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Anxiety Therapy

Unlocking Inner Wisdom, Reclaiming Peace: Your Journey to Overcoming Anxiety Begins Here.

"It hits me out of nowhere and I can't stop feeling anxious"

"I had to leave the party early, I just didn't feel comfortable"

"I'm constantly worried about what other people think of me"

"My nightmares have become intolerable. I can't sleep"

"I have to check the locks multiple times before leaving my house"

"I feel anxious driving"

"I'm always worried"

"I need a drink to feel comfortable"

"I feel knots in my stomach at work. I can't focus"

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a common reaction to certain life events. All of our emotions, including anxiety, are equally important and functional. Occasional anxiety is a common part of life and can actually be helpful in certain situations, as it can motivate us to take action and be alert.

 

Anxiety serves a purpose. However, when it becomes overwhelming and uncontrollable it can cause significant pain and suffering. It can make it impossible to lead the life that you want to live.

 

Like other emotions, anxiety is a holistic experience that triggers a mental (images, memories, urges) cognitive (thoughts) and physiological (body) response. 

How does Anxiety impact the body?

 

Anxiety is the product of our body’s acute stress response known as “fight or flight.” When we are faced with perceived threat our sympathetic nervous system becomes activated with the release of hormones.

 

Adrenaline and the stress hormone Cortisol are released in order to prepare us to take on action by either running away or fighting. Once the threat is gone, it takes the body approximately 1 minute to return to baseline. 

Here are some ways anxiety can impact the body:

  1. Cardiovascular System: Anxiety can cause an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, leading to a faster pulse and potential palpitations. Prolonged anxiety can strain the cardiovascular system and increase the risk of heart problems.
     

  2. Respiratory System: Anxiety can lead to rapid breathing or hyperventilation. Some individuals may experience shortness of breath, a feeling of suffocation, or even panic attacks.
     

  3. Musculoskeletal System: Anxiety can result in muscle tension and tightness. This can lead to muscle aches, headaches, and general discomfort. In chronic cases, it may contribute to the development of conditions like tension headaches or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
     

  4. Gastrointestinal System: Anxiety can disrupt the digestive system, causing symptoms like stomachaches, nausea, diarrhea, or constipation. Some individuals may experience an increase in acid reflux or appetite changes.
     

  5. Immune System: Prolonged anxiety can weaken the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to illnesses and infections. It can also slow down the healing process.
     

  6. Sleep Patterns: Anxiety can significantly impact sleep. Many people with anxiety disorders struggle with falling asleep, staying asleep, or experiencing restful sleep. This can lead to fatigue, daytime drowsiness, and difficulties with concentration.
     

  7. Mental and Emotional Well-being: Anxiety can affect cognitive functions, leading to difficulties with concentration, memory, and decision-making. It can also intensify emotional responses, leading to feelings of irritability, restlessness, and a sense of impending doom.

What causes Anxiety?

Anxiety can arise from a combination of various factors, including biological, environmental, and psychological influences. Here are some common factors that can contribute to the development of anxiety:

  1. Genetics and Family History: There is evidence to suggest that certain individuals may have a genetic predisposition to developing anxiety disorders. If you have a close family member with an anxiety disorder, you may be at a higher risk of developing one yourself.
     

  2. Brain Chemistry and Imbalance: Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain that play a role in regulating mood and anxiety. Imbalances or abnormalities in neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine have been linked to anxiety disorders.
     

  3. Environmental Factors: Certain environmental factors or life events can contribute to the development of anxiety. Traumatic experiences, such as physical or emotional abuse, loss of a loved one, or a major life transition, can trigger anxiety symptoms. Chronic stress from work, school, relationships, or financial issues can also contribute to anxiety.
     

  4. Personality Traits: Individuals with certain personality traits may be more prone to anxiety. For example, people who are perfectionistic, have a tendency to overthink or have a negative outlook, or who struggle with low self-esteem may be more susceptible to anxiety disorders.
     

  5. Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions or chronic illnesses can be associated with anxiety symptoms. For instance, thyroid disorders, cardiovascular conditions, respiratory disorders, and hormonal imbalances can contribute to anxiety.
     

  6. Substance Abuse: Substance abuse or withdrawal from certain substances, such as drugs, alcohol, or medications, can induce or exacerbate anxiety symptoms. Substance abuse can also interfere with the effectiveness of anxiety treatments.
     

  7. Caffeine and Stimulants: Consumption of excessive caffeine or other stimulants can trigger or worsen anxiety symptoms in some individuals.

It's important to note that anxiety is a complex condition, and the exact causes can vary from person to person. Often, it is a combination of multiple factors rather than a single cause. Understanding the underlying causes of anxiety is crucial for effective treatment and management.

 

"impressions of the past are still inside of us and they can get stimulated by different events"

Michael Singer 

Contact us to learn more about Anxiety.

Common Symptoms of Anxiety

  • Increased heart rate

  • Sweating 

  • Pale or flushed skin

  • Inability to focus 

  • Restlessness

  • Lack of confidence 

  • Lack of sleep 

  • Lack of appetite

  • Vomiting 

  • Fear 

  • Panic

  • Trembling

  • Feeling irritable

  • Feeling unworthy

  • Increased blood pressure 

  • Muscle tension  

  • Gastrointestinal Problems

It is important to know that your anxiety may stem from forces deeper than negative thoughts. Childhood experiences can wire pathways in your brain that cause anxious responses.

Remember to distinguish your habitual way of managing stress with who you really are. Some of us retreat when we feel anxious, some over-function, and some get lost in thoughts. Some of us live in a state of dissociation while others feel overwhelmed and experience severe panic attacks.

Remember that these behaviours are patterned responses to anxiety rather than a reflection of your authentic Self. 

Anxiety Counselling, Anxiety Therapy at Life Wise Counselling

Treatment of Anxiety 

At Life Wise Counselling, our goal is to support your healing by guiding you in becoming mindful of your responses to stress. We can show you how to reclaim control of your body so that you can transition out of your habitual stress response. As you become more mindful and self aware, you will learn how to choose whether your situation warrants an anxious response or a calm and collected response.

In addition to invaluable psycho-education provided by our experienced therapists, we hope to provide you with tools that you can employ to minimize the debilitating effects of anxiety. We use different modalities that are grounded in science and proven to be effective treatments including:

  • Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

  • Mindfulness Based Therapy

  • Psychosomatic Therapy

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Learn to effectively express your emotions, process your fears, and cultivate greater self-acceptance.

Break free from anxiety's grip: rediscover joy and embrace life with confidence and wisdom.

 

If you would like to learn more about Anxiety, contact us at 604-449-8549 or info@lifewiseclinic.com

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