Do You Regularly Experience Anxious, Consuming Thoughts?
- Are you overwhelmed with excessive worry that you can’t control, or do you struggle with regular surges of panic?
- Do you often feel on edge, worrying that you’ll fail at work, school or in a significant relationship?
- Are physical symptoms, such as heart palpitations, trembling or shaking; difficulties breathing; or even hyperventilation, making it difficult to get through the day?
- Do you feel like an imposter and worry that others will criticize and reject you once they realize you’re a “fake”?
- Overall, do you wish that you could relax, stop ruminating on stressful worries and feel accepted by both yourself and others?
Living with anxiety can be an exhausting, draining experience. Constantly worrying about interactions with your boss or coworkers can leave you feeling burned out, and you might worry about making a mistake or being fired without warning. Social situations might make you feel inadequate, leading you to withdraw from others, even close friends and family, or stay home to avoid socializing. Maybe you frequently worry about the worst-case scenario. Ruminating on past embarrassments or thinking ahead to the future might take up a majority of your energy, or you might constantly return to memories of a past traumatic event. The seemingly never-ending task of managing racing, intrusive and distressing thoughts may lead you to feel as if you’re losing control of your life.
Anxiety Is A Common Struggle In Contemporary Life
Though you might feel like the only person struggling with anxiety symptoms, in truth, many adults share your experience. Anxiety disorders are some of the most common mental health problems in the US, and it’s estimated that roughly 40 million adults struggle with some form of anxiety.
Anxiety can come from a variety of sources. Career pressure is a major stressor, especially if you’re swamped with work, your relationship with your boss is strained or you’re worried about performance reviews. Likewise, graduate students usually feel significant self-doubt and apprehension while working on research-intensive projects. If you’ve suffered past trauma or have experienced a recent loss, it’s common to struggle with fearful, uneasy thoughts, especially if you’re worried that you’ll experience that same pain again or lose control during a difficult situation. Overall, anxiety is often a response to perceived worst-case scenarios, either in the past or the present. And, even if the worst-case scenario is not actually occurring, your brain and body experience it as though it is in the present, leading to tension and stress.
Everyone experiences anxiety to a certain extent, and low levels of it can help you meet important deadlines or take care of yourself. However, if your worries have become so strong that they’ve consumed your daily life, treatment for anxiety can help you regain control of your thoughts and find relief.
Anxiety Treatment Can Help Soothe Your Emotions
Panic and fear do not have to control your life, no matter how strong they might seem. With the support of a professional therapist, you can learn how to deal with anxiety by identifying cognitive, emotional, behavioral and interpersonal patterns that lead to mental and physical stress, and by gradually changing your response to distressing situations.
In our sessions, I’ll help you examine the beliefs and assumptions contributing to your sense of worry and inadequacy and help you begin to replace them with more realistic thought patterns. We’ll explore your internal processing habits, especially the ways you process specific emotions leading to anxiety, in order to develop more effective emotion regulation skills. For example, if you usually respond to stress with consuming, self-critical thoughts, we’ll work on ways to identify that habit and replace it with supportive, affirming self-talk. To give you tools to deal with stress and fear in healthy ways, we’ll also explore relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises and guided imagery techniques. As you develop into an expert in recognizing and regulating your thoughts and emotions, I’ll help you process and soothe painful feelings and avoid reacting to them in a panicked or destructive way.
While relaxation exercises are important, my practice moves past surface level experiences and considers deeper structures beneath the way you think and feel. My highly individualized anxiety treatment considers my clients’ personal histories. By looking at you as a whole person, I can help you to understand where your anxiety comes from and how your unique thoughts, emotions and experiences are all interconnected. The type of therapy that I offer also aims to build a strong set of personal habits and skills which will benefit you and your significant relationships, while also preventing the occurrence of anxiety in the future and improving the overall quality of your life far beyond simply reducing an anxiety symptom. I strive to ensure that as a client, you feel calmed and supported as you should never have to learn how to deal with anxiety alone.
One of my recent patients suffering from excessive worry attested to feeling “protected” and capable of taking a better care of herself immediately right after sessions. Another patient experiencing frequent uncontrollable panic reported feeling supported and hopeful after understanding the root of circumstances leading to panic and setting up a self-help plan. My colleagues, practicing clinicians and psychologists in the Bay Area, affirmed that my “kind, quiet, and empathic presence easily engenders comfort and trust even among the most timid or frightened.” Receiving the support of a professional highly experienced in treatment for anxiety can help you find relief from symptoms and move beyond catastrophic worries into a more calm and evenly paced state of mind.
You might still have objections to anxiety treatment…
I’m the only one experiencing these unusual anxiety symptoms, and no one else can understand me.
Uncomfortable symptoms—such as feelings of doom, muscle tension and panic attacks—and temporary coping mechanisms—such as overeating or substance abuse—might seem like personal failings that no one will ever understand. This can be especially true if you’ve been isolating yourself and avoiding relationships. However, you are not alone in your experience, and you don’t have to suffer in silence. I have been practicing anxiety treatment since 2005, and I’ve helped hundreds of clients feel deeply understood, confront their worries and achieve a new sense of calm. In particular, I have specialized anxiety training through postgraduate training at the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute dealing with severe anxiety cases. I’ve worked with mothers whose children have been diagnosed with cancer and with psychotic patients, and also worked on suicide crisis lines.
Anxiety is impossible to control; it’s just something that happens to me.
Often, the consuming worries of anxiety seem like they come out of nowhere and, if they’ve been part of your life for a long time, anxious thoughts might just seem like part of your personality. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Anxiety treatment can help you control anxious thoughts and soothe heightened emotions. By becoming an expert of your own anxiety, and by mastering skills such as emotional mindfulness, distress tolerance and self-respect effectiveness, you can also learn to prevent it from taking over your life in the present and future.
Anxiety is caused by external problems, such as divorce or a conflict at work, and I can’t fix my anxiety until I fix these problems.
If a crisis is contributing to anxiety, you might feel the need to completely fix this problem by yourself before you can feel better. However, while having a problem-solving attitude can be beneficial, you don’t need to struggle on your own, and dealing with anxiety is easier with external support. Therapy can help you find practical ways of managing your stress, snap you out of isolation and provide the support and resources necessary to not only overcome external problems, but to also manage the internal processes, contributing to anxious thoughts, leading to lasting relief.
Stop feeling tense and living on edge. To learn how anxiety treatment can help you develop more peaceful thought patterns, call me today at (650) 266-8212 for a professional 10-minute free consultation!
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