When faced with an important decision or a major life change, it’s natural to feel anxious. That heightened and alert state is the brain’s natural response to stressful situations — in short doses, that anxiety can help you focus, perform your best, or get out of danger.
For most people, that heightened state goes away once the danger subsides or the important decision has been made. But for others, that on-edge feeling persists for long periods of time — not because their problems are bigger or more plentiful but because they are dealing with an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders can make everyday events feel as stressful as giving a high-stakes presentation or being in an interview. For those who struggle with anxiety, the symptoms can interfere with their careers, relationships, and day-to-day life.
Dealing with anxiety can sometimes cause shame or embarrassment, leaving you wondering why you can’t just live your life without overthinking everything. But just as there is no shame in suffering a broken arm or a concussion, there is no shame in suffering from a mental illness. The important thing is to recognize that you’re experiencing troubling symptoms so you can reach out for help.
Our counselors, therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists at Thriveworks in Bellingham, WA are here to help you reduce anxiety. When you’re ready to take the first step, consider reaching out to our scheduling specialists to make your first appointment.
What Are Anxiety Disorders?
Anxiety disorders are mental health disorders characterized by feelings of stress, worry, or fear that interrupt daily activities and make it difficult to function normally. There are many types of anxiety disorders, including phobias, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The most common form of anxiety is called generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), which affects millions of adults yearly. People with GAD experience excessive worry most days for a period of at least six months, in conjunction with at least three of the following anxiety symptoms:
- Feeling restless and uneasy
- Sensing impending danger
- Cold, sweaty, or numb hands and/or feet
- Disrupted sleep or trouble falling asleep
- Getting fatigued easily
- Muscle aches, stomachaches, or headaches
- Faster heart rate
- Racing thoughts or ruminating about problems
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering information
- Crankiness or irritability
- Frequently predicting or envisioning worst-case scenarios
- Panic attacks
Anxiety disorders can manifest for a number of reasons, including genetics, brain chemistry, and environmental factors. If you’re struggling with GAD or another anxiety disorder, you don’t have to manage your symptoms on your own. Our licensed mental health professionals in Bellingham, WA are ready to provide you with compassionate and transformative care.
How Can Therapy Sessions Help Reduce Anxiety?
One of the most common forms of therapy used for treating anxiety is called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). In CBT, clients learn to recognize and reframe thought patterns that feed into anxious feelings and behaviors. This form of therapy also often involves homework assignments focused on documenting worries and learning to cope more effectively.
Other types of therapy include dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), exposure therapy, and psychoanalysis. Treatment for anxiety might also involve learning and implementing grounding exercises into your daily life. This can take the form of physical exercise, like yoga or running. Your counselor might also recommend trying mindfulness practices, like deep breathing or meditation, or making other modifications like cutting out caffeine, eating a balanced diet, and regulating your sleep schedule.
Since anxiety can affect people in different ways, treatment for anxiety can also vary from person to person. At Thriveworks, your provider will customize a treatment plan that makes sense for your specific situation. Some people benefit from one or more forms of talk therapy, other people from prescription medication, and others still from a combination of treatment modalities. Having open and honest communication with your therapist or counselor about your symptoms and concerns will be key in getting the help that’s best suited to your needs.
Whatever your treatment involves, our Thriveworks professionals in Bellingham, WA will make sure that you feel supported and comfortable throughout the entire process. Anxiety symptoms can feel overwhelming but we’re here to help you take the first step on the road to recovery.
Meet With a Thriveworks Therapist in Bellingham, WA Today
If you’ve been looking for help with your anxiety, consider making an appointment with one of our counselors or therapists today. With appointments available throughout the week, including the evenings and weekends, we’re ready to help whenever you’re ready to get started.
In addition to affordable rates and flexible cancellations, we also offer remote counseling options, and phone and email access to your provider outside of sessions. In between your sessions, you’ll also be able to use our counselor-moderated online forums, our text support line, and our “ask-a-coach” Q&A service.
Your anxiety doesn’t have to run your life. Call or click today to schedule an appointment at Thriveworks in Bellingham, WA.