The Nature of Anxiety
The Nature of Anxiety
Extreme and constant emotional states (i.e. mania, anger, fear, sorrow, grief, and worry) lead to serious mental health disorders (i.e. anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc).
Anxiety, for example, is a normal reaction to stress and certain life situations. Getting rid of it or ignoring it is akin to shooting the messenger because you do not like the message. That approach fails to generate change.
It helps one to cope and alerts us of an unresolved opportunity to grow. However, it can become excessive, like any good/bad thing. The constant dread of possible future moments can literally paralyze a person in and terror. This is when anxiety devolves into a crippling disorder.
Harmonizing with Anxiety
Re-framing anxiety as an invitation to engage in our own healing process is an important overall motto we keep in mind. What sorts of practices and life patterns can we help teach clients? What useful and very specific practices and habits can we learn that will help interpret what anxiety means in our specific and personal realities?
Again, we want to offer tools and encourage change, not just talk about feelings. Action steps are vital. This is why we are constantly coming up with great ways to harmonize with it and see what it has to teach us all!
Becoming Masters of Signs and Symptoms
Anxiety manifests itself in several forms in Western medicine: Generalized Anxiety Disorders, Panic Disorders, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders, PTSD, Social Anxiety Disorders, and phobias.
The general idea is that this feeling can be a useful warning system that we can use to get ahead of an episode before it fully manifests. It is our philosophy that clients need to become masters of mental health signs and symptoms so that they can train themselves to be better now. Knowing the terrain (how anxious feelings are triggered and how they present in my specific life) is vital.
Make a Plan
Building a plan with specific tools and techniques is next. Putting that plan into live-action when the bullets fly is after that. We will find out what works and what doesn’t. Each of our clients is unique.
Maybe think about how you personally deal with the emotional stress that manifests as anxiousness. Maybe explore the approaches other cultures use to treat it. Perhaps explore common triggers and complex triggers that affect us and propel us into a frenzied state. Again, anxiety is not an affliction to remove. Rather, it is an invitation to transform.
Transforming Your Anxiety
Learning to cope with these feelings of being overwhelmed is necessity for all of us. With this in mind, we’d like to share a recent and wonderfully informative article from Prevention and go over some of the highlights here.
It Can Be Useful
Feelings of anxiety are part of a body’s natural response to stimuli and without them, our species never would have survived. These feelings can often be a great motivator when properly recognized.
It May Be a Diagnosable Condition
The difficulties arise when these feelings start to dominate our lives. Furthermore, it may be a mental health condition that we’re dealing with rather than the subjects of our worries. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) affects 6.8 million American adults.
It’s Not All in Your Head
Anxiety is powerful enough to cause actual physical sensations. These include insomnia, sweating, dizziness, shaking, headaches, and neck, shoulder, and back pain.
Women Suffer from It More Often Than Men
The article cites research showing that 23% of American women had some type of anxiety disorder in the past year compared to 14% of American men.
Stress Reduction Techniques Work
Breaking a sweat can release endorphins that relieve the symptoms while mindfulness practices like meditation keep us present in the now.
It is Treatable
Studies show cognitive behavioral therapy to be an effective technique to combat anxiety.
Know Your Triggers
Overcoming anxiety starts with learning what triggers it. Journaling and talking with a therapist can help bring these triggers into the open.
Turn Off Your Phone
A San Francisco State University study shows a correlation between screen time and elevated anxiety levels.
You Don’t Have to Do It Alone
If anxiety is affecting your life, there are professionals ready to help you overcome it. Along with the aforementioned cognitive behavioral therapy, medication combined with therapy can also be an effective course of action.
Anxiety Therapy in Orange County, CA
Barn Life Recovery helps people conquer their anxiety as well as any other inner struggles they may be facing through our mental health services. Learn more about our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and our Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP).