Everyone experiences anxiety and worry. Anxiety is a felt sense of unease and is your body’s natural response to feeling endangered. Worry is the “thinking” part of anxiety.
Worry thoughts are nearly always future-oriented and focused on “what if” scenarios. Basically, we worry about things that could create suffering in our lives.
A rather simple example is how we may worry over having potentially left a candle burning. You may ask yourself: ”What if I left that candle burning?” Scary images come to mind, you begin to feel endangered, and your body responds as if the threat is actually happening. Anxiety is now upon you.
Although all of us experience occasional anxiety and worry, some of us struggle more intensely with them.
You may want to reclaim your life from anxiety and worry if you:
- Feel like your anxiety and worry thoughts are controlling your life.
- Believe that worrying about something helps prevent it from happening.
- Frequently feel something is about to go wrong.
- Have non-medically explained body pain, stomach issues, difficulties concentrating or sleeping, or feeling drained of your energy and well-being.
- Experience avoidance, procrastination, difficulty making decisions, or checking and rechecking in response to your worry thoughts.
- Have trouble in your relationships because of your need for reassurance or “checking in”.
- Use substances (e.g., alcohol, drugs, foods) or technology (e.g., social media, games on your mobile device, tracking apps) to try to avoid, calm down, or turn off your worry thoughts.
How I help you struggle less with anxiety and worry
My approach to anxiety and worry is drawn from two highly effective mindfulness-based behavioral therapies: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. I trained for hundreds of hours with experts in each modality and am experienced working with an array of anxiety disorders, including specific phobias to generalized anxiety disorder, and every day worry that gets in the way of life.
Together, we can reclaim your life from anxiety and worry.
The ways I help with anxiety and worry include:
- Mindfulness Skills: help direct your attention toward the things that matter to you in any given moment. I will teach you how to ground yourself in the here and now, catch when worry thoughts pull you into the future, and to notice when the experience of anxiety upon you. Once you are better able to stay in the present and notice your thoughts and feelings, you will have more choices in how you respond.
- Acceptance and Change skills: help you respond very differently to your thoughts, emotions, and unpleasant anxiety-related body-based sensations. As you probably already know after years of struggling and trying to get rid of your anxiety and worry, they both often intensify with avoidance. Once you are no longer caught in that struggle, you have the freedom to act on your values and create a meaningful life for yourself, even in the presence of occasional worry.
- Behavior prevention skills: help you make different choices over how you respond to your anxiety and worry. If you have behaviors like checking, rechecking, avoiding certain situations or experiences, or seeking reassurance from loved ones -and these are interfering with the life you want to be living- we will work together to create opportunities for you to experience life as it is rather than how your mind predicts it will be.
- Other skills training as needed: often when we have lived a life controlled by anxiety and worry, we have put a lot of energy into those efforts and need skills training in other important areas like decision-making, goal setting, action planning, time management, saying no, delegating and asking for help.
Irrespective of how worry and anxiety affect your well-being, we can work together to help you stop avoiding and start living. If you are ready to reclaim your life, please reach out to discuss your situation and see how I may help.