Racing thoughts, feelings of overwhelm, rapid heartbeat, trouble sleeping, excessive worry, irritability … these are some of the common symptoms of anxiety.
Struggling with anxiety? You’re not alone.
According to Anxiety Canada, 1 in 5 people are negatively affected by anxiety at some point throughout their lives.
You don’t have to suffer through it – you can live with more ease, calm, and freedom.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is your body’s response to stress.
Anxiety can show up as:
- Emotions: dread, fear, nervousness, anticipation, apprehension, worry
- Behaviours: avoidance of activities, withdrawing socially, sleep disturbances
- Thoughts: replaying situations from the past, worrying about future events, negative self-talk
- Physical sensations: rapid heart beat, sweaty palms, difficulty breathing, stomachaches, headaches, shaky hands, chest pain
To a certain extent, everyone experiences anxiety and it can actually help keep safe and protected from dangerous situations.
Imagine you are walking on a sidewalk and go to cross the road only to step back quickly to avoid someone riding their bicycle zooming past you. You may jump back quickly and need to pause for a second while your heart beat slows down and you’re able to take a few deep breaths.
Thanks to our body’s internal system referred to as our ‘fight, flight, or freeze’ response, we are able to be cautious and protect ourselves from harm.
But when anxiety starts to interfere with your daily life, causing harm, distress, or being unmanageable, it may be time to ask for help.
Excessive anxiety can show up as:
- feeling like you are constantly on edge or cannot relax
- withdrawing from friends or family
- interfering with your ability to work
- avoiding certain places, situations, or people
- worrying about the future
- replaying past events repeatedly
- finding it difficult to make decisions or concentrate
- having sleep disturbances
- experiencing digestive problems, headaches, chest pains, difficulty breathing, dry mouth, sweaty or shaky hands
This does not have to be your reality.
Therapy for anxiety can help not only alleviate your symptoms, but uncover the root cause of the issue.
It is possible to:
- live with more ease
- feel calm in your mind and body
- find ways to relax
- experience joy in daily life
Anxiety therapy normally begins with understanding how anxiety affects you. Together with your therapist, you can start to explore your relationship with anxiety, and change the way your mind and body have become accustomed to reacting to anxiety and stress.
Rather than feeling trapped, stuck, helpless, and fearful, anxiety therapy can help you feel more empowered, confident, in control, and prepared to cope with anxiety symptoms as they arise throughout life.
It is important to reduce the intensity of the distressing and uncomfortable sensations you are experiencing, but also to address what lies beneath the surface of a trigger that is sometimes invisible or difficult to pinpoint.
Our therapists will work with you to customize a plan that is unique to you and what you are going through. Together, you will work towards developing awareness, understanding your responses, and changing your reactions to anxiety.
Some of the benefits of anxiety therapy:
- Turning down the ‘volume intensity’ of your symptoms
- Overcoming unhelpful behaviours
- Developing new insights
- Learning and implementing healthy lifelong ways to cope with anxiety
- Addressing the cause and shifting negative beliefs and perspectives
Evidence-based therapy approaches we use at Open Door Therapist that help people with anxiety are:
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
- Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
- Mindfulness based approaches
- Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)
- Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
- Parts Work Therapy
It is not only about thinking differently but also feeling differently. Freedom and living with ease is possible.