Anxiety Can Be an Uphill Battle
Anxiety is a normal human response to stress or perceived threats, but for those living with anxiety disorders, these feelings can become extreme and paralyzing. Symptoms of anxiety can differ between people, but there are some commonly experienced emotional and physical indicators.
Recurring emotional symptoms may include:
- Excessive worry or fear
- Irritability and mood swings
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feeling on edge
The physical symptoms of anxiety may manifest as:
- Increased heart rate and heart palpitations
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle tension or tightness
- Headaches and migraines
- Digestion issues
People who struggle with anxiety often find themselves caught in a cycle of negative thinking and worry, leading to withdrawal and isolation, and back to worry again. It can feel like climbing a steep hill, as every step forward may be met with setbacks and challenges.
When and Why Should You Seek Therapy?
While everyone deals with feeling stressed and anxious on occasion, there is a threshold where these feelings begin to interfere with the ability to live life normally and fully. This might look like skipping work or school, failing to complete important tasks, relationships becoming strained or distant, or inability to leave the house. However, it does not have to get to that point for someone to seek out anxiety therapy in Chicago. Self-help is great, but it's also important to get professional support when you need it.
Therapy can be transformative for people who struggle to cope with anxiety day-to-day. Therapists provide a safe and non-judgmental space for people to explore their fears, worries, and triggers. They can help clients gain insight into thoughts and behaviors underlying anxiety, identify patterns, and develop healthier ways of thinking and responding to anxiety-provoking situations. No matter what your level of anxiety or other mental health concerns are, therapy is a supportive process that can help you become a more well-rounded version of yourself; one who isn’t held back in life by anxiety.
Different Therapeutic Approaches
There are multiple therapeutic approaches when it comes to anxiety treatment in Chicago, and having an idea of what each one involves can be helpful, especially if you're new to therapy. Here are some popular ways to treat and overcome anxiety disorders.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a well-known therapy method that involves identifying and challenging negative thought patterns and beliefs that contribute to a person's anxiety. This approach can sometimes include relaxation and breathing exercises, and exposure therapy which helps patients gradually confront and overcome their fears. It can be relatively short-term and may lead you to more extensive work that gets to the root of an anxiety issue.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
This approach is another well-known and commonly used practice in treating anxiety. EMDR involves guided eye movements or other forms of bilateral stimulation undergone while recalling distressing memories in the presence of your therapist. This technique aims to help people process and reframe traumatic memories, reducing the emotional intensity associated with them.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
DBT focuses primarily on teaching skills to those with anxiety in order to better manage their emotions, tolerate distress, and improve their relationships. This approach incorporates techniques like mindfulness, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness and can often be used in tandem with DBT group therapy.
Tips for Coping with Anxiety in Everyday Life
Embarking on the journey to conquer anxiety may feel overwhelming, but with regular therapy and a handful of coping strategies, it's possible to find a sense of calm in the chaos of life. These are a few tips for combating anxious feelings day-to-day.
- Prioritize physical health: taking care of your physical well-being can have a positive impact on your mental health. Ensure you are getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and engaging in regular exercise.
- Make time for things you love: it's important that we carve out time to do things we enjoy or promote relaxation. Engage in hobbies, spend time with loved ones, read a book, or take a relaxing bath.
- Establish a routine: having more structure in your life can be hugely helpful if you have anxiety as it can provide a sense of stability and control. Try things like planning out your day, setting specific goals, and prioritizing tasks.
Get Tailored Mental Health Support from Wellington Counseling Group
At WCG, we are committed to providing supportive and compassionate anxiety therapy in Chicago. Our therapists work closely with you to build resilience, reduce anxiety symptoms, and improve your quality of life.
Get in touch today to get started on your healing journey.