Anxiety Counseling

Video: The Science of Anxiety

What is anxiety?

How to deal with anxiety

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Anxiety can be a very overwhelming experience and can affect different aspects of a person’s life. It’s important to remember that anxiety is a natural response to stress and perceived danger, but when it becomes excessive and interferes with daily functioning, it may be an anxiety disorder. Seeking professional help, such as therapy or medication, can be effective in managing anxiety and reducing its impact on daily life.

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The good news is that you are not alone and anxiety is a treatable condition. Through therapy, you can learn techniques to manage and reduce anxiety symptoms. It can also be helpful to learn about the root causes of your anxiety and work through them with a therapist.

Through therapy, you can learn techniques to manage and reduce anxiety symptoms. It can also be helpful to learn about the root causes of your anxiety and work through them with a therapist.

How to Identify Anxiety

Anxiety is a natural response that helps you avoid danger. However, for some people, their body responds to various situations as if there is a physical threat, even when there is none. This can cause physical and cognitive symptoms

Symptoms of anxiety are designed to motivate a person to either fight, flee, or freeze in response to a real or perceived threat by providing more blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the muscles needed to manage the threat. Similarly, cognitive symptoms of anxiety are trying to help you notice and respond to real or perceived threats.

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Physical Symptoms of Anxiety

What your body feels and does

  • Fast, pounding heart
  • Rapid breathing
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Sweating
  • A sense of impending doom (this often feels ‘physical’. . . like a stone in your gut, bats in your stomach . . . not just butterflies)
  • Trembling (this can feel like your insides are shaky, or that your hands/arms, legs/feet are trembling)
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Cognitive Symptoms of Anxiety

What your mind thinks and does

  • The above-mentioned sense of impending doom
  • Excessive worry about what others may think of you
  • Excessive concern about health and well-being
  • A racing mind, often creating insomnia
  • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions (analysis paralysis)
  • Depressive thoughts
  • Aggressive thoughts/behaviors. Irritability
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You are not alone

There is help for anxiety

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety impacts over 40 million people in the United States, and it is highly treatable. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy can help you retrain your mind to counteract these symptoms, and even learn to leverage them to your benefit. By engaging in new strategies that unravel the thought knots that lead to anxiety, you can manage anxiety effectively.

We specialize in treating different types of anxiety, including romantic anxiety, social anxiety, and performance anxiety. We believe that effective therapy requires a personalized approach, which is why we take the time to understand your unique situation, including your family history, current circumstances, and anxiety triggers. By tailoring our approach to your personality and needs, we can develop a plan that is easy for you to remember and use, empowering you to manage your anxiety more effectively.

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Managing Anxiety

What to do

Anxiety management is based on a strong relationship between a person’s strengths and their ability to use them to deal with all facets of anxiety. You can solve issues like anxiety. Our time will be spent as a conversation, not a clinical interview. You get to just be yourself, not worrying about asking the right questions or revealing all the right details. Our style is conversational and very interactive. We offer warmth and compassion along with a direct and honest style.

If you are struggling with anxiety, effective anxiety counseling in Austin can help. Mindfulness-based counseling can help you get to the root of the issue and learn how to structure thoughts and behavioral responses that are more effective. Remember that telephone counseling is also an option in most situations.

What to expect in anxiety counseling

Counseling Austin Therapy DogDon’t worry, our conversation will be friendly and informal, without any clinical jargon. You can simply be yourself and feel free to share your experiences without fear of judgment. Plus, you’ll have the added benefit of Buddy the Therapy Dog, who’s always there to offer comfort and support.

During our sessions, we’ll focus on identifying the early signs of anxiety and learning how to cope with them. You’ll also learn how to recognize situations that trigger your anxiety and develop personalized strategies to manage them effectively. For instance, if you tend to feel anxious before a meeting with your boss, we’ll explore techniques such as deep breathing and positive self-talk to help you stay calm and confident. We can even practice scenarios and role-play conversations to build your confidence and prepare you for real-life situations.

I’ve helped many people overcome anxiety, including high-powered executives, artists, celebrities, and couples struggling with relationship issues. It’s always inspiring to see my clients achieve their goals and improve their quality of life. Don’t just take my word for it – check out the testimonials from satisfied clients and mental health professionals who have worked with me.

If you’re ready to take control of your anxiety and live a more fulfilling life, I’m here to help. Let’s work together to develop practical strategies and techniques that work for you.

Anxiety FAQs

What is the difference between nervousness and anxiety?

While often used interchangeably, nervousness and anxiety have some important differences. Nervousness is typically more thought-driven and goes away once the triggering situation is resolved. Anxiety, on the other hand, has a stronger physical component and can persist for a longer time. Nervousness may seem reasonable, like being nervous before a public speaking engagement. Anxiety, however, can seem irrational, with physical symptoms arising for no apparent reason. It is possible to manage both with the help of breathing and thought techniques.

How is anxiety trying to help me?

Anxiety serves as an alert system that warns us of potential danger. When anxiety is triggered, it sends oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and triggers the fight, flight, or freeze response of the sympathetic nervous system. This heightened response also makes our senses more acute, allowing us to assess the situation more accurately. While anxiety is useful in protecting us from danger, it can also be problematic when it activates when there is no real threat.

Are there different types of anxiety?

Yes, there are many types of anxiety, such as social anxiety, performance anxiety, romantic anxiety, test anxiety, and various phobias. Genetics can play a role in anxiety and some individuals may naturally live in a higher state of alertness than others. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, meditation, exercise, and massage can be effective in managing anxiety.

Can medication help with anxiety?

Medication can be an option for managing anxiety, but counseling and therapy are often more effective. Some anti-anxiety medications are highly addictive and can be challenging to stop taking. It is best to speak with a healthcare provider to discuss the best course of treatment for managing anxiety.

Anxiety Resources

National Institute of Mental Health – An overview of anxiety types, symptoms and treatment

Psychology Today – Information on Anxiety from a leading source of  psychological treatment providers

National Suicide Prevention LifeLine Live Chat – 1-800-273-8255 is the 24/7 hotline

(512) 472-HELP – 24/7 Texas Crisis Line

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Jonathan F. Anderson, LPC-s has worked in the helping profession since he started college in 1990. After completing his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas, Austin in 1994, he attended the highly-regarded University of Minnesota to earn his Master’s degree in 1997. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor and is recognized as a Board Approved Supervisor by the State of Texas Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. Jonathan has completed Level-2 of the Gottman Method of Couples Counseling, and in 1998 received training by the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation in Advanced Critical Incident Stress Management & Debriefing. To learn more about Jonathan’s practice, click here: Jonathan F. Anderson, LPC-s.

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