The Nature of Anxiety

what anxiety feels like - a blurred image of a person walking across a crosswalk

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).


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Hear From Those We've Impacted

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Barn Life is uniquely special. As someone who has had long stretches of sobriety with "traditional" communities and methods, Barn Life stepped in when I started struggling during the pandemic and said "traditional" methods failed to help.The staff here are exceptional. This is a truly subjective statement, but it is my honest opinion that the people from the owner (Hi Matt!) to EVERYONE else works there because they believe in the work and want to share the tools they found.Barn Life and their little sibling, Peer Mental Wellness were the launchpad from a shell of an existence to person with self-love/respect, and a life-mission of personal development.

Steven D.
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Best for someone looking for spiritual healing in addition to their mental health healing.

Luka P.
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Barn life is probably one of the most amazing facilities you could ever attend when it comes to mental illness. This was the first place that popped up when I was searching for help and I’m so thankful that it did. The environment is very therapeutic, the staff is awesome, and the group discussions and activities were so helpful in me understanding what I was experiencing. Do not hesitate to be a part of this place. It’s literally a game changer. I was only there for 6 weeks but I wished I stayed at least 6 months. Ever since returning home, I’ve been much happier and my perspective has changed dramatically. I’ve done things and participated in events at my college that I never thought I would be able to do. This place is truly amazing and I’m forever grateful that I found this place.

Ariana E.
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Through trial and error of trying to stay sober this program is definitely the most caring and supporting of them all if anyone needs help and is willing to help themselves I suggest barnlife they will for a fact give you the push you need and the tools to keep you going

Mason T.
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My daughter has been at Barn Life Recovery now for two months. It was my last resort to send her 9 hours away from me. She has been in drug and mental health rehabs in and out for two years. This was my last stitch effort to save my daughter and get her back to herself. Alyssa and I spoke multiple times before deciding. Their willingness to do everything for her and the different teams they have work with them is amazing. My daughter is happy again and clean and sober. She loves it there in their outpatient program. They restore your faith in humanity. They help restore someone who is broken in so many places to themselves. They have put the light back in my daughters eyes. They are committed to helping each person who truly wants the help. They assist in helping them get jobs and be responsible members of society. I recommend their program to anyone wanting to recover from drug, alcohol and mental health.Thank you to all the people at Barn Life who have made my daughter smile and bring the light back to her eyes. I am truly grateful.DawnaLee

DawnaLee W.
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I am alumni from Zen Recovery Path / a great place , and live a happy healthy life ever since / great peaceful place to recover // Namaste

Michael M.



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