Overwhelmed With Anxiety
What Can I Do?
Anxiety is the mind and body’s way of telling you there is danger, there is stress, or you are in an unfamiliar situation. According to Anxiety.org, there are three main categories 1) anxiety disorder 2) obsessive-compulsive and related disorder, and 3) trauma and stressor and related disorder. In order to find out if you have anxiety click here to take a quick survey Do I Have Anxiety? 1 Minute Anxiety Quiz.
Common anxiety symptoms include trouble sleeping, feeling restless, having trouble concentrating, being easily startled, worrying about things that may never happen, rapid heart rate, feeling tense or anxious, and having shortness of breath. In addition to these physical symptoms, people with anxiety also experience emotional ones such as fear, worry, anger, sadness, guilt, shame, embarrassment, self-doubt, and loneliness.
People who suffer from anxiety often feel like they cannot control their thoughts and feelings, which leads them to believe that they will be judged by others for how they act or think. They may also feel afraid of making mistakes because they don’t want to disappoint others. These negative emotions cause them to avoid situations where they might make mistakes, which makes it even harder to cope with the anxiety.
The good news is that most people with anxiety disorders respond well to treatment. The bad news is that many people don’t seek help until after the problem becomes severe. If you’re experiencing any of the signs mentioned above, seek professional help.
How to combat anxiety?
There is a multitude of ways to combat or at least lessen anxiety. There is diaphragmatic breathing (deep breathing), audio therapy, yoga, meditation, activating the Vagus Nervous System (VNS), counseling, and medication. For the purposes of this article, I am going to focus on deep breathing, meditation, and activating the VNS.
When using diaphragmatic breathing, as best as possible, focus on the inhalation of the breath through the nose and exhalation of the breath through pursed lips while simultaneously expanding the belly when inhaling and contracting the belly when exhaling. This technique takes practice but it will help calm down anxiety. When we think about an infant sleeping, we watch their belly expand and contract with each breath and that is exactly what we should be doing when we are breathing. Performing diaphragmatic breathing 6-8 times a day will help in lessening anxiety.
Meditation has become more popular for calm and relaxation from anxiety. Either you are repeating a mantra silently or listening to meditative background sounds. Some short simple mantras can be saying
like; ‘mindset is everything’, ‘awareness precedes change’, ‘peace and presence for all circumstances’, or ‘there is no time like the present.’ For an example of a relaxation background sound, click the link 432 Hz – Deep Healing Music for The Body & Soul – DNA Repair, Relaxation Music, Meditation Music– YouTube.
When talking about activating the Vagus Nervous System (VNS) we must know what the VNS is. The VNS is part of our parasympathetic nervous system and it is in charge of our calm/relaxed feelings. The VNS runs down the base of our skull, down behind the ears, through the sides of our neck, and into the middle of our chest. From our chest, the VNS is connected to all our major organs. We can activate our VNS by utilizing cold. Either put an icepack in the center of your chest, behind your ears, or on your forearm. This will activate the calm/relaxed sensation and help to relieve anxiety.
Get Support From A Mental Health Professional
Our staff at New Heights Counseling wants you to know, that help is available. Call us today at (850) 757-1552 or visit our website at New Heights Counseling to schedule an appointment with one of our counselors who specializes in helping people recognize their anxiety triggers and help them learn to overcome them. Check out our staff bios on our website at meet our team. Our mental health providers will develop a treatment plan with you, so you can get your anxiety under control. We will walk alongside you at whatever pace you’re comfortable with.
New Heights therapists are professionally trained to help people who suffer from anxiety. Therapeutic techniques include cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness meditation, as well as other types of psychotherapy. Anxiety disorders are often treated with medications such as antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs. Check with your family doctor if medication is appropriate for you.
- Tips and Strategies to Manage Anxiety and Stress, Anxiety Depression Association of America
- Anxiety and panic attacks, Mind.org.uk
- Can’t Escape Anxiety! by Colleen Wenner, Founder & Director of New Heights Counseling
Other Mental Health Services Offered At New Heights Counseling
The staff at New Heights provides counseling for a wide range of issues such as divorce, separation, family problems, parenting skills, anger management, anxiety, depression, stress, grief, loss, addiction, abuse, trauma, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, self-esteem, confidence, body image, eating disorders, and many more. Our goal is to help you find the best solution for your situation and we will work together to achieve that goal. We are here to listen and understand what you need so we can give you the tools to make positive changes in your life.
We are located on the 2nd floor of WorkSpace Suites at 1992 Lewis Turner Blvd, Suite 1057, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547. Get directions here on Google Maps or visit our office location webpage. Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 4 PM. Evenings/Weekends by appointments. Call (850)757-1552.
About the Author:
Shareen Ancog is a Master’s Level Pre-Licensed Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern at New Heights Counseling. She is Level 2 trauma trained in EMDR and devoted to assisting people in overcoming life obstacles. Shareen is dedicated to her clients’ care and services in Fort Walton Beach, Crestview, Niceville, Destin, and surrounding communities. Book an appointment with Shareen today HERE!