You might feel worried, anxious or panicked more often than you’d like. It’s like you’re on high-alert most of the time. You may startle easily, shake your foot, feel dizzy, experience shortness of breath, notice a sudden onset of dread, have tension in your body, feel your heart racing, feel numb or stuck, or have thoughts that circle round and round. We all experience anxiety from time to time. Sometimes, we come to a point in our lives where we need help managing our experiences of it.
Anxiety shows up differently for different people. Do any of these statements sound true to you?
I find myself isolating and not participating in relationships and activities.
I wake up with a feeling of dread and I don’t know why.
I struggle to relax in the face of uncertainty.
I find it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep.
My muscles are often tense and tight.
When I need to present or perform, I over-prepare or I don’t prepare at all because I feel frozen.
I carefully monitor myself at social events including meetings, parties and events.
Sometimes I use substances, internet scrolling or television to help calm myself.
I am afraid of getting it wrong, letting people down, making mistakes.
I tend to be very critical of what I do and say.
I constantly worry about the safety of my children, the future of the world, the worst-case scenario.
I repeatedly check to make sure the doors are locked or the oven is off.
I find myself procrastinating because I am not sure what to do.
More freedom and ease are possible. Recovery is possible! The journey of healing problematic anxiety can uncover your incredible innate capacities and give you more ease in your life. Somatic therapy is a proven treatment for anxiety. Nervousness is an expression of an over-activated nervous system. These therapies address the underlying physiological experiences in conjunction with cognitive material in order to put you back in the driver’s seat of your life. Time and time again, I have witnessed people recover from debilitating symptoms of anxiety and worry to find that they can experience life with greater ease, presence and efficacy.
What’s-wrong attention is a survival imperative. We’re programmed to pay attention to problems and to do our best to escape, minimize and avoid them at all cost. The body and mind are constantly scanning for threats to our physical survival and social belonging. The innately fast-attention to potential problems that safeguarded the lives of our ancestors, however, can also cause great suffering in our modern world. We’re living in a world with endless negatives or even threatening stimulation - machines that rumble at the frequency of a predator’s growl, social rejection at the click of an icon, a financial system that offers little solace if you can’t put food on the table. It’s no wonder that 40% of given psychiatric diagnosis given are anxiety disorders.
I already have so much to do, I don’t think I can fit therapy into my schedule.
I know that life can be so busy. Yet, feeling overwhelmed can be an important indicator that you may in fact benefit from the support of a therapist. Busyness and feelings of overwhelm are all symptoms and causes of anxiety. Specialized treatment can help you work toward a greater sense of ease and wellbeing as you balance all that you have to do in your life. It’s important to take time for yourself, to let yourself be supported and to help your nervous system reset.
I am a little unsure about what to expect. I have never had therapy before.
It’s normal to be uncertain about therapy. I hold your consent and agreement at the center of our explorations together. If you are not comfortable with my suggestions, we’ll take a different route. There are many ways you and I can join together as a team to help you find more ease. You bring the expert knowledge of your own life and experience. I bring the expert knowledge of 15 years working in the field of mental health.
It helps to bring the nervous system into a calmer state, even if that state is temporary. Your body wants to feel safe and calm, to return to homeostasis (a state of balance between body systems in which we feel calm). Every time we create an experience of calm for ourselves, we remind our bodies that they are capable of feeling calm. I’ve put together a brief guided meditation to help you find a little more ease in this moment. Use the form below to download the recording.
When you feel ready to get support to reduce your anxiety, I can help you in one-on-one individual counseling sessions, either online or in-person.
In a supportive environment, working with a therapist who has over 15 years of experience, you can learn how to reduce anxiety by: