Anxiety

Your physical and mental well-being relies upon a holistic balance, one that’s often disrupted by anxiety. Surfacing in varied ways for each individual, this chameleon is more than only normal life worries. Have a read of the info below and see if any of it resonates with how you’re feeling.

  • Shanti: inner peace

  • Bhāvanā: mental insight

  • Karuṇā: guided healing

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a complex, and individually experienced phenomenon affecting almost 20% of the American population, and existing as the most prevalent mental health issue globally. It becomes nearly impossible to gauge what a healthy reaction is when anxiety takes hold, and we recognize the courage it took to even seek out more information. Due to its widespread nature and difficulty in diagnosis, only 1/3rd of those who would benefit from anxiety treatment, actually seek it. So, to be frank, you’re on the right path by not only acknowledging the possibility of anxiety having a hold on your life, but also searching for more information on counseling.

Generally speaking, anxiety can exist as a reaction to a normal life stressor, morphing into an unexplainable and debilitating mental and physical experience. Although at its core anxiety is an inherent defense mechanism, it can develop into a life-altering mental health issue where you lose yourself and, consequently your control over it. It can also feel different, even within the same person. For example, one day it may feel like a fear that everyone secretly dislikes you, and the next day it could be a quickened heartbeat, sweating, and being unsettled in your skin. It can feel like a dark cloud turning what used to be ‘normal for you’ reactions into unexpected ones. Anxiety doesn’t always pertain to worry about yourself. Oftentimes, as with OCD for example, anxiety exists as a constant fear of harm being done to a loved one. Anxiety can also build on itself, turning from simple concerns to a wider, omnipresent sense of fear and panic.

It’s important to know that what you’re experiencing can be quieted, and we’re here to provide you with the proper tools that fit into your life. Our open-minded, holistic approach to anxiety therapy keeps your experiences at the forefront of our practice, ensuring what you’re feeling drives your own journey. Your anxiety is individual to you but check out the information below to see if anything sounds familiar or feels like it fits into your current life. One word could spark a desire to start your path towards healing.

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“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” (Lao Tzu)

Anxiety and COVID-19

In today’s context, where unknowns are prevalent and stress seems to be around every corner, anxiety and its manifestations can be easily exacerbated. COVID-19 has created unique circumstances for every individual. People are spending more time alone, inside, restricted, and removed from everyday joys that ease mental health issues naturally (exercise, socializing, healthy lifestyle choices).

Remember, these are merely possibilities.

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Phobias
  • Panic Disorder
  • PTSD

This list is not the end all be all and anxiety can take many forms.

  • Cognitive symptoms: Disproportionate worry, fear, panic, sense of doom, disorganized thoughts, random/abnormal to ‘you’ thoughts, attention issues
  • Physical symptoms: increased heart rate, sweating, fatigue, chest pain/anxiety attack, substance abuse, eating/sleeping changes, trouble swallowing, muscle pain, stomach/digestive issues (i.e. IBS)
  • Behavioral symptoms: disorganization, negative behavioral changes (aggression, irritability), not being able to settle/relax
Healing is a complicated journey, not an impossible one. Opening your heart and mind to your own well-being will enlighten your path and reveal your destination.
Anxiety, although varied in how it presents itself, is consistent in its ability to affect your healthy functioning. If your life feels more like a dance with anxiety, uncertain of what may trigger it, and constant fear for the day’s interactions, it may be time to seek out some assistance.

Our counseling therapy integrates traditional psychiatric treatment with the holistic benefits of eastern philosophy. We create a welcoming and safe space in which to become grounded, and eventually grow into a healthier version of yourself. We empathize with your individual experiences, always maintaining an open-mind and centered heart within our treatment. The following are what we use to lead you forward.

Our Therapeutic Approaches

Holistic & Transpersonal

The notion of the self is formed through interactions within the body, mind, and spirit. We believe the interconnectedness of these facets of the self, aid in the uniqueness of one’s identity, and therefore, behaviors and actions. Anxiety is an embodied brain reaction, constantly involving both the mind and body and therefore, our therapy is as well.

‘You’-centric & Relational

We believe that acting as the guides to your own journey is the most effective treatment approach, regardless of the path it leads down. Your life experiences have molded you into the present version of yourself, and our treatment acknowledges that. Integrating Cognitive-Behavioral Techniques allows us to call out unhealthy mental, physical, and behavioral patterns and address them. However, there is no panacea for anxiety and acknowledging your own sense of self, and how you present that to the world, is vital for successful treatment.

Mindfulness

Anxiety, oftentimes, has physical manifestations, making the connection between brain and body even more important. Becoming presently aware of this interaction between mental health and physical health can assist in addressing and calming those overwhelming feelings that coincide with anxiety. Our Gestalt therapeutic approach keeps you grounded in the present, assisting you in separating symptoms from yourself. We often utilize breathing techniques, guided visualization, and Reiki therapy to ground your experiences and assist you through them. Your attention is drawn to the present moment, the current interactions and causes of these anxious reactions, and possibly even any unconscious interactions that were previously dismissed. Dream analysis and role-play have proven as effective treatment methods for such experiences.

Your Counseling Experience

Each therapeutic experience is different, and each session can unlock helpful and new paths to explore during the healing process. The below are just to give you a general idea, hopefully instilling a bit of confidence and easing of any worry associated with seeking therapy.

  • 45-minute sessions generally, once a week
  • Short-term work can last between 3-6 months or whenever you feel you’ve reached the version of yourself you were seeking
  • Long-term work also lasts as long as you need

How We Choose Your Therapist

  • What you need to reach mental well-being
  • Your personality and energy
  • Your communication style
  • Our therapist’s specialties, training, interests, and own lived experiences
  • Our therapist’s approach and communication style

In the Meantime

Extensive research has found that these simplistic and mindful lifestyle changes have a drastic effect on daily life. Give them a shot if you need some immediate peace.

  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Reiki
  • Experiencing nature
  • Conscious, deep breathing
  • Maintain an active lifestyle
  • Healthy diet

FAQs About Anxiety

There are several therapy options for anxiety, many include natural and eastern-based, holistic methods. These include, but aren’t limited to, guided visualization, dream analysis, breathing-work, role-playing, and Reiki.
Anxiety changes from moment to moment, person to person, and interaction to interaction making it very evasive and often unnoticed for extended periods. It becomes difficult to determine what a healthy reaction is alone, because of its everchanging nature.

Being concerned about your anxiety depends on what normal, healthy functioning has previously meant to you throughout your life. If you can see your daily experiences are becoming more strained, stressful, fearful, exhausting, or involve any other negative emotional/physical response, it seems likely anxiety is straying you away from the healthiest version of yourself.

Stress is a massive trigger for anxiety of all shapes and sizes. The body and mind react to stress as an urgent priority, reducing the ability to compartmentalize anxious feelings or acknowledge them as unnecessary. Stress oftentimes means a lack of control in life, adding to the already worrisome and fearful nature of anxiety.
For some people, interpersonal/social anxiety is the norm. It becomes almost phobia-like where speaking to a new person, entering a group, or even leaving the house seems impossible (Agoraphobia). Social anxiety is just one manifestation of anxiety, just as OCD manifests itself with compulsive actions (i.e. counting, hand washing, etc.).
A panic attack is an extreme physical anxiety reaction that has bodily symptoms similar to a heart attack. People oftentimes call an ambulance with chest pain, fainting, difficulty breathing, etc. Physical reactions to anxiety can be very serious and should be addressed as quickly as possible.