Do you feel as though your life has been brought to a halt due to sudden, intense and overwhelming anxiety?
Maybe you find that your thoughts are too often focused on the events from the past. Perhaps you find yourself constantly worrying about the future and feeling like you are not really living your life. You are so focused on planning, predicting and preparing for what tomorrow might bring that you feel like your real life has been put on hold. This constant preoccupation leaves you feeling exhausted, frustrated and hopeless.
You may find yourself regretting past decisions that may not have gone to plan. Or you keep replaying the same scenarios over and over in your head – trying to come up with new words you could have said or actions you could have taken.
Anxiety affects both your personal life and professional life. Obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviour may hinder your ability to stay focused and keep up with personal and professional obligations.
You might be suffering from distressing symptoms such as panic attacks, excessive sweating, difficulty breathing or tightness in the chest. You may find that it has become hard to fall asleep or even stay asleep at night. It may feel as though when one worry is finally resolved, two more take its place. You fear that you are losing control over your life. You are becoming increasingly anxious about being anxious.
For people with anxiety, even ordinary tasks can seem like impossible challenges
Functioning at work, engaging with friends and taking care of your children become more and more difficult.
You have probably already taken steps to stop this cycle of negative, worrying thoughts. The truth is that it can be incredibly difficult to step off that hamster wheel alone. Hence, you may turn down promotions at work or reject being part of an important project. Let’s face it, your life is tough enough as it is.
At home, you may doubt your ability to be a good partner, wife or husband, mother or father. If your anxiety started early, you may even doubt your capacity to be in an effective relationship. You might question your worth as a human being and feel that you spend too much time seeking reassurance from others. Asserting yourself or making important decisions has become almost impossible. You may tend to second-guess yourself and obsess over your mistakes.
With anxiety – both your personal life and the world as a whole can appear threatening. You react to minor risks and dangers as if they were major and as though your life was dependant on a snap decision. It may seem as though everyone around is judging you and that no one understands what you are going through. Your relationships suffer as you isolate yourself more and more.
Given you’re reading this, I know you have started wondering:
Why are you struggling so much?
What is so difficult about relaxing and just enjoying the life?
No one else seems to be hauling this extremely heavy bag of anxiety and self-doubt behind them through every event or challenge. It’s just exhausting. Most other people seem to get things done easily in comparison to how these challenges pan out for you.
Anxiety is a very common experience
Anxiety is a natural and temporary reaction to a stressful situation. However, some people experience anxious thoughts, feelings, or physical symptoms that can become chronic, severe and upsetting.
You are not alone. Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental health disorder diagnosed in Australia, affecting around 14% of Australians every year. On average, one in four people – one in three women and one in ﬁve men – will experience anxiety at some stage in their life. Within a 12-month period, over two million Australians experience anxiety.
Phobias, panic attacks, obsessive compulsive disorder, PTSD, and depression are all potentially crippling conditions that are directly linked to anxiety. Moreover, women are twice as likely to suffer from an anxiety disorder compared to men. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of people who suffer from anxiety ever seek treatment for it. That is a great tragedy given our ability to treat anxiety so effectively now. No one knows for certain what causes anxiety disorders. However, genetics, childhood adversity and trauma tend to raise the risk considerably. One thing is for sure though, anxiety is not your fault and you deserve better than to feel this way.
If you’d like to know how I can help – please get in touch with me today.
Our anxiety-driven world
We live in a highly competitive, do-it-yourself world, where asking for help often equals being weak or worse than others. We feel ashamed that we cannot deal with our own worries and struggles. Being constantly bombarded by idealized social media posts makes us feel inadequate and as though we are the only ones feeling unhappy in this world.
News corporations and media do a fantastic job of creating an often overwhelming impression that the world is a very dangerous place to live in. For the most part, this kind of reporting does nothing but fuel an unhealthy level of fear, mistrust and uncertainty within a modern day society.
On top of that, all of the relationships that we observe in movies or TV shows impact the way we perceive genuine and healthy connections to be.
Take a show like ‘Friends’, for example. It’s unrealistic in a thousand different ways. Just think about how expensive an apartment like that would really be. When was the last time you had your best friends living across the hall for years? How often can anyone schedule a group of 6 people to catch up for coffee at the same time?
We are left feeling like we have failed at being happy, successful and competent, while our worries consume us throughout the days and cause us to wonder if we are even worthy of love. We become our own worst critic in life. With a continual message along the lines of ‘you should be living your best life! Be the best you!’ it’s enough to scare anyone. It’s simply overwhelming.
Here’s a bonus thought for you. How often do you witness a couple deeply in love on TV or in a movie, and then one of them dies? The Notebook, The Titanic, Romeo and Juliet are just a few examples. The next time a couple profess their undying love for one another in a movie, just wait to see how long it takes for one of them to die. Script writers are experts when it comes to manipulating our emotions. It’s not terribly reassuring for those of us with an anxious lean.
Fear is a natural emotion
It is absolutely normal to feel afraid sometimes. Fear is part of our survival mechanism. When we sense danger, our fight or flight response kicks in and helps us survive the situation. The problem with anxiety and panic disorders is that this response never quite goes away. It is as though your brain is on alert most or all of the time, convinced that something dangerous is about to happen.
It is quite common and sometimes beneficial to turn to medication in order to find immediate relief. But, over time, you will only build up a tolerance without ever developing the skills or gaining the understanding that you need to manage those difficult thoughts, emotions or physical symptoms without your medication.
Anxiety treatment can provide you with the tools, knowledge, and support to make your life and emotions more manageable. With the right resources, you can release the pressure building up inside of you, allowing you to feel more relaxed, peaceful and confident.
Anxiety treatment can help you find long-lasting relief
Anxiety treatment has been shown to be incredibly helpful in reducing both the symptoms and severity of anxiety. With anxiety treatment that combines education with specific interventions, you can step off the hamster wheel of negative thoughts and worries and ground yourself in the present moment to start the process of living more consciously. We will work at your pace, focusing on your particular needs. I will make sure that each and every part of you feels heard and respected, and provide a safe space where you can explore and understand what anxiety is and why you are struggling.
You will learn to identify and process anxious thoughts in a more productive manner. I will help you replace your compromised coping strategies with healthy, healing tools. By learning how to change the way you think about difficulties in your life, you will take greater control over your emotions and behaviours.
You will be able to express yourself freely and give yourself permission to be okay with who you are and the challenges you face. Working together, I will act as a guide who can help you identify your innate strengths and build upon them. With a little work and some newfound trust in yourself, we can transform your stress and fear into an opportunity for personal growth and self-improvement that will benefit you indefinitely. Together, we can help you to move forward from a place of surviving to a place of thriving.
Working with a skilled and compassionate therapist can help you regain a sense of normalcy and control in your life. With a little time and effort, you can feel calmer, more grounded, and more secure with who you are and the world that you live in.
Perhaps you still wonder whether anxiety treatment is right for you…
Anti-anxiety medication seems to be working just fine – why do I need therapy?
While anti-anxiety medication has been proven to be very effective – it is rather a short-term solution. When properly prescribed and taken correctly for short period of time, they can be very helpful in dealing with severe symptoms. However, anxiety medications can also become addictive in the long-term and as soon as you discontinue your dosage, all symptoms tend to come back, often with increased intensity. Anxiety therapy is the only way to dig down to the root cause of your worries to bring a long-lasting relief in your life. Anxiety is one of those things where the only way out is through.
What if anxiety treatment will only make me feel worse?
I understand that therapy can provoke even more fears – especially if you have never participated in therapy before. It is normal to become anxious whenever we are required to face a new situation. Fear is a primary emotion and its goal is to keep us safe. We don’t want to get rid of fear completely.
My primary concern is to create an environment of safety and mutual trust so that you can feel at ease as you explore your worries. I will do my best to help you feel empowered by giving you the hard won ability to proclaim authority over your thoughts, emotions and decisions.
I have tried therapy for anxiety before and it didn’t make me feel any better. How would working with you be different?
Anxiety is usually a symptom that has its causes deeply rooted in the past. At some point in your life, you have experienced something scary that brought about these feelings of horror and terror – sadly, its results keep affecting your present life. You might not even be aware of or don’t remember this specific incident or set of incidents. You might not even recognize that your everyday worries are actually related to something that happened a very long time ago.
As long as today’s challenges remind you about what happened in the past, you will keep revisiting these emotions. Today’s challenges can be triggering, causing you to flip out. Whilst we can focus on bringing peacefulness into your day-to-day life by learning relaxation or meditation techniques, research has proven that in order to feel truly relaxed and at ease, we will need to dig a little deeper to explore your history in a specific, targeted manner. This is the only way you can recover from anxiety in the longer term.
With anxiety treatment you can replace worry with calmness and fulfillment
You have already come this far, and you know that deep inside that you have the power to change. If you envision a future that is different from your past, something needs to change. That something is you and you deserve it. I am here to help you – please get in touch.