How does Therapy help Anxiety?

Therapy can be an effective treatment for anxiety because it provides individuals with tools and strategies to better manage their symptoms and address underlying issues. Here are some ways therapy can help:

How does Therapy help Anxiety

Provides a safe and supportive space: Therapy provides a non-judgmental, safe and supportive environment where you can freely express their feelings and experiences without fear of criticism or rejection. This can help you feel more comfortable and confident in exploring your anxiety and its underlying causes.
Helps identify and challenge negative thoughts: Therapy can help you identify negative thoughts and beliefs that contribute to anxiety, and then challenge and replace them with more positive and realistic ones. This can help reduce the intensity and frequency of anxious thoughts and feelings.
Teaches coping skills: Therapy can teach you coping skills such as relaxation techniques, mindfulness, and breathing exercises. These tools can be used in the moment when anxiety arises, helping to reduce the physical and emotional symptoms of anxiety.
Addresses underlying issues: Therapy can help you explore and address underlying issues, such as past traumas, relationship difficulties, or unresolved emotions. By addressing these issues, therapy can help you develop a deeper understanding of your anxiety and how to overcome it.
Provides a sense of control: Anxiety can feel like you are out of control. Therapy can help you gain a sense of control over their anxiety by providing you with tools to manage your symptoms, and by helping you feel confident and empowered.
Overall, therapy can be a valuable tool for anyone struggling with anxiety. By providing a safe and supportive space, teaching coping skills, and addressing underlying issues, therapy can help you better manage their anxiety and improve your quality of life.

If you have found this to be helpful but still feel you need more, then there is hope. New Vision Counseling is here to help you. We are a team of highly trained therapists who care and will meet you where you are and help you heal and move forward. Receive ongoing care from hand-selected providers who are experts in treating anxiety. We start by making your therapy sessions safe and nonjudgmental. We walk with you and give you the encouragement and resources to heal and start living again. We will be in your corner supporting and connecting you to the healing and freedom you long for. The next natural step can be to reach out by calling (405) 921-7776.

Anxiety Interventions for Adults

Anxiety in Adults

Anxiety is more than just typical stress and can potentially take over your life if not managed. It leaves you feeling immensely overwhelmed, exhausted, and distracted. Many people with anxiety experience insomnia, muscle tension, headaches, and racing thoughts. These are just a few of the ways that anxiety can wreak havoc on your mind and body. If you are in constant fear or worry, struggle to relax, or even have panic attacks, this message is for you. Below are some helpful tips you can try at home to relieve your anxiety. We will also focus on helpful interventions you see if you decide to seek therapy for your anxiety.

Meditation

Anxiety sends you into a constant state of hyperarousal characterized by increased heart rate, stomach discomfort, shaking or trembling, shortness of breath, and extreme restlessness. When the nervous system is in overdrive, it increases the amount of adrenaline that is released in your body. This prepares you to fight, flee, or freeze from the perceived danger elicited through the overwhelming feelings of distress. To counteract this, you must learn to relax and breathe.

I know what you are thinking…”If it is that simple, then why do so many people struggle with anxiety?” You are not wrong, but there is a certain form of breathing and meditation that targets the fear center in the brain, which is referred to as the amygdala. This technique is called CPR for the Amygdala, or Self Havening, and is pioneered by clinical psychologist and neuroscientist Dr. Kate Truitt. Click the link for a short guided meditation that you can utilize whenever you feel anxious or triggered.

Anxiety and Adults

Mindfulness

When anxiety is in full effect, your brain can feel overwhelmed and it may seem like you have no control over the thoughts that intrude your mind. These thoughts can consist of ruminations from the past, current emotional struggles, and fear of the future. Being an anxious person conditions your mind to worry and prepare for the worst on a consistent basis. Mindfulness is a way to keep your mind in the present moment. It allows you to breathe and see your stressful thoughts through an objective lens.

You begin by recognizing the anxious thought, acknowledging it, and then removing yourself from its grip. Just because you think it, does not make it true. Anxiety plants all sorts of worries and fears in the mind and many of them never come to pass. There are many ways to practice mindfulness, but a few of my favorites are reflective journaling, creating a daily gratitude list, and intertwining your mindfulness into your daily prayer time.

Therapeutic Interventions for Anxiety

Many people who have debilitating anxiety are not able to manage their symptoms on their own and choose to either add pharmacological or therapeutic interventions. Medications for anxiety go beyond the scope of this blog and usually require a doctor or psychiatrist to prescribe them. Mental health therapy for anxiety usually consists of cognitive behavioral interventions which aim to change maladaptive thought patterns and the behaviors associated with negative or distorted thoughts.

Cognitive Reframing

Cognitive reframing is a technique that is utilized in cognitive behavioral therapy. Mental health counselors will help you explore your thought life through self-awareness and by keeping a thought journal. This theory is based on the premise that your thoughts influence the way you feel about external events. This can seem intimidating but is helpful when you consider your thoughts are under your control, but the outside world is not. Once you are aware of your triggers and problematic thoughts, you can pinpoint the antecedent that is cuing both the thoughts and the behaviors that follow.

By recognizing distorted thinking patterns, you can begin to transform your thought life and create a healthier outlook. Through cognitive reframing, you can train yourself to respond in ways that create a happier and healthier you! This is not an easy process and does take time to make a full evaluation, but is one of the most effective therapeutic interventions for anxiety.

Anxiety

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

When traumatic memories and anxious thoughts crowd our minds, it is difficult to function and make healthy choices. During EMDR, a therapist will guide you to focus on a disruptive memory that is negatively affecting your life and the outlook you have about yourself. You will then describe the sensations and emotions associated with this memory while focusing on bilateral eye movements.

This is usually done by a therapist providing visual stimuli that you will focus on and move your eyes from side to side as you process your painful memory. The therapist will then ask you how you feel and the process repeats through several sessions or however long it takes to desensitize the emotions you associate with the memory so that you can heal. EMDR functions through guided reprocessing of memories and events and provides you with the opportunity to change the meaning and emotions associated with memories that contribute to mental illness if not properly explored and identified.

Next Steps

We hope these techniques will guide you on your journey to healing and wellness. However, I know that anxiety can be tough to battle alone. Anxiety is a chronic struggle that many live with their whole lives. The good news is you don’t have to. New Vision Counseling and Consulting has a team of therapists who have a wide range of experience in helping people with anxiety and will tailor your therapeutic interventions to fit your individual needs. We want you to feel comfortable telling us your story so we have the opportunity to improve your life and give you the tools you need to become your best self. If you are ready to say yes to healing and guidance, the next step is to contact us at (405)- 921-7776.

3 Things Causing You Anxiety That You May Not Have Thought Of

Have you ever had anxiety and didn’t know why? There’s nothing on your mind, but you feel it in your body. It’s miserable – it’s fear of the unknown, and from that fear comes a sense of dread that you just can’t place. The good news is that anxiety can be managed with the right approach, but to do so you’ll need to identify and address what may have triggered it in the first place.

Sometimes, the cause of anxiety lies in our tendency to overlook certain areas of our lives. You may put off difficult conversations, or not take care of financial obligations that we know need attention. You might even ignore physical symptoms that should be addressed by a doctor. All these things can lead to feelings of guilt and shame, which can manifest as anxiety in both our mental and physical states.

Here are three aspects of life that often go unchecked, yet can be the source of considerable stress.

Lifestyle

It is important that you are taking care of yourself physically in order to also take care of yourself mentally. Aspects such as your sleeping patterns, eating habits, and screen time can play a role in your anxiety levels. If you are unable to pinpoint something that is causing your anxiety you might first want to take a look at how you are currently showing yourself love and care. This could also mean spending more time doing things that you enjoy such as reading, exercising, or spending time with family and friends.

Environment

An unhealthy or toxic environment can cause you to have anxiety. This can range from your house to your workplace. An environment is made up of both people and objects.

Let’s take your workplace for example, if you are surrounded by a boss or co-workers that are degrading or disrespectful this could cause you to become uneasy. Become aware of the people and interactions you encounter because they can play a role in your mental well-being. Another more surprising aspect is how you are keeping your space. Are you organized? Is your trash thrown away around your desk? Do you lose things often? For some, little changes like these can increase your productivity and create a more peaceful lifestyle.

Stress Factors

Stress is a hard topic to tackle because there are so many things in your life that could cause you to stress. Stress can then become a trigger for your anxiety. Some common stress factors include finances, relationships with your friends and family, or your health. It is important that you can find healthy ways to cope with stress in your life in order to keep you from becoming anxious. Coping can look different for everyone. If you are having trouble finding healthy coping mechanisms, finding a therapist can be a great place to start.

Next Step:

If you are experiencing anxiety in your life and are looking for ways to make changes, we CAN help you. At New Vision Counseling and Consulting it is our goal to help equip you with tools to build the life you want. You can reach us at (405) 921-7776

Self-Coping with Your Anxiety

Have you ever felt as though your anxiety would never go away? Maybe you feared that your heart rate would never decrease or that your spiraling thoughts would continue to consume you? It can be a terrifying feeling as you try to take control of your mind or body.

The good news is I will give you two coping strategies that could be beneficial when dealing with your anxiety. These skills are mental activities that will help you feel calmer in the moments where your anxiety has gotten the best of you.

Challenging Irrational Thoughts

Challenging your thoughts can be a great way to decrease your anxiety. Sometimes your worries might not have a lot of evidence behind them and challenging their validity can help you take the power away from irrational thoughts. One way you can do this is by using socratic questioning. This is when you ask yourself questions to determine the logic and validity of a thought.

Here are some socratic questions you can ask yourself:

  • Is my thought based on facts or feelings?
  • How would my best friend or spouse view this fear?
  • What is the likelihood that this is going to happen? (0% to 100%)
  • What is the most likely outcome of this situation?
  • What evidence is there to support that your fear is going to happen?
  • What evidence is there to support that your fear will not happen?

Visualizing

What you think about has the power to change how you feel and behave. For example, if you are thinking about your fear of getting fired at work, it might make you feel insignificant or insecure. Knowing your thoughts have this ability means that you can also use them positively.

Imagining peaceful situations can make you feel at ease when faced with anxiety. When using imagery, you want to use all 5 of your senses. This way you can envision this place in greater detail.

First you will want to identify a place that brings you comfort. Now use all of your senses to take you to that place. You want to be as detailed as possible. For this example I am going to use the beach as my comfort spot.

Sight: I see waves lightly crashing on to the shore, a family eating sandwiches out of a picnic basket next to me, birds flying around, kids building sand castles, endless miles of white sand, a line of tall hotels behind me, and my best friend sitting next to me

Hearing: I hear the sound of the birds chirping, country music playing, the family next to me laughing about the birds trying to take their food, and the crunch of the chip bag as my friend tries to stick her hand in there.

Smell: I smell coconut because of the sunscreen that I am using, the saltiness of the water, my lavender body spray, and the pepperoni pizza that I am having for lunch

Taste: I taste saltiness after swimming in the ocean, marinara sauce from the pizza, and the taste of a yellow gatorade

Touch: I feel the soft sand in between my toes, the sun beating on my face, the water dripping off of my hair onto my back, the wind blowing to the right of me, and the cold gatorade in my hand

Next Steps:

If you found these coping strategies to be helpful and are looking for more ways to reduce your anxiety then we are here for you. At New Vision Counseling and Consulting we have a team of compassionate and highly trained therapists who can help. They will work with you as you become the best version of yourself. The version who lives in peace and not stress and fear. Call (405) 921-7776 to start the process or get more information on how we can help. We are excited to hear from you and begin the journey towards what better looks like for you!

How Anxiety Affects Your Relationships

As a human you were designed by God to pursue and desire close relationships with others. As you are reading, think about the person you depend on most in your life. This might be a spouse, best friend, sibling, or parent. Now think about how you feel when that relationship is in turmoil. It is a dreadful feeling. Even though you desire close relationships it does not mean they are always easy to maintain. Anxiety can affect how you communicate, sustain and connect with your most valued relationships.

If you have struggled with anxiety you know how it can overwhelm how you feel, think, and act. In close relationships it is common for you to experience anxiety. Right about now you may be asking-”Why”? A few reasons are because the thought of losing that person, their affections, approval… can bring you great amounts of physical and emotional distress.

Two ways anxiety can manifest in your relationships are becoming overly dependent on that person or distancing yourself from them. These actions are on two different ends of the spectrum but are both unhealthy ways to cope with the unknowns in your relationship.

Overly Dependent

Being overly dependent on a person can look like many different things. You might be feeling as though you could not live without this person’s love and support. Here are some examples you may be able to identify within your own relationships:

  • Overthinking
  • Replaying past conversations in your head
  • Wanting constant communication and feeling lost and desperate when you don’t get it
  • Need for excessive reassurance
  • Unable to be alone and at peace
  • Planning for the worst case scenario

Avoidance

On the other hand, your anxiety might motivate you to distance yourself from a close relationship. The common underlying belief is that the less you are deeply known the less you can be deeply hurt. You might feel as though you are the only person you can depend on. And although a big part of you may want to grow closer to that person; the fear of getting hurt stops you. Here are some signs that you may be avoiding intimacy.

  • Not wanting to be vulnerable about your inner thoughts and feelings
  • Fear of and refusal to make a true commitment
  • Making important decisions alone
  • Sending mixed signals
  • Withholding love and affection

This is Me .. HELP!

If you feel like you just read a blog about you I want you to know there is hope. Maintaining close relationships can be challenging; especially when you’re experiencing anxiety. The good news is you have already taken at least one step towards better by researching how your anxiety could be affecting your relationships. If you are ready to work through the anxiety and grow closer to the people you love, then reach out today. We can help you uncover the issues keeping you stuck and help you create a path of healing and growth moving forward. A path that includes loving relationships where you are loved and deeply known. We would consider it a privilege to walk alongside you in discovering how to work through the anxiety and strengthen your relationships.

You can reach us at (405) 921-7776 or on the web at NewVisionCounseling.org. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Written by Darby Hargrove and Shawn Maguire, LPC. Shawn owns New Vision Counseling and Consulting and has trained a team of therapists who consistently help their clients achieve life changing results. Because of their success in helping clients heal and come alive they are currently the top rated and reviewed counseling practice in Oklahoma.

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