Help for Anxiety,
Worry & Runaway Fear
“Stop worrying! Stop being anxious! You’re just making yourself miserable!”
If you’re someone who struggles with anxiety, this is usually not very helpful advice.
Full disclosure: I’m a worrier. Sometimes I get pretty anxious. When I feel that way, people who tell me that it is “wrong” for me to feel the way I do strike me as rather….smug. It’s not that I totally disagree with them. It’s that I want to say, “Do you think I WANT to feel this anxious? Do you think I WANT to worry this much? All you’re doing is making me feel like an idiot! And besides, what makes YOU so doggone sure that I shouldn’t worry?”
When anxiety gets big enough, it can definitely reduce your quality of life. Sometimes it triggers panic attacks, which can be so frightening all by themselves that people may start restricting their lives just so they won’t have another.
Unfortunately, anxiety is controlled by some of the very oldest parts of our brain: the parts whose job is to let us know whether we are safe or not. It’s tied, then, to our very instinct and will to survive. Something that important isn’t simply going to lay down and go away, is it?
I’m not going to try to take away your anxiety. It won’t work. Let me tell you what will: We’re going to work together in therapy to figure out what’s needed for your mind, and your nervous system, to start feeling basically safe most of the time, so that those survival instincts aren’t triggered as much and anxiety isn’t controlling you.
Part of that may involve helping you tolerate your anxiety, so that you’re not afraid of being afraid. Part of it may involve techniques to contain runaway fears. Part of it may involve figuring out and looking together at what scares you, maybe tackling it so it’s not so scary anymore.
If we work together, we can get all the problems and fears, real and not-quite-so-real, down to size, so that you feel like you can handle them.
Then you can go from being pushed around by your anxieties to simply being ….. a happy worrier.