Stress has always been crucial for human survival. That gut feeling that something is wrong was why we hunted for food, built shelter, and survived against the other predators of the world. Our brain is hard-wired to act like danger is imminent.
The problem is we don’t have to hunt for food, build our own shelter, or survive a bear attack! More often than not, a grocery store is just down the road, our homes have heat and sturdy walls, and the biggest predator is your overly ambitious intern. Even though the stakes have drastically shifted, our brains haven’t caught up yet. The survival system comprising of fight-or-flight instincts and cortisol is still on when you drive to work, sit down to study, or go to a fun dinner. Where this can get dangerous is when your danger-system becomes too good at pointing out danger. In fact, it starts screaming “Danger!” when none exists.
Anxiety is exhausting, frustrating, and can feel isolating. It’s completely valid to feel hopeless, but one thing is certain- you aren’t alone! Thriveworks Columbus anxiety counselors knows that gaining control over your thoughts and anxiety is possible. We’ve seen people like you do it time after time. It doesn’t matter what lies your anxiety tells you, or how long you’ve believed them, or if you know that they aren’t real (but still continue to believe them)- you are stronger than any lie your anxiety pushes on you. You are strong enough to fight this, and we are here to fight it with you.
What Are the Symptoms of Anxiety?
Have you ever told someone about how you’re feeling and how you suspect anxiety might be the culprit? And then they respond with, “But stress is good for you!”
Few things hurt more than being told your struggles are normal and to just tough it out. Especially when the truth is that anxiety is not healthy. And you could be the strongest person on earth and still hear the lies of anxiety. Anxiety is all-consuming. It can cause you to freeze when you should be moving, and then the next minute be working past exhaustion. When you think you finally turn a corner away from it, it somehow finds you again.
There is a way out of the vicious cycle! The first step is to distinguish between the day-to-day stress of life and anxiety. These are common symptoms when dealing with anxiety:
- Racing heartbeat, or tightness of chest throughout the day.
- Unusual sweating
- Tense muscles (especially in specific areas, like the upper back)
- Feeling dizzy or in a constant mental fog
- Racing thoughts
- Insomnia or unusual sleeping behavior
- Constant state of dread (Feeling like something bad will happen or already happened)
- Doubting yourself
- Not doing things that you use to find pleasure in
The symptoms of anxiety are as unique as you are. There are different types of anxiety as well. Some people only experience anxiety in response to a specific trigger (like seeing a dog or eating in public). Others have thoughts that reoccur over and over again, with no way to shut them off. Most commonly is called generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) which is like living with the most suspenseful part of a movie on repeat. You know something bad is about to happen, but then… nothing does. And that feeling persists.
The Thriveworks Columbus counselors stress that having anxiety does not mean there is something wrong or weak with who you are. You are much, much more than your anxiety. Plus, anxiety is relatively common in today’s society. Our Anxiety counselors have years of experience and teaching to help you reach the fulfilling, happy life you deserve.
What Does Anxiety Counseling Look Like?
Thriveworks Columbus practices a client-centered philosophy. This means every session will be focused on you: what your goals are, what you’re struggling with, what outside factors might go into the counseling process, and so much more! Every situation is unique, and you deserve a unique plan for counseling to go with it.
Of course, our Thriveworks Columbus Anxiety Counselors have many tools and strategies that have been proven by research to help us overcome anxiety. Over time, researchers have found that talk therapy and other less traditional therapy methods (noted below) are most effective to combat anxiety. Medication may work for some people, but for most it is not a sustainable option.
A few of the strategies we might talk about and employ in a Thriveworks Columbus counseling session include:
- Learning how to identify anxious thoughts.
- Breaking down those thoughts (Are they true? Why do we believe them? What is the truth?)
- Coping methods- anxiety exists and likes to stick around. We all need to learn how to manage a bad day.
- Discover the root of the problem. Anxiety can often be traced back to an external factor that is hard to see on your own.
- Exposing you to the thing that causes you anxiety. Facing your anxiety in a safe, supported environment can actually make you less anxious next time you experience it outside a counseling session.
- Alternative therapies like music and art therapies are great for people who connect with these methods. They can help us explore and work through stubborn anxiety that a normal counseling session can’t reach.
These are just a few examples of what an anxiety counseling session might be comprised of. Thriveworks Columbus is excited to work with you as we make progress towards the life you’ve dreamed of: free of anxiety and in control of your thoughts.