By: Lindsey Danisch, MSW, RSW
There’s lots of talk these days about anxiety. It seems to be more prevalent in today’s society. There are different types and severities of anxiety. It’s important to be reminded that anxiety is a normal human emotion and often a very helpful feeling. It can keep one safe, excited, motivated, on-time, and working hard. For some, it can develop into an emotion that interferes with daily living or quality of life.
I see many clients, both children and adults, who are experiencing symptoms of anxiety. Some people experience physical symptoms like a racing heart, sweaty palms, stomach ache, sore neck, and heavy or shallow breathing. Others experience it through cognitive distortions like ‘all or nothing’ thinking, (ex: my date canceled on me- I will never have a good date!), or ‘mind reading’ (ex: thinking you know what someone across the room is thinking about your outfit). Many people experience both.
One of the first steps in decreasing one’s anxiety is knowing when anxious feelings are present and when to intervene using a coping strategy. Coping strategies are actions like deep breathing, meditating, reading, walking, taking a hot bath, exercising and journaling (to name a few). These actions can bring anxiety levels down and help a person manage their symptoms. Some of my work with clients includes self-monitoring anxiety, learning to develop appropriate and effective coping strategies, and knowing the cues of when to use them!
Learning and applying Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to challenge unhelpful thinking traps can be life changing. CBT supports people in connecting their thoughts, feeling and actions. It becomes a wonderful tool one can carry with them throughout the ups and downs of life.
Looking to start 2019 armed with knowledge and strategies for decreasing your anxiety? I offer a free 15 minute consultation. Please see my website for additional information.