Mindfulness Counseling: Taming the Trigger in Tucson, AZ

Thoughts racing, heart rapidly beating, shallow breathing, palms sweating and feet, poising to run. These are symptoms of an anxiety attack, which can be brought on by a traumatic memory, triggered by something as benign as a smell, or the attack can be brought on by a phobia, like the fear of flying.

No matter its origin, the experience of intense fear is debilitating and can lead to isolation and depression. One way to cope with and decrease the frequency and intensity of anxiety attacks is to learn the principles of Mindfulness.

Below is a list of some basic skills that can help break the cycle:

Cultivate Compassion

Replace judgment with compassion. Many times our thoughts, especially when we are stressed, are filled with negative self-talk or harsh judgments . This habit of the mind only increases the level of stress in the body and makes anxiety grow larger and more powerful. Placing a gentle hand on the heart when stress is rising can be a reminder to use compassionate self-talk.

Observe and Allow:

Meditation teachers describe these principals of mindfulness as interdependent like “the wings of a bird”; one wing carries awareness the other acceptance. When we experience anxiety we want it to go away. We want our mind to stop racing and our blood pressure to stop rising. Acceptance doesn’t mean we have to agree with or like the situation; it is simply the acknowledgement of what is happening. Carl Jung said, “What you resist, persists”. Instead of pushing the experience of anxiety away, compassionately observe it and allow it even if it’s scary.

Anchor with the Breath

At times, it may be too overwhelming to fully allow the experience of anxiety. In this case, touch into the physical sensations for just a second, and then like an anchor, find the stability of the breath. Detach from fear filled thoughts and focus the attention on the breath. Watch it, it as it comes in and out of the nose, or creates the rise and fall of the belly and chest. Notice if this practice changes the intensity of the experience of anxiety. Does it decrease? Increase? Stay the same?

Improve the Moment

Put on soft music or a funny show. Call a trusted friend who can stir-up some laughs. In the moment of intense anxiety, it can feel as if death were knocking on the door but in reality this it is a fear-thought that needs taming. Changing something in the environment can be just the thing to unhook that thought from the mind. Like anything, mindfulness takes practice and over time with effort, it can help.

Also beneficial is participation in a meditation group or regular Yoga class, especially of the restorative variety. If it seems impossible to get the brain unstuck from full panic mode seek out a mental health professional for help and resources rather than going it alone.

“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.”
~Amit Ray

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More than I hoped for

I initially went to Amy to help me manage my fear of flying, but before we could really tackle that, my relati...Read more

onship began to fall apart. My counseling sessions with Amy saved my sanity. I looked forward to being able to openly share my feelings and get tools to help manage my anxiety around flying and the loss of my relationship. Amy helped me get through one of the toughest times of my life. I wish we were still in the same state, so I could get "tune ups" when I get stressed out.

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I have worked with Dr. Monique Martinez-Quiroz in the past, and I'm so excited that she is now with Thrivework...Read more

s helping people. She has a wide range of experience in various behavioral health settings, and a wealth of knowledge from those experiences and her education. What makes her special is she has an authenticity that makes people feel comfortable from the start. I highly recommend seeing her at Thriveworks!

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I have had the pleasure of knowing Karen Schill, LPC for 12 years and working with her for 9 of those years. ...Read more

She brings a strong spiritual side to her counseling and has helped me enhance my spirit personally, professionally, and to utilize mindfulness practices in my own work. She is a support, resource, and someone I can refer to when client's are in need of her specialized movement services as part of their counseling care. I highly recommend Karen and appreciate her work, support, and care she gives to all who work with and know her.

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  • 1050 E River Rd #202
    Tucson , AZ 85718

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