Do you wake up in the morning with a sense of dread – like you’re always waiting for the other shoe to drop? No matter what you do, does it feel like you have little or no control in your life? Are you constantly trying to keep anxious thoughts at bay? Perhaps you always feel on the edge of panic. Or maybe you lie awake at night thinking about all the terrible things that might happen. Are you tired of dealing with incessant, illogical thoughts caused by your anxiety? Is your anxiety taking a toll on your body, making your muscles tense and not letting you feel like you can take a deep breath? Do you wish you could just let go of worry and anxiety and get on with your life?
Living with anxiety can be an exhausting, depleting and isolating experience. Whether it’s general anxiety or a fear of something specific, anxiety can take a major toll on your mental, emotional and physical health. Anxiety can cause your mind to spin out of control and force you to persistently entertain all the possible terrible scenarios that might happen to you or your loved ones. You may feel like you are constantly in a “fight or flight” state, which can make it feel impossible to rest, let alone relax. You may also feel like you are always on duty and you can never get a break. Even when you’re completely exhausted, it can still feel seemingly impossible to let things go and rest.
Anxiety Is Becoming Increasingly Common In Our Culture
If you suffer from anxiety, you’re not alone. Anxiety exists in many forms in our culture, and you don’t need to look very far to find people who are overstressed, feeling anxious and wanting relief. Everyone seems worried or anxious about something. And the list of things to worry about doesn’t seem to be getting any smaller. But, that doesn’t mean you have to keep suffering.
Anxiety stems from many sources and manifests in varying ways. At its most basic level, anxiety can motivate you to prioritize, stay on track and get things done. But when anxiety levels get too high, it can become paralyzing and debilitating. It can elicit panic attacks, which can be a terrifying experience. Furthermore, one of the primary responses to overpowering anxiety and panic attacks is to feel anxious about having more of them, which can become a terrible self-propelling cycle of extreme discomfort.
Everyone experiences anxiety on some level, but for some people anxiety becomes heightened and keeps them from feeling good and functioning well. If you are experiencing overwhelming worry that’s keeping you from engaging in your life in meaningful and effective ways or panic attacks, anxiety treatment with a mindfulness approach can help.
Anxiety Treatment Can Help You Find The Grounding, Strength and Skills Needed To Get Your Life Back in Your Own Capable Hands
You are more than your thoughts.
Just because you have anxiety-provoking thoughts or impulses, it doesn’t mean you have to listen to them. Mindfulness meditation, as a part of anxiety treatment, can help identify your anxiety triggers gain control over negative and self-debilitating thoughts. You can learn how to gain perspective on your thoughts and dismiss the ones that don’t serve you anymore. You can learn new ways to respond to your old anxiety triggers. When triggers arise, you can step aside and let them pass.
In our sessions, I can teach you how to use mindfulness skills to make real and sustainable changes in your life. Mindfulness meditation can help you to nonjudgmentally focus your attention on what you are experiencing in the present moment. Most of the time, the human mind is engaged in jumping from thought to thought – thinking about the past, planning for the future, big thoughts, little thoughts… These scattered thoughts can have an enormous impact on your mood and anxiety levels. By learning new ways to manage the thoughts, you don’t have to feel trapped by them. You can reframe negative, illogical thoughts into positive and practical ones, which can lead to effective and lasting change.
With the support and guidance of an experienced and warm therapist, you can learn to manage, mitigate and even overcome anxiety. You can learn skills to help you in the moment when your anxiety levels rise, as well as regular practices you can use on a daily basis to keep your stress levels low. You can develop increased personal resilience and self-confidence. It is possible to live a life outside of the prison of anxiety.
Although you know that you could benefit from help, you still may have questions or concerns about anxiety treatment…
I have real things to be anxious about. Are you just going to tell me to forget about my problems?
We all have valid problems in our lives that cause us anxiety. There is enough uncertainty in this life that if we look long enough, we will find something to get worried about. But, looking for things to feed anxiety is a thought habit. And with practice, thought habits can be changed. A little bit of anxiety can be useful – it can help keep you on track and aware of important things to keep in mind. But, anxiety is only useful to the extent that it offers clarity and helps you to take action. Beyond that, it is debilitating. Even paralyzing. Mindfulness meditation can help you become more aware of your anxiety-provoking habitual thought patterns and help you change how you respond to them. You are more than your thoughts, which means you can take control of them.
Does anxiety treatment mean I have to take medication?
Anxiety treatment doesn’t mean you will need to take medication unless you are interested in seeing whether an anti-anxiety medication could be helpful. If that’s the case, I might recommend you set up a meeting with a psychiatrist to discuss the possibility. That said, there are many highly effective, non-medication approaches to treating anxiety – including mindfulness. Either way, the choice about whether or not to take medication is a personal one that I will respect and support you in throughout our work together.
What is mindfulness meditation? Isn’t it religious?
While the practice was originally developed as a Buddhist practice, the practice I teach is a purely secular one. Mindfulness meditation is essentially the practice of focusing your attention on the present moment. It involves exercising your ability to observe your thoughts as they come up without reacting to them in habitual ways. With practice, you learn how to respond instead of react to your thoughts. This doesn’t mean our work can’t include your own sense of spirituality, of course. But religion and spirituality are not necessarily the same thing. And the extent to which you discuss spirituality in our sessions is completely up to you.
Are you ready to get anxiety out of your way and get back on a path toward progress and thriving? Contact me today to set up your first appointment!