Feeling Stressed And Stuck In Your Life?
Are negative thoughts making you feel anxious? Perhaps you’re dwelling on past mistakes or other painful experiences. As a result, you might think that no matter what you do, nothing will ever work out. You may also have started to think to yourself: “I am a failure”—even if you’ve been successful in more areas of your life than you give yourself credit for.
Do you ever feel like the odds are stacked against you? Maybe you’re in a bad situation concerning your career, finances, relationships or life goals. Despite your desire to improve your circumstances, you may be afraid you’ll make a mistake, leaving you feeling stuck.
Are your relationships a frequent source of stress? Perhaps you and your spouse, partner or other loved one have been having disagreements. Or maybe you feel that they are failing to satisfy your needs and expectations. As such, you might feel torn between the desire to leave and a craving for closeness.
If you’ve been feeling stressed, you are probably wondering how to stop overthinking and deal with anxiety. Even if you have been unsuccessful so far, it’s possible to alleviate anxious thoughts and reduce anxious feelings, improving your relationships, productivity and level of contentment.
We Are Psychologically Primed For Anxiety
Nearly one in every five adults suffers from a diagnosable anxiety disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health¹. All of us experience anxiety to some degree, which begs the question: Why do many of us get stressed so easily, and so often?
Culturally, it has become acceptable and is even encouraged to do whatever it takes to succeed, regardless of the cost to ourselves or other people. This is perhaps truer in today’s culture than ever before. We neglect our health, relationships and other priorities to pursue the culturally celebrated identity of a hard worker. The pressure to conform to this ideal is so strong that many people are reluctant to take a vacation, or even finish working at a reasonable quitting time.
In addition to exhausting us, our culture’s survival-of-the-fittest mentality also leaves little room for failure. When—despite our best efforts—we feel we experience more letdowns than successes, we tend to be very hard on ourselves. Even when things do go well, the satisfaction of succeeding doesn’t last.
The illusory nature of consciousness also sets us up for conflict. We may think we have a firm grasp of reality, but our psychology informs all of our perceptions. The lessons we pick up early in life color our view of the world, so in a way, we are all walking around half-conscious. This is a recipe for disaster in many areas, especially relationships. Misunderstandings are common and there is an inherent conflict between our desire for connection and our concept of self-preservation.
Given how our psychology and culture have set us up for stress, many of us struggle to figure out how to cope with anxiety. As a result, we fail to manage our anxiety successfully on our own. For many of us, it takes the unique insights and support provided by a professional anxiety therapist to help us work with, work through, and work around our anxiety.
Anxiety Therapy Can Help You Subdue Stress
Uncovering the source of your anxiety and figuring out how to manage it requires both a problem- and a solution-oriented approach. Depending on your unique challenges and goals, I will create an anxiety treatment plan just for you that aligns with your inherent psychology.
To help you resolve negative thought patterns, I’ll encourage you to react to your anxiety with curiosity instead of pessimism. In therapy, you’ll learn to ask yourself: “What am I feeling, and what’s really going on here?” For example, if you recently lost your job, you may initially think that the world must be against you, and that you will never have a successful career. But if you take a moment to question that assumption, you might recognize the position was a bad fit for you in the first place, or your job loss was based on circumstances you couldn’t control, and that you can be more successful in another situation.
If you’ve been feeling discouraged, anxiety counseling can help you see that you have more power over your life than you may think. Going back to the example of a recent job loss, I’ll help you take responsibility for those ways in which you may have contributed to what happened. At the same time, I’ll help you consistently chose learning from your mistakes over habitually blaming yourself.
You will also learn how to rid yourself of unhelpful behaviors by exploring their psychological origins. For example, an obsessive desire to clean and organize your house may be rooted in your need to quell inner chaos. By understanding the basis of your mental issues, you can reduce or overcome unwanted behaviors instead of just putting a Band-Aid on them and still remaining under their influence.
In some cases, therapy may help you recognize that a toxic relationship is contributing to your anxiety. Just as your past experiences psychologically shaped you, the people you interact with are bringing their own baggage to the relationship. They too are always looking to express and confirm their psychology, whether helpful or not. Likewise, you’ll come to understand you can govern your psychology only, and not theirs. When you see your relationships in this light, you will be in a better position to decide whether to keep someone in your life, reduce your interactions with someone, or cut someone out of your life altogether.
For the relationships you wish to preserve, I can help you find ways of feeling satisfaction, while also considering that of others. The new perspective you’ll gain in therapy will help you see that each of us is trying our best, despite how we might struggle. As a result, you will communicate more effectively and be better able to find common ground, reducing stressful arguments between you and your loved ones.
Exploring the psychology behind your anxiety might feel uncomfortable at times, but I will do whatever I can to help you feel relaxed and calm. I’m not going to judge you, hurt you or push you further than you’re ready to progress. I will help you feel safe, heard and comfortable as we explore your psychological backstory and how it relates to your current stress levels.
Therapy will help you come to terms with the unpredictability of life and the inevitability of challenges. You will learn that making mistakes doesn’t make you a failure—it makes you human. Our work together can help you stop being so hard on yourself, improve your relationships, and persevere even when you’re feeling stressed.
Have Concerns About Anxiety Therapy?
Does anxiety counseling really work?
By uncovering the source of your issues, we can reduce future anxiety. At the same time, we will also address your immediate symptoms so you can walk out of every session feeling better than you did walking in. Your anxiety may not go away entirely. Yet, your anxious episodes can become shorter, shallower and less crippling, and you will feel freer to pursue a life of productivity, connection and contentment.
My last experience with therapy wasn’t great. Will this be any different?
Finding a good therapist can be a challenge. Some therapists assume they know all there is to know once they finish school. The attitude that their education makes them right and their patients wrong undermines the client-patient relationship. It also limits their insight into and regard for their patients. Everyone has issues, including mental health professionals. Therapists like myself who also keep working on their own issues and approach their practice with humility are in a better position to help others.
Considering my life circumstances, I’m not sure I can ever be happy.
Many of us are psychologically disposed to think negatively and take our problems very seriously. When we better understand ourselves and the world around us, we may recognize that many of our problems have simple solutions that we couldn’t see before. Your situation may be serious, but it is not hopeless. In reality, you probably have more power over your life than you dared realize.
Create A Calmer, More Satisfying Life
As a licensed mental health professional, trained psychotherapist and experienced anxiety therapist, I can help you find ways to cope with your anxiety, both now and in the future. Contact me to start the process of freeing yourself from excessive worry and stress.