Many women suffer from generalized anxiety, an ever-present state of low anxiety or worry which can, at times, develop into episodes of full-blown panic attacks or phobia. It is very important to address any form of anxiety during times of psychological stress before the anxiety manifests into biological changes.
Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time. In fact, it is this ability to feel fear that keeps us alive. We were made to recognize danger with a built-in fight-or-flight response. So shaky knees, a rapid heartbeat, and shortness of breath are all normal reactions to fearful circumstances. What is not normal, however, is to feel afraid most of the time without any tangible cause or reason.
Our responses are supposed to kick into action in the face of danger and then rest and settle down. But with such a fast-paced society, most of us are never able to relax, our minds never stop, and we are left in a constant state of high alert.
Anxiety is so common that it is estimated that over 19 million American adults experience some form of anxiety disorder. And this estimate takes into account only the people who report their anxiety symptoms. Sadly, our culture views anxiety as a weakness. Therefore, many people are too embarrassed or ashamed to admit that they are suffering.
Because anxiety comes in many different forms, it can be difficult to distinguish between an official diagnosis and “normal” anxiety. Basically, the biggest sign of generalized anxiety disorder is worrying too much about everyday things, big and small. This means having persistent, anxious thoughts which interfere with daily functioning most days of the week for at least six months.
Our minds are very powerful and our thoughts can be very convincing. It is important for individuals suffering from anxiety to separate their thoughts from reality--to step back, breathe deeply, and see what is really happening.
For many people, the worry and fear can be crippling. It can lead them to very dark places, often created by the mind. In order to be free, it is important to observe the movement of the mind and to tease apart what is real and what is not. Eventually, we will see that the world isn’t such a scary place to be.
If you are suffering from anxiety, treatment is available. I can help you work with your thoughts, so you can retrain your brain and your thinking. You don’t have to be held hostage by your own mind any longer. Contact me today to schedule an appointment in my Longmont or Boulder, CO, office.