- Does worry seem to control too much of your life?
- When was the last time you felt completely stress and worry free for an extended period of time?
- Is it difficult to get a good night’s sleep because you have too many thoughts swirling around in your head?
- Are you concerned that your anxiety is negatively affecting your children and family?
- Do you find yourself becoming more and more unhappy, but you just cannot turn off your head?
- Do you find yourself avoiding people, places or things because they make you feel too anxious?
Did reading any of these questions make you a little anxious? I want you to know that you are not alone. In the United States, approximately 40 million adults, and 25.1% of children between 13 and 18 years old suffer from anxiety disorders. It’s much more common than you may realize. The good news is that anxiety disorders are highly treatable.
Unfortunately, many people find themselves coping with anxiety by pushing it away. They will find different methods to temporarily shut it down, only to have it reemerge again and again. People can do this for many years, until the methods they have been using no longer work and they find themselves anxious most of the time despite their best efforts. Anxiety reminds me a lot of whack-a-mole. A person can start out with one source of anxiousness, put a lot of energy into controlling it, only to find they are getting anxious about something else.
There are a number of things you can do to help relieve anxiety and practice good self-care. Things such as meditation, exercise, diet, different relaxation techniques and so forth. These are all very important to incorporate into your life and can be quite helpful. But I like to go a step further.
When someone with anxiety meets with me, it can be helpful to try and trace back to the origins of the anxious thoughts. They started somewhere. Look at it this way, when you were born, you did not have high anxiety. It developed and grew and morphed somewhere along the way. In very simplistic terms, anxiety is faulty thinking. Have you ever noticed that you can start out with one fear-based thought, and before you know it you have created a whole head full of thoughts, that are not based in fact, but that you now believe could be true? This is how you make new connections in your brain – new anxious connections.
It can be quite helpful to trace back to where the distorted thinking began so that it can be corrected once and for all, allowing you to get out of the anxiety loop. This makes it possible to fully treat the anxiety, instead of just treating the symptoms. Because this kind of faulty thinking is based in actual neural connections that have been made in the brain, just thinking a different way has limitations. A treatment method I have found that can be particularly helpful is EMDR. EMDR can actually correct these faulty connections in the brain which in turn corrects the distorted thinking patterns.
Want to know more? I offer a free 15-minute consultation where we can determine if working together would be a good fit for you. Or, if you know you want to jump right in, make an appointment today. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
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