“You just need to get over it.”

     Have you ever been told that before? Or, “there’s nothing to freak out about.  Just don’t think about it so much.” If only it were that simple.  Most of the time you know there’s nothing to freak out about, that you need to get over it and life would be easier if you just didn’t think about it so much.  You know that your mind is overreacting, but it feels impossible to stop the endless loop of worry.  It’s like there’s a voice in your head telling you that you need to be on guard because everything is not ok, when in reality everything is ok. 

            This constant stress of wondering when the “bad thing” is going to happen might cause a tight knot in your stomach.  Your mind might race when you’re anxious, trying to sort through all of the information coming at you trying to find the “bad thing.”  Then, because you are overwhelmed with all of your thoughts, the smallest incident can set you off.  Or, you might be having the totally opposite experience; anxiety might be causing you feel totally detached and as if you are not even in your body.  The experience of anxiety is as unique as the person experiencing it.

It’s normal to feel some anxiety. 

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There are some life situations to which anxiety is a very normal response.  For example, if you are to stand in front of a large group of people and tell your life story, it’s reasonable to be anxious.  Or, if you’re swimming to the surface after doing a deep water dive, but realize the surface is much farther than you thought. That, too, is a situation that can induce a profound anxiety response.  Normally, the anxious feelings come and then pass when the threat passes.  The problem happens when the worrisome feelings don’t leave.  They stick.

            With my guidance you will learn how to take the power away from your anxious thoughts.  You will learn how to recognize troubling thought patterns, acknowledge their presence, and continue on in spite of them. We cannot make the nervous thoughts disappear entirely.  That is impossible.  In fact, the more we try to do that, the stronger they become. But we can greatly reduce their hold on you.

I’ve tried everything.  There’s no way you can get rid of my anxiety.  It’s just the way I am.

            It’s true.  You may be someone who, through both nature and nurture, is more likely to have anxious tendencies than others.  I am not proposing that through therapy your thoughts will radically change and you will be symptom free.  Our work together is more about building a skill set that will allow you to recognize your thoughts as helpful or unhelpful and then deal with them accordingly.  In doing so, you will discover a greater freedom – and hopefully joy – than you currently have.

Every time I’ve brought up my concerns to other healthcare professionals, they just want me to take a pill.  I don’t want to do that.

            My treatment plan will never include medication.  I do not have a license to prescribe nor is it within my scope of expertise to make that recommendation.  Our work together is centered around evidence based talk therapy techniques that have been proven to work.

If you believe anxious thoughts are preventing you from having the life you want, please reach out to me. I offer a FREE 15-minute phone consultation.