Anxiety Treatment and Therapy
Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress, but when it takes over the body and mind it creates a lot of suffering for the busy professionals we work with at our counseling center. Symptoms can include rapid heartbeat, aches and pains, and muscle tension among many others, and these can lead to depression if not treated.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, each year about 18% of the US population is suffering from some kind of anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders last six months or more and often get worse without some intervention. Like depression, anxiety is thought to be caused from a combination of genetic factors, medical conditions, substance use/abuse and the circumstances of modern life.
Here is the good news: anxiety is an attempt to stay safe. Our brain and body respond to a work deadline, public speaking, divorce and other life stressors as intensely as early people responded to an attacking lion. With help, we can learn to make friends with our anxiety and recognize there is not anything inherently wrong, just challenges and changes. Of course, this is easier said than done, which is why therapy is really helpful at times that anxiety is overwhelming your life.
We work with clients to get immediate relief from their anxiety symptoms, and get to the root causes of their anxiety so they have tools to head it off when it re-emerges in the future.
Is there anything I can do right now for anxiety?
See the Depression page for the Move Your Body and Mindfulness exercises as a starting point.
In addition, you can try these;
- Face your Fears worksheet
- Challenge Your Anxiety Related Thoughts Worksheet
- Guided Meditations – This link takes you to a selection of guided meditations by Tara Brach that are free and wonderfully supportive. When you are leash training your brain (my moniker for mindulness practice) guided meditations can help out with anxiety. But if Tara’s meditations don’t appeal to you find your own guided meditation, smart phone app or attend a Spirit Rock event with mindfulness practioners all over the Bay Area .
If these tools do not work for you, it means it is time to invest in some therapy. For many, anxiety has its roots in relationships from our past. What that means is we often need a supportive relationship to help "rewire" the brain. Call 415-520-5567 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment..