Anxiety itself is a healthy and helpful emotion. Anxiety’s job is to tell us that something unsafe might be happening. It motivates us to move so we that we can create safety. Anxiety becomes a problem when it is too high, too often, or too easily triggered. When this happens it can become a problem.
Anxiety disorders are very common. 31.1% of U.S. adults experience any anxiety disorder at some time in their lives (National Institute of Mental Health).Many anxiety disorders begin in childhood and continue into adulthood because they are left untreated. “Anxiety Disorder” is the umbrella term that includes many specific types of anxiety struggles.
There are different ways that people may experience problematic anxiety including:
For some, anxiety feels like rushes of fear felt in the body. Your body sends out emergency alert signals that might include: increased heart rate, difficulty breathing, sweating, and several other symptoms. The trouble is that there is not an actual emergency. All of the energy your body created is then trapped in the body and feels overwhelming.
For others, anxiety comes in the form of worry thoughts that feel impossible to turn off. The worry is usually about everyday things and is bigger than what seems reasonable. People who struggle with worry like this tend to be very irritable. They also notice muscle tension, sleep problems, concentration issues, feeling tired, and feeling on edge.
Others experience anxiety specifically in social situations and find themselves bombarded with negative thoughts about themselves and wanting to escape or avoid these situations. When people have social anxiety they worry about what people think a lot about their performance and it makes them feel overwhelmed with stress.
There are several specific ways people can experience anxiety; no matter the type- anxiety is treatable. Do not believe the lie that you are “an anxious person” destined to live this way forever; help is available!
Research shows that one of the most effective types of therapy for treating anxiety disorders is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This therapy teaches you to identify unhelpful thought patterns, challenge them, and change them into thoughts and beliefs that are healthy and helpful. With CBT you also learn many coping skills that decrease physical symptoms of anxiety and change behaviors that might make anxiety worse.
Get Help Today!
At PHS we are trained and experienced in offering CBT and would love to talk with you about how this type of treatment may help you reach your health goals. Contact us today for more information.