YOU JUST CAN’T SHUT YOUR MIND OFF
You’re striving to focus on one thing, and you become riddled with anxiety that you can’t remember what you were trying to do. Trying to control your thoughts, those panic attacks seem to go from 0 to 60 in a second, and you’re not sure how to make them stop. You desire to be engaged with your life – your relationships, work, etc., but your distress takes you out of the present or comfort zone. “What if I make the wrong move?” “What if I do something that has me appearing to be dumb?” “What if I can’t do it successfully?” Your fears are hindering or tormenting you. This issue has spun out of control severely that you’ve become terrified of anxiety itself – “will this ever go away for me?”
Life is full of many aspects – there things to remember, your task lists are endless, and it feels like there are so many moving parts to your life. You believe that if you get it all done, figure it all out; then you’ll feel fine. But you can’t turn off those nagging voices that disturb your train of thoughts – that derail you and remove you from the present. You’re always thinking about what’s next.
Fear can be debilitating—fear of making mistakes, fear of failure, and disappointing others. You find yourself facing social anxiety – or anxiety that robs your joys from being with your friends, participating in work functions, or feeling uncomfortable in public settings because you’re of thoughts or feelings with your mind.
Anxiety can become a vicious cycle. The mind spins out of control, and then you worry about your worries. You can’t seem to think clearly or focus, and this creates even more anxiety. You may find yourself looking at the ceiling with your head on your pillow – your mind racing – knowing you’ll be tired again the next day. You might have even noticed that you have tension headaches or aches in your shoulders and back, or stomachaches. Our bodies are commonly the vessels of our emotions, the victims of the stress we hold.
Eventually, anxiety can impact our relationships, home life, or work. It can force us to concentrate on the future, robbing us of the ability to live in the present. A healthy amount of anxiety is tolerable, but when it becomes severe, it’s hard to enjoy life anymore because we are trapped inside our worry.
ANXIETY IS PART OF BEING HUMAN
A small dose of worry is motivating for us. When you're worried about an upcoming game or presentation, your fear may result in extra practice so that you're more fully prepared. When you're concerned about skidding your car as the rain comes down the highway, you're likely to be more careful about your driving. Worry often reminds us of what is essential and assist us with prioritizing.
However, when worry takes a left turn onto an unmarked road, it can put us on a scary path of debilitating concern. How did I get right here? How do I get out of this? I didn't even sign up for this!
It certainly doesn't help that we are part of a culture that esteems busyness. "How are you?" "Oh, I'm busy," we reply. Anxiety from excessive busyness has become marginalized into our social norms…an acceptable fact of life. And for what?
However, we attempt to handle it; take care of it; we learn to cope with it. We expand ourselves thin, getting less and less sleep, managing less to how we nourish our bodies, slowly letting our workouts go. Over time we realize – hold on for a minute – how did this get so out of control? Our worry, having infiltrated our minds, causes us to doubt ourselves. Why can't I handle this? Am I weak?
And as worry does, it deceives us. You are not weak or incompetent. Your concern has taken the wheel without your realizing it…until now.
The odds against many of us and anxiety can intensify for any one of us. At moments, our life circumstances become heavy, and we tend to buckle under all that weight. Some indiciduals are genetically loaded for anxiety. When we think about it, we can identify parents, grandparents, or other relatives who had "the nerves" or who were "worry warts" or who we know through family stories that they were worried all the time.
Anxiety, stress, and worry are quite responsive to treatment. Whether your concern is chronic, is a newer phenomenon for you, or is isolated to certain situations like social settings or work performance, there are tools to help you manage your anxiety and take your life back from under its reigns.
YOU MAY HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT ANXIETY HELP…
My anxiety actually motivates me and makes me productive – why would I want to give that up?
You are right – anxiety can be a motivator. It can keep you up at night working to meet your deadline and it can help you ensure you’ll be prepped for your next meeting. Anxiety is a normal part of daily living….the problem comes when there is excessive anxiety and the brain begins to perceive things are more stressful than they need to be. It then produces the “fight or flight” chemicals too often and at higher quantities than we need for daily living. Basically, with excessive anxiety, the brain starts to perceive minor stressors as extreme and then it overreacts to the situation, causing increased anxiety, physical symptoms, exhaustion, and emotional pain. Counseling for anxiety can help you to re-train your brain to accurately perceive situations so that it no longer over-reacts on a consistent basis. This way you can learn to react in a more appropriate way to stressors of daily life. Anxiety can still motivate you to get things done, but doesn’t have to rule your life.
Why would I want to talk about my anxiety – won’t that just make me more anxious?
This is a common objection to therapy for anxiety…and you may be right. Talking about your anxiety may increase your anxiety earlier on in treatment. Counseling for anxiety can be a vulnerable process as you start allowing yourself to connect with deeper feelings that you have otherwise been able to avoid. However, anxiety is quite treatable; in fact it’s one of the most easily treated mental health conditions. Once you begin the process, you will build a trusting relationship with your counselor and learn some practical skills for managing your anxiety. Often, the fear dissipates as you learn to tolerate your uncomfortable emotions in a safe context and as you become equipped with tools to help you manage your anxiety.
You can heal from your childhood wounds AND RECLAIM YOUR LIFE
At Concrete Roses Life Center, we treat traumatic stress from a holistic viewpoint. Your therapist will administer a thorough assessment of your history, symptoms, and how your trauma affects you now. The therapist will collaborate with you to formulate a customized treatment plan to fit your needs and address how trauma influences your emotions, mind, and body.