Are You Preoccupied By Worries and Fears? Does Anxiety Prevent You From Finding Satisfaction In Your Work or Your Relationships?
- Do you avoid things that make you feel anxious, such as social situations or challenges at work?
- Do you have trouble relaxing?
- Is it difficult for you to hold on to feelings of happiness?
- Do you have racing thoughts or find it hard to think clearly?
- Do you have physical symptoms, such as shortness of breath, heart palpitations or frequent sweating?
- Do you wish you could feel calm, confident, and able to live your life without fear?
Anxiety can take many forms. You might be unable to relax because you believe that something bad will happen to you if you aren’t constantly crossing things off your ever-expanding to-do list. Or you might procrastinate on important projects because you’re afraid that anything you do will lead to a negative outcome. You might have racing thoughts or difficulty sleeping. Whatever form your anxiety takes, it can cause you to be preoccupied with preventing worst-case scenarios, robbing you of the ability to enjoy your life in the present and feel hopeful about your future.
One of the most difficult aspects of struggling with anxiety is that the things you do to feel calmer often make your anxiety worse. For example, if you feel that you always need to be crossing things off your list, you probably think that your anxiety is caused by your failure to get enough things done. So, when you feel anxious, you step up your efforts and work even harder. You get more things done, but you feel exhausted, overwhelmed, and even more anxious. You can also feel confused and hopeless. Why are all of your efforts to deal with your anxiety just making it worse? Will anything actually help?
Similarly, you might avoid difficult situations in order to protect yourself from feeling anxious. But, the more you avoid facing anxiety-producing situations, the more frightening they become. Soon you feel paralyzed. You’re afraid to deal with the situation that’s making you anxious and you’re anxious because you’re not dealing with it. You may feel increasingly overwhelmed and hopeless about finding a way out of your suffering. It’s possible that you have considered seeking anxiety treatment, but you are worried about digging up painful emotions.
With Anxiety Therapy, You Can Find Relief From Your Worries and Fears
As an anxiety counselor for 25 years, I have helped people understand and overcome the anxieties that undermine their hope and self-confidence. If you’ve been suffering from anxiety for any length of time, there’s a good chance that you’ve told yourself that there’s something wrong with you. You may have told yourself that you’re weak and that you should just “buck up” and deal with whatever is bothering you. You may have talked about your anxiety with friends or family members who told you to “just get over it” and then felt like a failure when you couldn’t do it. Or you may have talked to people who reacted to your anxiety with worries and fears of their own, which only made you feel that your anxiety was contagious and dangerous to others as well as yourself.
Your anxiety doesn’t mean that something is wrong with you. It does mean that you’ve probably had experiences that lead you to feel anxious in specific situations. You may have had an anxious parent whose worries became your own. You may have suffered some form of trauma. Or perhaps, you are struggling with a life transition. Whatever its source, you come by your anxiety honestly.
Anxiety counseling will help you understand the sources of your anxiety so you can stop blaming yourself for your worries and fears and learn how to deal effectively with situations that frighten you. As you become more accepting of yourself and more confident about your ability to deal with difficult situations, you’ll find relief from your anxiety and a new sense of calm and equanimity.
You may believe that anxiety treatment can help you feel better but still have questions or concerns…
How Long Will Anxiety Therapy Take? Isn’t There a Faster Way?
Because anxiety can feel so intolerable, it’s natural to want relief as quickly as possible. While medications are sometimes useful in treating anxiety, medication alone is usually not enough to address the underlying causes of anxiety. In addition, many anti-anxiety medications are addictive and can’t be prescribed long-term. I work with psychiatrists here in Berkeley who are available for medication consultations and who will prescribe medication if they think it can be helpful for you. However, psychotherapy with an experienced anxiety therapist offers you the best possibility for long-term, sustainable results.
Won’t Talking About My Anxiety Make it Worse?
Many people worry that talking about their fears and anxieties will just make them worse. In fact, the opposite is true. Talking about your anxiety can help you understand it and develop strategies for dealing with it. Just as important, talking with a therapist who is understanding, non-judgmental, and dedicated to helping you feel better can, in and of itself, provide relief from your anxiety. Your suffering can often be relieved when you know that you don’t have to suffer alone.
Counseling For Anxiety Won’t Help Me. Something Else Is Wrong.
Many people who suffer from anxiety believe that solving other problems will resolve their anxiety issues. You might think that if you could just stop procrastinating or just go out and meet people, you wouldn’t feel so bad. Unfortunately, this approach reverses cause and effect. Anxiety is usually the cause of procrastination, avoiding social situations, and other behaviors you want to change, not the result. You’ll feel better in the long run if you address your anxiety directly during anxiety treatment.
You Can Let Go of Worry and Fear
If you’ve been struggling with anxiety for any length of time, you’re probably feeling worn out from the unrelenting internal pressure to work harder and do more to prevent bad things from happening. With acceptance and compassion, I can help you find peace and calm in your life. I invite you to call me at 510.304.7282 or contact me to ask any questions you may have about anxiety treatment and my practice, which serves the communities of Berkeley, Oakland, the East Bay and the greater San Francisco Bay Area.