Is anxiety running your life?

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Anxiety is awful. That feeling of always being ‘on-edge,’ ‘over-stressed,’ and restless is exhausting. Maybe your busy life and schedule are so full that you've run out of time for yourself. Maybe when you do have time for yourself, you feel guilty. Perhaps you choose to fill that time with (yet another) task from your 'do to' list. Either way, at the end of the day you don’t know how to deal with being overwhelmed and depleted.

The pressure of being a good parent, a good student, building a fulfilling career, or helping others can become overwhelming. When we put so much pressure on ourselves to do good work and make the best choices, anxiety can skyrocket. You care a lot about the people and things that bring meaning to your life, and this anxiety seems to be holding you back. It may impact your self-confidence and creativity. It might hinder your ability to communicate your needs and draw effective boundaries with others. Overall, it takes a toll on the satisfaction you feel towards your quality of life, work, family, and relationships.

You may look around and notice that others are able to ‘just go with the flow’ and ‘not worry,’ but this hasn’t been your experience in life and you have trouble shutting off. Symptoms such as panic attacks, racing thoughts, sleeplessness, stomach pain, and muscle tension are common experiences of anxiety. You may have even noticed signs of depression such as lack of energy, numbness, negative thinking, low self-esteem, or over-sleeping. Depression and anxiety symptoms often go hand in hand with each other.

You’ve probably tried some useful ways to help anxiety. Self-care practices like yoga, meditation, and eating healthfully are important, but they're not impacting your anxiety enough to bring you the level of balance that you need. Sometimes, anxiety even gets in the way of our ability to engage in these self-care practices to begin with.

Forty million Americans experience anxiety, but only 1/3 seek anxiety therapy.

That’s a lot of people walking around with anxiety (https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety) and enduring the symptoms. In fact, all people experience anxiety - it's a natural emotion that helps alert us to danger so we can protect ourselves. It's a good system that tries to keep us safe. Problem is, sometimes that system forgets how to shut off.

The good news is that there are lot of ways to decrease anxiety—and counseling can help. People who choose to seek anxiety treatment might notice that their panic attacks become less frequent, their racing thoughts grow calmer, and they regain a sense of control and confidence in their life and relationships.

Anxiety therapy works.

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I approach anxiety treatment from a positive, strengths-based perspective. We will work together to find what works for you. As an anxiety therapist, I am invested in helping you find solutions that fit your lifestyle, your personality, and your strengths.

I am trained in a technique called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). EMDR uses eye-movement and brain activation to help you learn to 'turn off' the anxiety response when it's no longer helpful. Many of my clients have found this technique extremely useful for decreasing their fear and increasing their access to their own internal resources.

I may also make use of the Enneagram, a personality typing system that focuses on self-awareness and self-growth. Sometimes anxiety is rooted in our personalities and in the habitual patterns of the way we think and behave. The Enneagram can be an extremely helpful tool in understanding why you experience anxiety in the first place. It can help teach you how to release it.

I also use a body-based approach to help you tune into your body’s natural healing systems. I may walk you through grounding exercises, breathing practices, and guided meditations that help you experience bringing your own anxiety down.

You may have questions about anxiety therapy...

What if anxiety isn’t my only concern?

Coming to anxiety therapy is about exploring the dynamics of being a human being. My favorite thing about self work is that positive growth in one area impacts all the other areas of being too. We do not heal parts of selves in isolation. It’s ALL connected. If you are curious about my experience or comfort level with a specific diagnosis or area of concern, give me a call and we can chat about it.

What are your thoughts about medication?

Medication is a personal choice. For some people, medication is the key to helping them feel better. Sometimes medication is the intervention that helps someone feel well enough to be receptive to other interventions. However, medication isn’t always the answer and there can be some negative side effects.

Many of my clients value natural remedies and want to focus on building their own coping tools instead of putting a substance into their bodies. Either way, I will support whatever choice you make and will help you determine what works best for you.

I am connected with acupuncturists, massage therapists, energy healers, and physical therapists. These therapies can be an excellent addition to counseling and I can recommend some great folks. If you decide to try medication, I can recommend some great folks there too.

What if I don’t know what to talk about?

Being unsure of what to focus on in therapy is really common. If you are finding yourself stuck, I’ll ask some questions to help get us going. Sometimes even just talking about your reactions to everyday life experiences can lead to profound self-awareness and opportunities for growth.

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Are you ready to get started?

Finding the right therapist is an important step towards healing. It’s important that you feel validated, understood, and comfortable. Feel free to contact me for a free, 15-minute phone consultation. This is primarily for us to get a sense of each other, and for you to ask any questions you might have.

You can reach me at (828) 357-7407 or hannawoodycounseling@gmail.com, or easily schedule an appointment with me here.