with other people who suffer from the same things you do.
Irving Schattner, LCSW, who is our Director, personally struggled with anxiety and overcome this condition through counseling and psychotherapy. You will the opportunity to practice new skills and behaviors to support your growth and overcome your ears while making connections with other people with whom you can relate. Now is the time to call and get the help you need to have a more successful and thriving life!