Anxiety is a normal human response to stress. Everyone, at some point in their lives, experiences anxiety. The degree to which our anxiety impacts our relationships to ourselves, to the people in our lives and the world around us varies depending on a number of factors.
From a feeling of butterflies in the belly that transforms into an excited, energized feeling of electricity throughout the body, to an outright panic attack that seems to take over our ability to regulate our own physical body, and may take days to recover from, anxiety encompasses a broad spectrum.
Some of the most common causes of anxiety which I frequently work on with clients include:
- Meeting new people
- Difficult relationships with friends or family
- Performance anxiety
- Job interviews and work related stress
- Changing bad habits
- Traumatic life events
- Social situations
Some of the negative thinking that often accompanies anxiety:
- I am such a weirdo/fool/idiot
- There must be something wrong with me
- Everyone can see all of my flaws
- I am not normal
- Things are never going to change, I am always going to be like this
While in graduate school, one of my favorite teachers, Sue Ellen Wise, shared a German expression with me that reframed the way I looked at anxiety. Loosely translated, it is “anxiety is excitement that hasn’t taken a breath.” When we can acknowledge our feelings of anxiety in a non-judging way, and remember to breathe, our experience of tightening and contraction gets a little more space and we are freer to respond to our environment with more ease and spontaneity.
In my private psychotherapy practice, I provide anxiety therapy and work with clients who struggle with feeling anxious. Using a holistic approach that includes mindfulness meditation, relaxation techniques, breath-work and other modalities, we work together to discover the true cause of your anxiety and collaborate to increase feelings of self-kindness and acceptance, disarming the fear-based thinking that creates anxious feelings.
Contact me today to schedule an appointment to begin to work with your anxiety in a productive way.
The image Hidden Anxiety is by artist Jordan Hourie and you can find more of her beautiful work at http://jordanhourie.tumblr.