Do you feel like you are constantly battling your anxiety?
Firefly Wellness Counseling is a place where you can let go, gain confidence, and learn ways to manage your anxiety.
What is Anxiety? How does therapy help?
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety can come in many forms. Sometimes it is completely overwhelming and presents as a panic attack where it feels like you are having a heart attack. Other times, you might feel constantly “on edge” and like you can’t calm down and relax. You might have a hard time paying attention or concentrating. It can be those moments where you have difficulty enjoying a vacation or the weekend because you are already anxious about it being over before it’s really begun. Sometimes it can take the form of obsessive thoughts or actions that are difficult to stop. It can be situational, like feeling anxious around people or when giving a speech. Or other phobias where a specific object might make your heart start racing.
Anxiety has many physical symptoms and frequently, anxiety gets mistaken for other illnesses. Anxiety can make your stomach hurt, make your heart race, cause muscle pain due to being tense, cause headaches, and make it very difficult to sleep.
Small amounts of anxiety are good. It motivates us to get things done and helps us respond to dangerous situations (e.g., a car swerving into our lane). Our body releases cortisol when we are faced with a threat which helps give us a boost of energy and primes us to react to that threat (the “fight or flight” response). This increase in cortisol is great when we need to react but becomes problematic when the threat is gone and your mind doesn’t seem to get the memo. When you are suffering from an anxiety disorder, your body stays in that “fight or flight” mode and continues to produce cortisol making you feel uneasy and on edge.
How does therapy help treat anxiety?
A lot of people feel like they should just be able to “get over it” or “deal with it” and don’t take steps to manage their anxiety. This can cause anxiety levels to increase over time and your body starts to get more used to being in a heightened state. Therapy can help you recognize the type of anxiety you are experiencing and then some of the things that might be triggering it. Sometimes anxiety hits out of nowhere, we are going along with our day and then all of the sudden we start to feel uneasy for what seems like no particular reason. Therapy is a great place to find patterns and explore where the anxiety might be coming from so you can be more prepared to handle it.
Our fears build when we don’t confront them and therapy can be a safe way to begin to confront those fears and take their power away. Therapy is also a great place to learn skills to help manage the physical symptoms of anxiety. This might include mindfulness skills, challenging thoughts, and identifying personalized coping skills that work for you.
For more information on what therapy with me would look like, click here.
Check out my resources page for books, podcasts, and apps that can be helpful.