I'm feeling anxious and I don't know what to do about it.
Anxiety is normal. We are wired with it as our bodies own alarm system to keep us out of harm and prepare us for important events. It is a warning system--telling us to watch out if we attempt to cross the street and suddenly hear a horn. The adrenaline kicks in and almost without thought we look and dodge out of the way. But there are other times that the anxiety a person feels is irrational and persistent--and can really interfere with life because the fears are unwarranted. Sometimes the worry is so pervasive you cannot see the bigger picture--much like the image on the right. If that is the case, you may have an anxiety disorder--and there IS help. Below are four common types of anxiety disorders and I want you to know, if you see yourself in the descriptions below, there is hope. I will introduce you to some new techniques to help keep your mind focused and in control rather than letting irrational thoughts control you! With some focused sessions on your anxiety, we can bring your whole world back into focus just like looking through the viewfinder and seeing the beautiful vistas beyond.
In treating anxiety disorders, I use a combination of:
"Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength."
Want a quick way to lower your blood pressure, relax, and refocus when you're feeling yourself spiraling? Try 4-7-8 breathing. Inhale through your nose slowly to the count of four, hold the breath for the count of seven, and exhale through your mouth for the count of eight. Originally created by Dr. Andrew Weil and called the 4-7-8 technique, I sometimes have modified it slightly for ease of remembering to 6, 7, 8. For the best benefit to your nervous system and brain, though, use the 4-7-8. This breathing helps regulate the fight-or-flight response felt when we’re stressed, forcing the mind and body to focus on regulating the breath, rather than replaying the worry cycle. As with most exercise, with time and with repeated practice, the technique becomes more powerful. However, repeat only 2-3 times at one time to prevent feeling lightheaded. Even if at first the effects aren’t as apparent practicing 6-7-8 breathing at least twice per day can yield greater results in refocusing and calming. Added bonus? It can also help you fall asleep! Check out this link for more details by Dr. Weil.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Social Anxiety Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is characterized by constant, chronic, and unsubstantiated worry causing significant stress, disrupting social activities, and interfering with work, school,
There can be components of edginess, irritability, insomnia, or difficulty concentrating
more days than not for no apparent reason. Also common is restlessness, muscle pain, and fatigue not related to a specific physical or
With new tools and ideas we can learn to conquer this without medication quite often.
We all have habits and routines that help us stay clean, healthy, and safe. Washing our hands before eating, locking the doors, and turning off the iron before leaving the house are all rituals that are good practices to maintain. But those with OCD experience unwanted and intrusive thoughts (obsessions), which cause them to repeatedly perform ritualistic behaviors and routines (compulsions) to ease their anxiety or discomfort.
In addition, some people have thoughts that loop causing them great distress and difficulty in life. Specific treatments can help this internally painful condition.
People with social anxiety disorder have strong physical symptoms before or during social situations, which may include blushing, sweating, trembling, nausea, heart palpitations, chest discomfort, shortness of breath, dizziness, or headaches. It goes beyond the initial shyness of walking into a party of acquaintances and strangers, often turning into avoidance of most social situations, even small gatherings of family and friends.
For many this began in childhood, and although it starts there, now it's difficult to handle business meetings, present ideas at events or meetings, and interact even in situations that others find fun. Learn how to deal with this and take charge of your interactions with others.
Do you sometimes have sudden attacks of anxiety and overwhelming fear that last for several minutes? Maybe your heart pounds, you sweat, and you feel like you can’t breathe or think. Do these attacks occur at unpredictable times with no obvious trigger, causing you to worry about the possibility of having another one at any time? Or, do they come up in situations in which you might feel trapped, like when you are stuck in traffic.
If so, you may have a type of anxiety disorder called panic disorder. Being frightened of certain places that have previously been associated with panic is common, as is the fear that the panic will set in at any time.
With mindfulness techniques and psychodynamic methods we can interrupt this and deal with the underlying issue that caused the panic disorder.
As a way to help support clients, Dr. Sikora has written a number of articles throughout the years and still publishes a blog currently. She is an avid researcher and shares her expertise in an insightful way to provide new data and/or a different perspective to help others move forward. Below are a some articles she's written related to anxiety.
Money Fear, Money Binds, Money Lessons