That anxious feeling… You are tired of feeling on edge, and constantly worrying about a number of things. It’s relentless. You’re spending so much time worrying about these things that you feel paralyzed and unable to take any steps to resolve them. The anxiety continues to cycle in your mind.
This cycle may keep you awake at night, make it hard for you to concentrate, and make you feel physically tense or ache in your muscles. Sometimes you have panic attacks, notice your heart racing, have a hard time catching your breath, and fear for your life. Those around you may have noticed you acting more irritated, frazzled, or dazed. You feel like you are missing out on your own life, but you don’t know what’s wrong.
The problem is not you. It is anxiety.
Your worries likely originate from important responsibilities. You have anxiety about your job performance, family obligations, your health or a loved one’s health, your finances, etc. For many people, the pandemic has introduced additional concerns to the equation that have multiplied the problem. Your distress might also be triggered by memories of terrible experiences you have lived through. Either way, this distress is overwhelming and getting in the way of you enjoying your life. However, there is hope and your anxiety CAN be managed. A transformation is possible.
Facing your anxiety with the support of a professional counselor can help you feel less overwhelmed with where to start.
Our counselors at Heartland Therapy Connection help clients of all ages and backgrounds understand their anxiety triggers, learn coping skills that reduce stress, and challenge negative thoughts that perpetuate the cycle of anxiety and rumination. Mindfulness, grounding exercises, and self-care practices are all tools your counselor will explore with you to help you feel in control again. These techniques will not only help you to reduce your stress and worrying; they will also help you increase your tolerance for additional stressors life may hurl your way. Imagine feeling free from your unending worrying and panic, and finally able to move forward.
HOW CAN THERAPY HELP?
One of the approches our counselors use is Acceptance and Commitment (ACT). This form of therapy guides clients to use mindfulness to put their anxiety at ease by accepting it objectively and returning focus to fully experience the present moment. ACT also helps clients identify their personal values which motivate them to grow and put their goals into perspective. Personalized values and goals help clients commit to the changes they desire and finally take manageable steps that put them back in the driver’s seat of their lives.
For clients facing anxiety triggered by reminders of a challenging, confusing, or traumatic event, these skills are helpful as well. Learning to self-sooth and regulate their emotions helps clients feel ready to process their experiences with their therapist. Other forms of therapy such as EMDR might also be integrated in treatment if it fits the client’s goals. Once these experiences are processed, the brain is able to “file away” memories that were previously distressing and “stuck” in the emotional part of the brain responsible for survival and anxiety.
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO NO LONGER FEEL PARALYZED BY ANXIETY?
Clients have reported feeling less anxious in as few as 3-4 sessions. They learn to accept the thoughts and feelings they have been fighting for so long. They learn skills to take control of their lives. At Heartland Therapy Connection, clients learn the coping skills they need to stay calm even when stress escalates. They feel capable of facing stress by choosing to follow through with options that align best with their personal values. Therapy can help clients reach their fullest potential.