Anxiety & Stress Reduction
It is normal to experience stress and anxiety from time to time. Symptoms may include exhaustion, difficulty sleeping, or overwhelming fears. These feelings are inevitable for they are a normal and common part of life. While we can’t run away from stress and anxiety altogether, there are simple strategies we can use to manage, control, and reduce these feelings. The American Institute for Cognitive Therapy shows that anxiety is very prevalent among the population. Reports show that 48% of the U.S. population has had a psychiatric disorder at least once in their lifetime and in 25% of people anxiety disorders were linked with depression or substance abuse.
Coping with Stress and Anxiety
Everyday stress is normal, and it usually comes and goes. A person can feel stressed or anxious about finding a job or passing an exam. Perhaps they have an important presentation coming up or are being overwhelmed with work. This all contributes to stress and anxiety, however, many times they result in positive outcomes since it motivates us to get up and do the things we need to do!
Individuals experience stress and anxiety differently, however, common negative symptoms include:
- Rapid breathing
- Panic or nervousness
- Difficulty concentrating
If individuals begin experiencing overwhelming amounts of stress and anxiety to the point where it interferes with their daily life, this may indicate a serious problem. Excessive worrying, irrational fears, or perhaps severe anxiety are all reasons to seek professional help. Failure to do so can result in negative health outcomes such as heart disease, diabetes, depression, among other disorders.
Consequently, people with anxiety disorders have irregular thoughts such as feelings of worthlessness or inferiority to others. They sometimes feel like they are being judged or will make a fool of themselves. This worrying often goes out of control, which is why the help of a professional is necessary. Experts in this field know what causes anxiety stress relievers to be effective.
What Causes Stress and Anxiety?
Common stressors may include moving to a new location, starting a new job, losing a family member or friend, getting married, having a baby, etc. These kinds of stressors are completely normal because they tend to go away after a period. If individuals find that their levels of stress and anxiety seem out of proportion to the stressor, this may be a sign of an anxiety disorder.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder – people who suffer from this disorder cannot stop worrying about a situation even if they understand the situation is not as large as they are making it out to be. They have difficulty concentrating and sleeping. Symptoms include worries, sweating, restlessness, shortness of breath, and irritability.
- Social Anxiety Disorder– this type is also very common and brings problems in social settings that can become stressful and painful. Individuals may feel as if they are constantly being judged and find trouble socializing with others. This interferes with their school, work, and other social gatherings. A big problem is that they are worried about being embarrassed or humiliated.
- Panic Disorder – individuals who suffer from this condition experience shortness of breath, rapid heart beating, and negative feelings of doom that often lead to panic attacks.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – this disorder is also known as OCD and is a condition that results in repetitive thoughts within an individual leading to ritual actions such as washing hands excessively or making sure the door is locked multiple times before leaving the house.
Stress and anxiety are both treatable conditions, and there are many different options when seeking treatment. There are many ways to manage stressful situations to avoid leading to endangering effects among yourself or others. A common and reliable treatment is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which consists of an assessment, cognitive restructuring, mindfulness training, and systematic exposure. Through the assessment, a team of experts specifies what situation is triggering the anxiety. Then, in cognitive restructuring, they take a scientific approach to examine their veracity.
Mindfulness training can also be helpful by teaching patients to confront the present rather than getting caught up in negative interpretations about the future. Lastly, systematic exposure teaches them how to reduce anxiety by using mindfulness and cognitive skills.
Richmond Therapy takes pride in offering quality support and services in Richmond, Virginia. If you are looking for an “anxiety counselor near me?” you're in the right place. If you are experiencing stress or anxiety symptoms, I encourage you to give us a call and schedule an appointment.