What does anxiety look and feel like? How we can help and what you can expect by coming to therapy at Pinnacle
Believe it or not, anxiety actually evolved as a crucial survival response. In threatening situations, anxiety primes the body to react in ways that assist in survival. Anxiety triggers the “fight-or-flight” response, which allows us to make quick decisions so that we can protect ourselves from danger. Anxiety disorders develop when the brain and body overestimate the threats in the environment and, as a result, cause us to feel like we need to constantly be on alert despite a lack of actual danger. This constant state of alertness can disrupt our normal functioning by making us fixate on certain aspects of our experience, which in turn does not allow us to utilize our energy in more adaptive ways.
Anxiety disorders have emerged as the most common mental health issue in the United States. There are many symptoms of anxiety disorders that vary across individuals, but common expressions include excessive worry and difficulties controlling the worry, irritability, difficulties sleeping, muscle tension, headache, and irrational expectations. No matter how they present, symptoms of anxiety can feel overwhelming and difficult to control. Symptoms can be immobilizing, making it feel unmanageable to face certain situations. Ultimately, anxiety often feels like a massive obstacle that seems impossible to get past.
So, what do we do? Is it possible to decrease our anxiety symptoms so that we can make room for more pleasant experiences? The good news is that the answer to this question is yes. Anxiety disorders are highly responsive to treatment. By reducing these symptoms, stress levels can be decreased and we can free up space to enjoy life instead of constantly worrying about it.
Our counselors will help you overcome your anxiety
So, at this point, you are probably thinking, Great, so how do I do this?
Research has established Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with gradual exposures as the gold-standard treatment for anxiety disorders. The goal of the treatment is to replace intrusive worry thoughts and beliefs with ones that are more helpful and realistic. Treatment will also focus on implementing stress management and relaxation/mindfulness techniques. Finally, we will engage in exposure activities together in order to face the situations that generate the most anxiety. Ultimately, growth begins at the end of your comfort zone, and proving to yourself that you can complete tasks that have traditionally been worrisome will help increase your confidence and decrease your anxiety levels.
You do not have to face your anxiety on your own. We're here to climb that mountain with you. We can help you carry some of the weight caused by anxiety and provide concrete skills and tools in order to make life feel less stressful and more enjoyable. Climb on.