Anxiety is part of being alive…unfortunately! Our brains have an amazing signaling system built-in to keep us alive and safe by constantly scanning our surroundings and our bodies to check to see if we’re in danger. This very normal system shifts into an anxiety issue when it gets stuck in over-drive.
Our brains sometimes ruminate over all the scary “what ifs” of life and focus so much on the terrifying unknowns of the future (as a way of trying to prepare and protect us from it) that we can get stuck in a fight-flight-freeze (F-F-F) response. At times, the F-F-F response is so intense, it evolves into a panic attack. Basically, the brain’s helpful danger-detector doesn’t know the difference between if a saber-tooth tiger is currently chasing you, or if you just had a thought about the terrifying possibility of being laughed out of the conference room at your next work presentation. The brain literally responds the same way, and so it signals to your body that you are in imminent danger by raising your heart rate, shortening your breath, tensing your muscles, etc. as if you needed to run, fight, or play dead in the face of a tiger.
We offer hands-on coping strategies to work with your anxiety as well as ways to understand it and relate to it in a brand new, healthy way. Using skills from EMDR, Mindfulness practices, Acceptance Commitment Therapy, and Narrative Therapy (to name a few), we will create an individual treatment plan to help you work through and get relief from your particular brand of anxiety. Anxiety itself may never fully go away (because you still need a little of it to stay alive), but you will be able to have more control over your mind rather than your mind having control over you.
For more understanding of your own anxiety and what to do with it, check out the 3 part blog series "When Anxiety Attacks" by Rebecca Thompson, LCSW. Also, all of our therapists are incredibly skilled with various approaches to helping with anxiety. Check them out to see who might be the best fit for you!