Does It Feel Like Stress and Anxiety Have Taken Over Your Life?
Are you not sleeping well, eating regularly or finding time to take care of yourself? Is excessive stress or worry making it increasingly difficult to manage relatively mundane tasks, such as going to work or interacting with family members or friends? Do you feel detached from yourself, uncomfortable in your own skin or numb to the things that once gave you pleasure? Perhaps the prospects of retirement, having children or changes in a relationship have left you worried about the future and wondering, “What next?”
It could be that a traumatic event has left you walking around in a state of constant fear and you want help resolving the cloud of doom that never seems to lift. Or maybe you are experiencing a rapid heartbeat, chronic pain, digestive issues, muscle tension or other physical discomforts, and you worry about the damage stress may be doing to your body. Do you wish you could control your thoughts, understand your emotions and improve all aspects of your life and well-being?
Anxiety Can Affect Anyone
Almost everyone experiences some form of anxiety in their lifetime. It’s a natural part of being human and has served some pretty important functions in our survival as a species, such as knowing when to fight or flee from a predator. However, when anxiety begins to manifest randomly and without warning, it can wreak havoc on your whole life.
If worrying has long ceased serving you, you are not alone. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, over 40 million people in the US suffer from some form of anxiety, making it the most common mental health issue in the country. It is also the number one health issue facing women in America, with men being not far behind.
Modern society does little to mitigate the effects of anxiety. Our highly competitive, success-oriented social model feeds on it; our obsession with social media and electronics camouflages it; our culture’s lack of regard for the importance of mental health perpetuates it. Add to that the stressors of everyday life and possible hereditary cues, as well as personal and environmental factors, and it is no wonder anxiety affects so many people.
The good news is, anxiety is a well-researched and highly treatable condition. With the help of a compassionate and skilled anxiety specialist, you can make sense of the confusion, end the cycle of fear and get on top of your life.
Anxiety Treatment Can Change the Way You Live
Working with a dedicated mental health professional can help you give voice to your fears, thoughts and emotions in a space of validation and respect. By talking about your anxiety, you open yourself up to changing the way you think about yourself and the world around you. You can make it possible to discover just how capable and resilient you are.
A large part of healing involves vocalizing your thoughts. So, I like to begin sessions by listening to your story, learning about the way you view the world and hearing how anxiety affects you.
Throughout our conversations, we’ll explore possible family of origin issues and identify current stressors. We’ll look at your medical history to make sure that your anxiety isn’t indirectly linked to or exacerbated by a medical condition, such as menopause, perimenopause, respiratory disorders or thyroid problems.
We will also identify triggers for panic attacks and address avoidance behaviors so that you don’t walk around in a constant state of high tension. You truly do have the power to change how your mind works. In time, you can learn why anxiety manifests, how it affects you and how to calm yourself so that you are in control of your mind and body.
Each person responds differently to therapy, so I want to understand what makes your situation unique and which methods will treat your anxiety most effectively. We’ll look at how slight shifts in nutrition, exercise or sleeping habits can activate your body’s natural ability to increase levels of the “feel good” chemicals serotonin and dopamine. Or, we can target tendencies of perfectionism—a common trait among people with anxiety—and explore time management strategies for accomplishing stressful tasks. I can also help you learn to be assertive, say no confidently and create healthy relationships with boundaries that serve your needs, not just those of everyone else.
In our sessions, I can teach you abdominal breathing, mindfulness and progressive muscle relaxation techniques that can calm your mind, relax your body and keep you grounded in the present. If you are struggling with depression and anxiety, I can also help you address and overcome issues of self-worth so that you are not battling two monsters at once. I also offer EMDR for trauma related-anxiety that focuses on visualization, breathing and grounding strategies for managing symptoms of PTSD.
Dealing with anxiety alone can be overwhelming; however, with support and guidance, you really can change the way you think, feel and look at the world. It is possible—and profoundly rewarding—to break free of problematic behavior patterns and enjoy a greater sense of awareness, peace and calm in life.
I’ve been considering anxiety treatment, but I still have a few concerns…
Will therapy for anxiety require medication?
Although medication can be an effective complement to therapy, I believe that counseling alone can help you tap into a powerful, inner capacity for realizing change. Anxiety therapy gives you the self-awareness, tools and power to fundamentally change how you perceive yourself and interact with the world around you. No matter what your situation or preferences for treatment, you will always have the final say. I want to get you the help you need in order to live a happy, healthy and empowered life, free from the burden of anxiety and stress.
I feel like I am going crazy.
Of course you do! That’s the nature of anxiety. Right now, your brain is stuck in a constant state of fight or flight. It’s as though your natural survival mechanism, normally meant for saving your skin in the wild, is short-circuiting. As a result, you literally feel like you are going crazy with fear
Anxiety counseling can teach you how to throttle back those intense emotions and physical sensations. In a short time, you can learn to calm your mind, relax your body and live in the moment, instead of inside your head.
Can counseling for anxiety really help?
Therapy truly helps and benefits so much more than just your mind. Managing your anxiety and stress levels can benefit existing medical conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, inflammation and autoimmune disorders, just to name a few. Consistently lower levels of cortisol (stress hormones) mean less stress in your body which can translate into better sleep, more energy and less irritability, as well as a reduced risk for heart disease and other cardiovascular conditions. In short, therapy can benefit much more than just your peace of mind: it can heal your body, too.
There Is Hope for Your Anxiety
If excessive stress, persistent anxiety or debilitating panic is negatively impacting your life, I may be able to help. Please call 805 374 1770 or email me at Linda@lindafisherman.com to see how my approach to anxiety treatment may be able to change your life for the better.