Anxiety Counseling and TherapyCounseling and therapy help for anxiety.
Anxiety Information at LifePaths Counseling Center
A low level of anxiety is quite normal in many situations such as a job interview or public speaking. It can be a problem however when it gets in the way of functioning well in life.
Anxiety problems can take many forms, such as anxiety attacks, panic attacks, or phobias. Obsessive compulsive behaviors are related to anxiety, but information about that is detailed on a separate page at this site.
Symptoms of Anxiety
Anxiety can be very different from person to person. There are likely to be physical symptoms, just some of these are sweating, shaking hands, pounding heart, headache, fatigue, or stomach upset. The symptoms associated with anxiety or panic attacks will be more severe. Emotionally, some of the things that may happen are difficulty concentrating, feeling irritable, being hyper-vigilant (constantly being on the alert for danger), or feelings of dread or tension.
If you are dealing with anxiety, you have many options available to help you feel better such as working with a counselor, medication, or if you choose there are some skills you can develop on your own as well.
Self-Help Strategies for Dealing with Anxiety
Self-help strategies include developing relaxation skills. In counseling people that are dealing with anxiety, we discuss different methods of relaxation which can be deep breathing exercises, guided imagery (there are some good guided imagery recordings available for purchase at the website for Health Journeys), taking a walk, prayer, medication, and more. Not every method of relaxation works for everyone so sometimes you may need to try a few ideas before you hit on one that works well for you. You may also be interested in taking a look at our self care client handout for more ideas.
Other self-help strategies may be thinking about different areas of your life that may be out of balance or out of control. With our current economy, the work-life balance is off for many because of putting more energy into work in hopes they can prevent losing their job. Along with that, our busy lifestyles can become overwhelming with multiple responsibilities for home, children, work, school, etc., which leaves little time for recreation and re-energizing ourselves with activities we enjoy.
If you do see areas of your life where you are overwhelmed, taking steps to simplify and say no to new responsibilities may be helpful.
It’s also important to eat healthy, exercise regularly, and avoid caffeine, sugar, and nicotine which are stimulants that can make anxiety worse. Limiting alcohol can also help – although it temporarily may reduce anxiety, it doesn’t last. It can also lead to other problems with addiction or dependence which you definitely want to avoid.
If you haven’t tried those ideas yet, and you find that your anxiety can be brought under control with one or two lifestyle changes, all the better.
If you want more help, we can work with you on the specific issues you are dealing with whether that is fears/phobias, or post traumatic stress issues.
Additionally, if the anxiety is extremely overwhelming there is also the option of taking medication to help. if this is the case, work with your medical doctor or a psychiatrist to prescribe one of the medications to help with anxiety.
One last thing to take note of, often anxiety and depression are both present at the same time. Your counselor and medical doctor or psychiatrist will need to know about both of these, even if one or the other is not very severe.