Are You Worried, Nervous, And Always Running Through The ‘What Ifs’?

Do you feel too stressed out to enjoy your life? Are you tired of always ruminating on all the ‘What if’ questions in your mind? Do you wish you could feel more confident and secure in yourself and have these feelings go away?

Maybe anxiety is interfering with every area of your life—you’re worried about your work, finances, relationships, health, etc. Perhaps you’re constantly second-guessing yourself and overthinking every decision you make. No matter how hard you try to shut off your mind, it’s always going—reminding you of all the worst-case scenarios that could happen (what if I don’t graduate? What if I can’t make the rent? What if my relationship ends? What if everyone laughs at me?).

Maybe anxiety just feels awful in your body, causing a racing heart, shortness of breath, tense muscles, or ‘butterflies’ and stomach aches. Deep down, you probably just wish you could get a moment’s peace by shutting off your brain and training your body to relax.

Anxiety Can Make You Constantly Busy Or Constantly Avoidant

Oftentimes, anxiety leads to two emotional extremes. On one hand, it can cause you to go, go, and go, keeping you in a state of constant busyness and hyper-reactivity. On the other, it can make you withdraw entirely and avoid everything that makes you anxious. You might enter a state of emotional “shutdown”—saying no to outings with friends, calling in sick from work, and avoiding certain people, places, and situations.

With the right help and support, you don’t have to live with such an anxious mindset. A better life is possible. Therapy with Darcy Bailey & Associates Counselling can help you improve your confidence, learn to trust your intuition and decisions, and free yourself from the grip of anxiety.

Anxiety Is A Survival Mechanism That Can Sometimes Go Awry 

At its core, anxiety serves a protective measure. It’s a survival mechanism that can sometimes work in your favor. When you’re in danger, your body has an alarm system to keep you from harm. It triggers your ‘flight-fight-freeze’ (3 F’s) response. It may have your run from the situation (flight), yell (fight), or simply be still (freeze). 

woman in a red sweater pulling it up to cover her face partiallyWalking home late at night by yourself, giving a speech to a large crowd, or playing in a big sporting event are all situations where it’s healthy to feel a little anxious. It can help you stay motivated and alert. But when you have an anxiety disorder, your body’s alarm system goes off even when there’s no danger present. In this way, an anxiety disorder can interfere with your life and control your decisions.

Our Culture’s Obsession With External Gratification Only Creates More Anxiety 

Anxiety is an internal problem. Yet in our world today, we are all taught to solve our problems through external validation. Consumer culture tells us that having more stuff will make us feel better. We spend our lives chasing jobs, money, relationships, beauty, and other external means of happiness. We think “Once I get this, I’ll be happy” instead of trying to manage our emotions and strengthen our inner resources. 

Because we have a false idea of what the problem is (“not having enough”), the solution (“having more”) always leaves us empty. Counselling is a chance to look beyond quick fixes and get to the bottom of anxiety instead of relying on external solutions.

Anxiety Therapy Can Help You Be Calm And Relaxed So That You Enjoy Your Life More

Here at Darcy Bailey & Associates Counselling, we believe you have the resources within you to manage your anxiety. Our mission is to help you tap into these resources, play to your strengths, and learn new strategies for reducing your stress. The goal is not to eliminate anxiety—as a little anxiety can be healthy—but to regulate it so that it doesn’t control your life. 

Our sessions provide a safe, non-judgmental space where you can share your emotions and feel seen, heard, and respected. We’re not going to sit there and nod the whole time, but we’re also not going to talk into clouds and give you tons of clinical information. Instead, we want to meet you where you’re at and work alongside you. We’re here to provide guidance, accountability, emotional support, and a space to process your experiences as you reach for your goals. 

What To Expect In Anxiety Treatment Sessions

Our approach to therapy can be compared to an iceberg. We like to look at what’s on top of the water, exploring the symptoms and behaviours that keep you stuck in an anxious mindset and keep your body in a reactive state. It’s also important to dive below the surface and explore the root causes of your anxiety. Sometimes this means working through unresolved trauma, toxic relationships, or upsetting events that made anxiety your default response to the world around you. 

Many of our therapists draw heavily from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to treat anxiety. The goal of CBT is to identify the distorted thought patterns that keep you stuck in a loop of anxious behaviour. If you tend to overgeneralise or catastrophise, for example, CBT can help you train your brain to think more realistically and develop new thought patterns and behaviors so that you can feel calmer and more relaxed. 

For clients whose anxiety stems from trauma, we often use EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing) therapy. This approach uses a series of gentle stimulation exercises to help your brain reprocess the painful events and relationships that made you feel anxious and unsafe in your own skin. 

No matter how stressed out you feel right now, anxiety is very treatable. We’ve had lots of success helping clients learn to manage and reduce their anxiety. We want the same for you. With the right help and support, we’re confident that you can rewire your brain and nervous system and have a calmer, more relaxed experience of life.

You May Have Some Questions About Anxiety Therapy…

How long before I can expect to start feeling better?

We usually start working on symptom reduction right away so that you can stabilise your mood and feel some relief from the get-go. That said, healing from anxiety takes time. It’s important to be patient with yourself. You’ll need to understand how anxiety affects you, make a habit of practicing the right self-regulating skills, and work on changing your thoughts and feelings. Once you do, you’ll likely find that anxiety is much easier to manage. 

What if anxiety comes back after I’ve already worked through it?

Anxiety is not something you can ever really “get over.” After all, it’s a normal part of human existence and can even keep you safe. Your anxiety may completely resolve, or it can be very effectively managed where it comes up in minimal ways. The goal of therapy is to give you skills to work through anxiety with a high level of confidence so that if it comes back, you are equipped to handle it.

african american woman smiling at something off cameraDo I need to be on medication?

No, you don’t. As therapists, we don’t prescribe medication. Although medication can improve your mood, it can’t give you new skills and strategies and it also can’t get to the root cause of your symptoms. This is why we encourage you to try therapy first and, if you decide you want to supplement it with medication, we can provide some resources for you and work with anyone else in your circle of care.

Anxiety Does Not Define You

Anxiety may be holding you back right now, but it doesn’t have to be that way forever. To connect with an anxiety counsellor and get the support you need, you can fill out the contact form or call 604-533-9163. 

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