Although it is a very distressing and uncomfortable experience, Anxiety is the most common and treatable mental health condition and one of the most common problems that bring clients into my office.
If you are experiencing anxiety to a lower extent managing it is a normal part of everyday life and part of being human.
Its normal to feel anxious or worried when facing stressful situations or problems. Anxiety can be helpful at these times to warn us of danger or to motivate us to meet a work deadline, deal with an illness or even a happy situation like moving to a new home.
How do I know if my anxiety is a problem?
- Your anxious symptoms don’t go away once the stressful situation or problem is over'
- Your anxiety and fearful thoughts have such intensity that it becomes overwhelming or unmanageable, and impacts your personal life, work and/or health.
It’s important to seek help if you’re concerned about anxiety in your life.
Many people struggling with anxiety choose to manage symptoms by learning new skills rather than take pills (Important note - in some situations anti-anxiety medication combined with counselling is the best approach and should be discussed with your doctor).
Counselling and in particular Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Mindfulness training have been proven to be very effective in treating anxiety.
You do not have to continue struggling with anxiety, talking about anxiety will help you to understand that you are not alone in your experience and research shows that Counselling is one of the most helpful approaches.
Some of the strategies I use to help you manage your anxiety
- Identify unhelpful patterns - thoughts, emotions and behaviours contributing to your anxiety problems and replacing them with more realistic and positive ways to look at and manage your situation.
- Get to know your anxiety - Mindfulness training to increase awareness of your particular anxiety and to help you recognize and minimize triggers
- Build new coping skills - Learn ways to manage anxiety in the moment that you can do on your own to help keep you feeling better
- Gradual exposure - Slow introduction to situations that you may have been avoiding or extremely afraid of until you feel more comfortable with them.
- Lifestyle management - Strategies for regulating stress and anxiety such as healthy food choices, exercise, emotional support and sleep. If you are concerned about alcohol, caffeine, or drug use we will look at this as well.
- Homework - to practice the new skills between sessions. We measure the results and adjust as needed to ensure the interventions are working for you.
If anxiety stands between you, your priorities and your fulfillment it's time to take the step towards improving your life.