What Happy People Do Differently

September 12, 2017

If you do a search right now on Amazon books for the topic of “Happiness,” you will find page after page of titles, all claiming to know the secret to finding it. Why do we have an obsession with happiness? An even better questions is: why does happiness seem so difficult to find for many […]

What Happy People Do Differently

If you do a search right now on Amazon books for the topic of “Happiness,” you will find page after page of titles, all claiming to know the secret to finding it. Why do we have an obsession with happiness? An even better questions is: why does happiness seem so difficult to find for many people?

At one time, humans were too busy staying alive to be concerned with whether or not they were happy. However, thanks to grocery stores and advances in health care, modern man now has the time to focus on self-growth.

An expanding body of research has also suggested that happiness doesn’t just feel good, it is linked to other benefits, such as better immune-system function and higher earnings. No wonder so many of us strive for it.

But what is happiness exactly? We feel happy when we are with the people we love, when we’re watching a funny movie, or eating our favorite pasta dish. When we say we want happiness, it seems more than just a momentary emotion that we are in search of.

So, what is it then?

Happiness is a state of mind, and as such, can be intentional and strategic. This is good news because it means we can intentionally make choices that lead to a positive state of mind – AKA happiness. We can look to the people who seem naturally happy and copy what they do.

And here’s what they do:

They Understand Growth is Painful

Many people play life safe. They eat at the same restaurants, vacation at the same place every year and spend time with the same people. However, sustained happiness is not about being safe and settled. It’s about discovery and growth, which require life lived outside of your comfort zone.

They Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Happy people don’t sweat the small stuff and they are not perfectionists. Rather, they possess a devil-may-care attitude about their performance. A review of research literature found that the happiest people, those who scored a 9 or 10 out of 10 on measures of life satisfaction, typically didn’t perform as well as moderately happy people in accomplishments such as grades, class attendance, or work salaries. So, balance is the key.

Keep trying your best for important goals, but allow for mistakes and don’t treat all areas of your life with the same intensity. Give full effort on that big presentation for work, but allow yourself to be mediocre at tennis.  As long as you are having fun and getting some exercise, it is still a win!

They Feel Their Feelings

You would think that really happy people are happy all the time, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Psychologically healthy people are those that understand the importance of letting some things roll off their backs, as well as, feeling their genuine emotions. Happy people don’t deny their distasteful or uncomfortable emotions. They instead use their negative emotions as signals that something is wrong or out of balance.  They use these negative emotions as motivation for change.  This may be taking action now or learning a lesson for future challenges.

For instance, a happy person might feel jealous because a coworker got a promotion and they didn’t. Happy people don’t wallow in the feeling of jealousy. They see this emotion as an indicator that they could have done something differently to achieve a more desirable outcome.

If you don’t think you are as happy as you should be, try to take more risks, don’t sweat the small stuff, and feel your feelings while looking for ways to make better choices.

If you’ve always been someone who turns away from their emotions, it may be difficult to feel your feelings. A therapist can help you get acquainted with your emotional life and offer tools so you can navigate your emotions in the future. If you or a loved one is interested in exploring treatment, please contact me today to schedule a free consultation session.

4 Things You Need to Know About Adolescent Anxiety

August 28, 2017

Anxiety is like fire: it can keep us safe and warm, or completely devastate our property and our lives. It’s good to be a little anxious at times for protection and motivation. When walking down a deserted street at night, anxiety keeps us on alert and ready to fight or run should a dangerous situation […]

4 Things You Need to Know About Adolescent Anxiety

Anxiety is like fire: it can keep us safe and warm, or completely devastate our property and our lives. It’s good to be a little anxious at times for protection and motivation. When walking down a deserted street at night, anxiety keeps us on alert and ready to fight or run should a dangerous situation arise.  It can also help by giving us the push we need to stay on track to get a paper completed or study for a test.

When anxiety becomes the norm instead of the exception, it stops being helpful and can cause serious pain and problems, especially for adolescents.  Without adequate coping skills, walking into a classroom or being with a group of people they don’t know can become crisis situations. The more they experience these scary events, the more they want to avoid similar situations, and the more anxiety becomes a chronic condition.

Here are 4 things parents and teachers should know about adolescent anxiety.

1. Anxiety includes Emotional Fear, Physical Symptoms, and Negative Thoughts

It is often difficult to tell, but the negative thoughts such as, “No one will like me,” or “Everyone is going to think I’m stupid” are often automatic and usually come first. These thoughts are then followed by physical symptoms such as a stomach ache, diarrhea, or shaking and shallow breathing and the intense fear.  Learning how to shift both their thinking (“This will feel awkward, but I’ll be okay”) and physical symptoms (take slow, deep breaths), will help young people learn to cope with these stressful events and decrease the fear. Over time, teens can gain confidence that they can handle uncomfortable feelings instead of avoiding them.

2. Dealing with Anxiety Requires Problem Solving Skills

Life is full of uncertainties and gray areas. Parents of very young children help them navigate through these situations. However, adolescents are often out in the world without adult support, and must be equipped with problem solving skills, so they may tolerate uncertainty instead of avoiding it. Avoidance only makes things worse, as it builds on itself and gives anxiety more power.

3. The Adolescent Mind is More Sensitive to Environmental Stress 

The adolescent mind is a jumble of chemical changes that can make any situation seem like time spent in a fun house. These hormonal changes make adolescence a particularly challenging time to cope with anxiety.  

As you may remember, everything feels bigger and more intense as a teenager.  Adults learn to handle the daily ups and downs through experience and the perspective gained over time. Hormones also settle down making us less reactive.  

4. Anxiety is a Vicious Cycle

When young people are anxious, it’s easy for the adults around them to become anxious as a response. In an attempt to help, parents and teachers can take over, leading to being more controlling and inflexible. As adults, it’s important we manage our own anxiety around our kids and students, so we can support their emotional regulation and manage the overall situation much more effectively.

If you or a loved one is struggling with anxiety, therapy can help. If you’re interested in exploring treatment, please contact me today for a free consultation session. 

3 Ways to Cultivate More Self-Compassion

August 14, 2017

Many people are brought up to always be kind to others, but how many of us were taught to be kind to ourselves? Self-compassion or self-love can often seem like a foreign concept, particularly to those raised in an abusive or unloving home. Self-compassion is not to be confused with arrogance or conceit, which are […]

3 Ways to Cultivate More Self-Compassion

Many people are brought up to always be kind to others, but how many of us were taught to be kind to ourselves? Self-compassion or self-love can often seem like a foreign concept, particularly to those raised in an abusive or unloving home.

Self-compassion is not to be confused with arrogance or conceit, which are usually indicators of a lack of self-love. Self-compassion has nothing to do with faux superiority and everything to do with being kind and gentle with oneself. It allows us to treat ourselves as we do our loved ones. Instead of harshly judging ourselves for any personal shortcomings, we can instead extend to ourselves unconditional love and acceptance, as we do for others.

Why is Self-Compassion Important?

Over the last decade, research has shown a correlation between self-compassion and overall psychological well-being. Self-compassion helps us recognize the difference between making a bad choice and being a bad person. It also helps us have greater connections with others and less depression, anxiety, and fear of failure.

A lack of self-compassion can take a toll on our personal and romantic relationships. How we treat ourselves is typically an indicator of how we let others treat us. The less love and compassion we have for ourselves the more likely we end up in abusive and dysfunctional relationships. When we have self-compassion, we are less likely to depend on others to validate our self-worth or “complete us.”

Here are 3 ways you can begin practicing self-compassion:

1. Treat Yourself as You Would a Small Child

You would never treat a small child the way you may sometimes treat yourself. You wouldn’t call a child “stupid” for making a poor decision. You certainly wouldn’t tell them they are unlovable and “will be alone forever.”

It may be hard treating yourself with such kindness in the beginning because you are not used to it. In those moments, decide to treat yourself as you would a child and see how much better it feels.

2. Practice Mindfulness

Self-criticism is a mental habit. In order to replace self-criticism with self-compassion, we must practice mindfulness.

When you find yourself caught up in that negative noise and mind chatter, stop, take a deep breath, and refocus your thoughts on something more positive about yourself. What qualities do you like about yourself? What have you done recently that you feel proud about? It can be anything, “I always make an effort to be on time,” or, “I made the cashier smile.”

When you do find yourself having negative thoughts, DO NOT chastise yourself for having them. Thank those negative thoughts for trying to protect you, tell them that you can handle the situation, and send them on their way to make room for positivity.

3. Give Yourself Permission to Be Human

At the end of the day, self-compassion is about being okay with our own humanity. It’s important to recognize that being human means being flawed, and that’s okay. You and the rest of the world have imperfections in common.

Give yourself permission to make mistakes and accept yourself, warts and all. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how much lighter and happier you will feel.

While it’s incredibly important to learn self-compassion, it’s not always easy cultivating new thought and behavioral patterns on your own. A therapist can give you the support, encouragement and guidance you need to help you make these positive changes in your life. If you or a loved one has struggled with self-compassion and would like to speak with someone, please give me a call to schedule your free consultation session.

3 Ways to Overcome Self-Doubt

July 31, 2017

Self-doubt can hold you back from pursuing your dreams and living the life you really want. Self-doubt can also make it hard to complete necessary daily tasks and make simple decisions. The good news is, it is possible to overcome self-doubt and quiet that negative self-talk. Here’s how: 1. Take Charge Immediately When inner doubts start to creep […]

3 Ways to Overcome Self-Doubt

Self-doubt can hold you back from pursuing your dreams and living the life you really want. Self-doubt can also make it hard to complete necessary daily tasks and make simple decisions.

The good news is, it is possible to overcome self-doubt and quiet that negative self-talk. Here’s how:

1. Take Charge Immediately

When inner doubts start to creep up, many people let them spin out of control and fully take over. The longer you let the process continue, the more difficult it is to regain control.

It’s important that you take charge immediately and stop the negative talk as soon as possible. In your mind, speak to yourself and say something like, “No, thank you. Not helpful.” Should the negative talk start up seconds later, talk to it again and put it in its place. Doing this interrupts your thought patterns – which are basically thought habits – and eventually your inner self-doubter will realize you’re serious and retreat.

2. Remember, You Can Always Make Adjustments

Many times, people are so fearful of making mistakes, they take no action toward their goal. But reaching a goal can  be thought of as going on a road trip. You have a map and a basic route planned out, but along the journey, you may decide you want to hop off the highway and try a scenic byway instead. You may decide to backtrack and stop at that cute little souvenir shop. Sure, all of these changes to your initial itinerary may add a little time to your trip, but you’ll still get to your destination. And you’ll get there with more photos, T-shirts, and wonderful memories!

Trying to plan every single move you will take to get to your goal can be exhausting and impractical. Just take the first step, then another, and then another… and remember, you can always change your mind and adjust along the way.

3. Talk to Someone

Self-doubt can easily become distorted and exaggerated when you keep all of your thoughts to yourself. But, when you speak to someone and let those thoughts out into the light, you have the chance to hear how exaggerated they may be. Also, talking about your doubts with a therapist who is supportive is a great way to gain a fresh perspective.

If you or a loved one is afflicted with self-doubt and is interested in exploring treatment, please contact me today to schedule a free consultation session. 

What No One Tells You About Therapy (But Should!)

July 17, 2017

We fear the unknown, which is often why people initially shy away from starting therapy. It can be intimidating walking into a therapist’s office, for the very first time, not knowing what to expect. On the flip side, some people assume they know everything about therapy and then are then quite surprised when they start. Although therapy […]

What No One Tells You About Therapy (But Should!)

We fear the unknown, which is often why people initially shy away from starting therapy. It can be intimidating walking into a therapist’s office, for the very first time, not knowing what to expect.

On the flip side, some people assume they know everything about therapy and then are then quite surprised when they start.

Although therapy is not as stigmatized as it once was, it is still not talked about in most social circles, so many people have the wrong ideas about it. If you’ve been considering seeking help from a mental health professional, you may have some questions as well.

With that in mind, here is what no one tells you about therapy – but should!

It’s Not Like on TV

Pop culture would have you believe the minute you step foot into a therapist’s office, he or she will have you looking at Rorschach tests and talking about your dreams within minutes.

While these approaches can be used in therapy, they often are not. Dream interpretation can come up, but typically only if the client wants to discuss an interesting or disturbing dream they had.

Also, many people think the entire session is devoted to discussing your early childhood years and the effect your parents have had on your life. While many therapists will want to get a history on you to uncover specific behavioral patterns and emotional memories that have helped wire the brain, the idea of therapy is NOT to blame your parents for all of your current troubles.

You Won’t Feel Better Immediately

Though the end goal of therapy is to create better habits and behaviors that lead to creating a happy and fulfilling life, the process of getting there will sometimes be uncomfortable. It is unrealistic to expect you will feel better immediately. Therapy takes time and commitment.

You Have to Want to Change

You can seek advice from a nutritionist and personal trainer who will give you the tools to get fit and healthy. But if you don’t take their advice and you don’t do the work, you won’t see results.

The same is true for therapy. Your therapist will be gentle and kind and go at a pace that feels comfortable for you, but ultimately you have to want to get better. It takes work from you to get there with a willingness to face your own thoughts and behaviors, recognize the patterns, and make healthier choices. Don’t worry, your therapist will be there with you every step of the way, supporting you.

Therapy isn’t magic, but it does provide you with the tools for lasting change.

If you or a loved one is interested in exploring treatment, please contact me today to schedule a free consultation session.

Low Self-Esteem: What is it? What to Do About it

July 3, 2017

Self-esteem is an opinion we have of ourselves; a way of placing value on ourselves as people. While we may voice characteristics such as “I am six feet tall” or “I have brown hair,” these are facts that don’t necessarily carry a negative or positive connotation. A low self-esteem suggests we carry a negative opinion […]

Low Self-Esteem: What is it? What to Do About it

Self-esteem is an opinion we have of ourselves; a way of placing value on ourselves as people. While we may voice characteristics such as “I am six feet tall” or “I have brown hair,” these are facts that don’t necessarily carry a negative or positive connotation.

A low self-esteem suggests we carry a negative opinion of ourselves. For example, “I’m unattractive” or “I’m not good enough.” Most of us have mixed opinions of ourselves, but if your overall opinion is that you are an inferior or inadequate in some way, if you feel you have little worth and are not entitled to experiencing good things in life, then your self-esteem is low. Having a low self-esteem can put a damper on the great joys in life and have a negative impact on your relationships.

People with healthy self-esteems feel good about and value themselves. They also take pride in their abilities and accomplishments and enjoy sharing their talents with others. Perhaps most importantly, those with healthy self-esteems acknowledge their imperfections, but do not define themselves by them or put too much emphasis on their faults and limitations.

How to Create a Healthy Self-Esteem

The good news is a low self-esteem is not a life sentence. Since your low self-esteem developed over time (no one is born with low self-esteem) you can work to change how you see yourself. Here are a few ways to do it:

1. Forget Perfection – Focus on Accomplishments

Perfection only happens in Hollywood (and even there it gets a lot of help from Beverly Hills plastic surgeons and airbrushing). The truth is, you will never have the perfect body, the perfect house, the perfect kids, or the perfect relationships. Perfection simply doesn’t exist in human nature.

A healthier approach is to focus your attention and efforts on your accomplishments. When you achieve them, try not to de-value them by saying something like, “Oh, anyone could have done that.” Even if that is true sometimes, it doesn’t change the fact that you did it.  The point is, you set a goal for yourself and you reached it. Celebrate your achievements and keep track of them in a journal, so you can always refer to it and remind yourself of what you have already done.

2. Set Realistic Expectations

Of course, when you’re setting goals, make sure they’re realistic. Having unrealistic expectations of yourself or how the world works in general is a surefire way to kill your self-esteem.

For example, setting a goal like, “My body will be the same at age 45 as it was at 18,” may not be realistic. Exercise and healthy eating are great ideas, but you can’t totally outsmart gravity and time.  Don’t set yourself up for failure by having unrealistic expectations.  Make sure that your goals are possible and that you give yourself credit for the steps towards them too!

3. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

Nothing hurts self-esteem quicker than unfair comparisons. You can always find someone who makes money than you, has more Facebook followers, or a “better” body.  But did you consider all aspects of their life?  Did you look to see how many people have it worse than you on that aspect? The typical comparison is one-sided and one-dimensional, it only serves to confirm your self doubts. You are an individual and no one has your mind and experiences.  No one can be you, as you can’t be anyone else.  It’s a tough habit to break, but it’s important to stop comparing yourself to others who you think have it better.  Learn to celebrate your unique identity and value your strengths and accomplishments. 

If you still struggling with a low self-esteem, speaking with a therapist can help you see where you are stuck and get you moving in the right direction. If you or a loved one is interested in exploring treatment, please contact me today to schedule a free consultation session. 

5 Signs That You Might be Struggling with Anxiety

June 26, 2017

It’s normal to feel anxious from time to time, like getting a bit nervous when speaking in front of people or going on a job interview. However, for some people, anxiety becomes a frequent and forceful occurrence that completely takes over their lives. Since anxiety comes in many forms (like panic attacks, phobias, or social […]

5 Signs That You Might be Struggling with Anxiety

It’s normal to feel anxious from time to time, like getting a bit nervous when speaking in front of people or going on a job interview. However, for some people, anxiety becomes a frequent and forceful occurrence that completely takes over their lives.

Since anxiety comes in many forms (like panic attacks, phobias, or social anxiety) it can often be difficult to tell if what you’re experiencing is “normal” or has crossed the line into a serious problem.

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may want to speak with a counselor who can help you cope with your anxiety.

Excessive Worry

General anxiety disorder (GAD), the broadest type of anxiety, is characterized by excessive worry. People with GAD worry too much about everyday things, both big and small. But what constitutes “too much worry?”

With GAD, people are plagued with persistent, anxious thoughts most days of the week. This anxiety can become so overwhelming it interferes with their daily life. If you are worrying to a degree that you have trouble doing daily tasks and are suffering with your emotions, it may be time to speak with a therapist.

Trouble Sleeping

Sleep issues such as falling asleep or staying asleep have been associated with a myriad of health conditions, both physical and psychological. It’s normal for people to have trouble sleeping from time to time. Perhaps you find yourself tossing and turning before a big job interview or giving a presentation.

However, if you find yourself night after night lying awake, anxious about specific problems (such as relationship problems or financial difficulties), or even about nothing in particular, it may be a sign of an anxiety disorder.

Muscle Tension

Anxiety disorders can often be accompanied by persistent muscle tension. Do you find yourself clenching your jaw or balling your fists throughout the day? You may have lived with this chronic muscular tension for so long you don’t even realize it anymore. While exercise can help relax muscles, therapy will get to the root cause of the anxiety.

Digestive Problems

While anxiety lives in the mind, it is often manifested in the body through chronic digestive problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome. Our guts are very sensitive to emotional and psychological stress. Unfortunately, digestive upset can often make a person feel even more anxious.

Panic Attacks

Panic attacks can be a frightening experience. You are suddenly gripped with an overwhelming feeling of dread and fear. These are often accompanied by physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, racing heart, dizziness, and profuse sweating. Though not everyone who has an anxiety disorder will experience panic attacks, but those that do live in constant fear.

Anxiety disorders keep people from living a joyful and fulfilling life. Luckily there is help. A therapist can assist in uncovering the root cause of the anxiety and offer tools to cope. If you or a loved one is interested in exploring treatment, please contact me today to schedule a free consultation session.

5 Foods & Beverages That Can Cause More Anxiety

June 12, 2017

Most people know that a healthy diet is important in managing weight and aging well. However, what many people don’t realize is that the foods we eat can significantly alter our mood. While eating foods rich in protein, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids can help fight depression and other mood disorders, eating the wrong kinds […]

5 Foods & Beverages That Can Cause More Anxiety

Most people know that a healthy diet is important in managing weight and aging well. However, what many people don’t realize is that the foods we eat can significantly alter our mood.

While eating foods rich in protein, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids can help fight depression and other mood disorders, eating the wrong kinds of food can worsen symptoms of depression and anxiety.

If you have panic attacks or anxiety problems, it’s important that you can identify which foods may trigger or exacerbate symptoms. As a general rule, the following 5 foods should be avoided if you suffer from anxiety.

1. Coffee

Have you ever had one too many cups of coffee and a little while later had the jitters? Coffee can worsen existing anxiety and even cause it in people who don’t normally suffer from it. Caffeine increases cortisol levels (one of our “fight or flight” hormones), which in turn makes you feel stressed even when there is no external stressor.

Also, according to research, lower intakes of coffee (less than 6 cups per day) has been linked to less depressive symptoms.

2. Alcohol

It has been said that one or two glasses a day of alcohol, such as wine, is good for your heart. While this may be true for those that don’t suffer from depression and anxiety, those that do should steer clear of alcohol. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has stated that alcohol may worsen mood and contribute to anxiety.

3. Sugar

Often people reach for sugary foods like cookies and candy when dealing with emotional distress. While it may seem these sweat treats are soothing in the moment, sugar actually makes your negative feelings worse. A diet high in sugar causes spikes and drops in blood sugar levels, which can wreak havoc on your moods and cause you to have panic attacks and anxiety symptoms. 

4. Trans Fat

It turns out trans fats found in foods like French fries and packaged snacks are not only bad for your health but for your mood as well. In fact, studies have found that foods containing trans fats, also called hydrogenated fats, can increase your risk of depression.

study, published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, examined the brains of rats and found that prolonged consumption of trans fat led to more anxiety-like symptoms.

5. Gluten

You don’t have to have Celiac’s Disease to be bothered by gluten. Many people don’t realize they have an intolerance to gluten that often shows up in the form of anxiety and panic attacks. A study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine found that those with gluten sensitivities are more prone to feeling anxious after eating wheat.

While cleaning up your diet can help you deal with your anxiety, sometimes diet alone is not enough. Therapy can help you to identify the root cause of your anxiety and cope with it. If you or a loved one is interested in exploring treatment, please contact me today to schedule a free consultation session. 

Afraid of Failure? Here’s Advice on Coping with Failure

May 30, 2017

Fear of failure causes us to put the brakes on our life. When we’re so afraid of failing at something, we either don’t try at all or we subconsciously undermine our own efforts to avoid an even bigger failure. Without question, fear of failure is immobilizing and leads us miss great opportunities and potential for success. Signs […]

Afraid of Failure? Here’s Advice on Coping with Failure

Fear of failure causes us to put the brakes on our life. When we’re so afraid of failing at something, we either don’t try at all or we subconsciously undermine our own efforts to avoid an even bigger failure. Without question, fear of failure is immobilizing and leads us miss great opportunities and potential for success.

Signs of Fear of Failure

While none of us like to fail at anything, how do you know if your fear is one that is limiting your life? Here are some signs to watch for:

A reluctance to try new things

Self-sabotage in the form of procrastination or failure to follow through with goals

Low self-esteem or self-confidence 

The thing to remember with failure is, it’s all a matter of perspective. We are the ones who ultimately decide how we want to think about failure. We have two choices. We can either think of failure as:

‘Proof’ of inadequacy, or…

An awesome learning experience

When we fail, we are given powerful lessons that help us to grow as people. In this way failure is like manure – some people see it as a nutrient-rich fertilizer while others see it as a pile of, well, you get the idea.

The bottom line is, failure stops us only if we let it. Did you know Michael Jordan (widely considered the greatest basket player of all time) was cut from his high school basketball team because his coach didn’t think he had enough skills? Jordan could have let fear of future failure stop him from becoming a legend, but he didn’t.

You don’t have to let fear of failure stop you from becoming a legend in your own life. Here are some ways you can cope:

Separate Your Identity from Failure

Most of us blur the lines between a personal failure and our overall identify. Just because you haven’t tasted success yet doesn’t mean you’re a failure. Making failure personal can take a toll on your self-esteem and confidence.

Rely on Logic, Not Emotions

As I mentioned, you can learn an awful lot from failure, but in order to do so you have to look at the failure logically and analytically. That means asking the emotions of regret, frustration, and anger to step aside for a moment, so you can learn from the experience. Become a scientist and ask yourself questions: Why did you fail? Was the failure totally out of your control? What might have led to a different outcome?

Don’t Give Your Power to Other People

Fear of failure is often rooted in a need to seek approval from others. We fear if we fail, we will be harshly judged by others and lose their respect. When we care more about what other people think of us, we give our power away. What other people think about you is not necessarily the truth about you.

Sometimes when our fear of failure is so great, it helps to talk to someone who can help you gain a new perspective on it. Seeking guidance from a therapist may be just what you need to tackle your fear of failure and live the life you were meant to live.

If you or a loved one is interested in exploring treatment, please contact me today to schedule a free consultation session. 

3 Ways Therapy Helps You Address Anxiety

May 20, 2017

Millions of people deal with stress and anxiety on a daily basis. Whether it’s a result of specific phobias, chronic worry, or post-traumatic stress, anxiety can take a toll on our mind and health. If you deal with anxiety you most likely have looked into ways you can help calm your emotional rollercoaster. Perhaps you’ve […]

3 Ways Therapy Helps You Address Anxiety

Millions of people deal with stress and anxiety on a daily basis. Whether it’s a result of specific phobias, chronic worry, or post-traumatic stress, anxiety can take a toll on our mind and health.

If you deal with anxiety you most likely have looked into ways you can help calm your emotional rollercoaster. Perhaps you’ve even tried some self-help techniques in the past. While these methods can provide some relief, it’s often temporary.

To rid yourself of overwhelming anxiety once and for all, you’ve got to get to the root cause of it – the underlying factors. A therapist can help you identify and eliminate these underlying factors.

If you are suffering from an anxiety disorder, here are 3 ways therapy can help:

1. Uncover Root Causes

Like any other health issue, effective treatment gets to the root cause. For instance, your doctor can either prescribe a medication to try to manage your hypertension symptoms, or she can request you clean up your diet and exercise, addressing the root causes of your high blood pressure.

A therapist will assist you in accessing your emotional world so you can study your thoughts and feelings and uncover patterns. Often, unhealthy beliefs and thoughts lie at the root of anxiety. Once you identify what is causing you anxiety, your therapist can begin to create a plan to help you face these underlying issues calmly and confidently.

2. Therapy Helps You Change Your Behaviors

We’ve just talked a little about therapy helping you uncover the thoughts and beliefs that are causing the anxiety. Those thoughts and beliefs are not only making you feel bad, they are causing you to have certain behaviors that may result in negative consequences.

For instance, your anxiety leads to insomnia or denial of intimate social connections. Therapy will help you make lifestyle and behavioral changes. You’ll learn how to cope with difficult situations in a more relaxed manner. Therapy will help you to stop avoiding certain people and situations and develop a calmer and more balanced sense of self.

 3. Therapy Offers Continued Personalized Support

 All change is hard, even change that’s ultimately good for you. One of the biggest benefits of therapy is that it offers continual personalized support. Your therapist wants to see you succeed and will offer encouragement and advice without judgement.

If you’ve been living with anxiety, know that you don’t have to deal with it alone. If you or a loved one is interested in exploring treatment, please contact me today to schedule a free consultation session.