What Anxiety Feels Like
Do Your Worries and Anxieties Dominate Your Life?
Do you lie awake at night, worrying about things you cannot control? Have you felt on edge, irritable and panicky at times? Do you feel unable to control your mind and worry that your obsessions will never let you go? Are you noticing that your thoughts and emotions are taking a toll on your body and leading to chronic pain, muscle tension, tense chest, racing heart and the inability to get a deep breath? Do you wish you could just regain a sense of peace and control over your worries? Do you want to be able to live your life without feeling held back by anxiety?
When you live with anxiety, dread and fear have power over you and can get in the way of fully living your life. You may avoid certain situations because of how tense and nervous they make you feel. Perhaps you are struggling to concentrate on your tasks at work or to feel present during social situations. Maybe you are not able to leave the house at all. You may always expect the worst case scenario. Whether you experience generalized worry or fear of specific situations, you may feel exhausted and isolated. You may not know how to slow the thoughts racing through your brain or find a moment of peace.
Anxiety Is Incredibly Common
Many people suffer from some sort of anxiety during their life. When faced with things that are out of our control, it is natural to desire to find a way to feel safe and make outcomes seem more predictable. Anxiety develop when we unconsciously tell ourselves that worry, or working over something again and again, will prevent a negative outcome or soften the blow of disappointment if something bad does happen.
Of course, anxiety does not serve us well if the real outcome is not in our control (for example whether someone will say yes if we ask them on a date), so our painful worrying does not help the situation. Moreover, the brain experiences the situations that we imagine or worry about as if they are really happening, so not only does worry not make things better, it also creates a situation in which we experience the mental pain of the horrible and feared event happening again and again.
If you fall into these self-defeating patterns of anxiety, you are not alone. Many people experience anxiety about achievement of school or career goals, social situations, the health of themselves or others, relationship loss or any number of other issues. Sometimes, an individual can even develop a phobia of sorts about their own emotional experience. It is so difficult to move through your day when your own emotional and mental experiences create a vicious cycle of pain and make you feel out of control, such as when someone experiences a panic attack and then continues to chronically worry that these panic symptoms will return.
Since anxiety takes a lot of mental energy, it can be exhausting, and it is normal for people suffering with anxiety to feel that they are working very hard to control these symptoms. The problem is that, on their own, people generally do not channel this energy in the most productive way. But, there is hope. Psychological anxiety treatment can help a patient achieve their goal of managing and finally ending these symptoms.
Anxiety Treatment Can Help You Free Yourself from Chronic Fear and Worry
With effective anxiety treatment, you can learn to be less afraid. At Purple Heart Behavioral Health, LLC we offer you guidance and support as you work to observe and understand the function of your worry and to feel less fearful of your own normal emotional experience. Once you break the self-defeating cycle you have developed, you become better able to use an awareness of your feelings to clarify your goals and to motivate yourself to pursue them effectively. You will develop the tools you need to identify helpful/healthy fear and cope with irrational anxiety and stressful situations. The paralyzed and helpless feelings that tend to go along with anxiety can be broken, leaving you feeling more in control of your choices.
You may believe that anxiety treatment can help you find relief, but still have questions or concerns…
I have been working so hard to control my mind, but it just seems to make things worse.
People with anxiety disorders tend to be very hard-working. They often seek assistance after they have tried many strategies to gain a sense of control. Effective anxiety treatment can help you better channel your energy. Instead of feeling as though you are spinning your wheels, you can begin to explore the barriers that have been getting in the way of making the changes you want and to develop strategies that will help you let go of impossible attempts to control the uncontrollable. As you work through treatment, you can develop a sense of realistic control over things that are in your power.
I am afraid of losing my edge.
When high achievers are focused on a goal, such as upcoming test, their focus on the outcome may prompt them to study so that they are happy with the outcome (such as a good test grade). Over time, if someone has an anxiety disorder, he or she can falsely begin to believe that the worrying and suffering over a possible bad outcome is the cause of their success (rather than the studying, which is the actual contributor to success). Of course, many people can achieve their goals without suffering from debilitating anxiety, but if you are struggling with anxiety, it can be hard to believe that this will be possible for you.
In therapy, we work to address this fear, to make sure that you understand your motivations for achievement and to feel comfortable letting go of your anxiety, trusting that you do not need to hold onto severe anxiety symptoms into order to be an achiever. Research shows that, for important life goals, some worry can help us be motivated to pay attention and to act – for example, to study. But, when anxiety is high, it can impair your performance and make you feel stuck. With effective anxiety treatment, you can work to your full personal and professional potential without being derailed by symptoms.
I have real problems that need to be addressed. Will therapy help me solve them, or try to make me forget them?
Maybe you are looking to find a partner, having trouble in an important relationship, feeling unable to achieve a goal that has been very important to you or trying to navigate another stressful experience. Anxiety treatment is not focused on ignoring or letting go of these concerns. When you let go of ineffective anxiety, you become better able to clarify the important issues you are facing. When your body and mind are not constantly oriented toward possible danger or worrying about potential horrible outcomes, you can channel all that energy into making important decisions or building new skills to make your life better. Emotions are our natural mode of communicating what is important to us, to ourselves, and others. By letting go of ineffective anxiety, you can be clear about your true emotions and use those to guide you toward real solutions.
You Don’t Have to Feel Stuck Anymore
If you are experiencing the anxiety symptoms described above, it is time reach out for help. We are committed to taking each person’s personality and life experience into account when developing a treatment plan. Call 602.529.8120 for a free phone consultation or to set up an appointment to talk about your situation and how treatment can help you move beyond this anxiety that has been holding you back.