Cornerstone Christian Counseling in Kalamazoo, Michigan

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GET HELP FOR ANXIETY

It is normal to experience anxiety sometimes, especially when you are sleep-deprived, over-stressed, or physically drained. When a person is at their most vulnerable states, anxiety is a typical response to “get through” a difficult situation. When someone experiences anxiety all or nearly all the time, or it is just bothersome to the point that they are “tired of it”, they could be experiencing an anxiety disorder and they should seek assessment as soon as possible. Are you a “worrier”? People who struggle with anxiety generally consider themselves (and so do those around them that know them well) as “worry-warts”. They tend to automatically respond to situations that pose challenges with fear and worry.

Stress and Anxiety are certainly the “catch phrase” for the culture lately. Even my ten-year old son said to me the other day when I asked him why he was upset “I’m just over-stressed mom”. So what exactly is this “stress” and how does it related to anxiety?

WHAT IS ANXIETY?

Anxiety is defined by Webster as “a mental distress or agitation resulting from concern for something impending or anticipated.” There are typically physical and emotional symptoms present when a person is experiencing anxiety. Some of those symptoms may be: nausea, pounding heart, dizziness, headaches, tiredness, insomnia, tremors and muscle tension, shortness of breath, irritability, restlessness, feelings of fear or dread, difficulty concentrating, and irrational thoughts and feelings.

In the Bible (which are the words of God written to help us), anxiety is referred to as “worry, stress or fear”. Did you know that the most repeated command in Scripture is the phrase “Do not fear.”? God does not give us a command and then not provide a way to be able to fulfill it. We must then, be able to control our fears, stress and worry and to respond in a healthy way to these in our lives. “Have you ever heard the phrase “don’t worry about tomorrow, because today has enough concerns of its own”? If you are burdened by anxiety and nothing traumatic has occurred that has preempted this, likely you are struggling with an imbalanced level of stress in your life. This calls for a lifestyle assessment and change, which is something you may need assistance with (most of us do, for it is difficult to be objective about our own lives). Anxiety is often produced when we have a list that is too long to be accomplished this day, this week, or even this month or year (and it all needs to be done yesterday!). In order to obtain a balanced amount of stress, we have to be able to release all the things that weigh us down with anxiety. The list is usually all of the things that are out of our control. People don’t tend to worry about things that they can control, they worry about the things that they cannot do anything about. Do a life assessment, and see if you might be trying to control things in your life that you cannot control or if your “list” is possibly unrealistic due to the amount of stress you can handle and still maintain a balanced life. A good therapist can help you make the lifestyle changes you will need to make to be successful again and to live an anxiety-free life.

HOW IS ANXIETY TREATED?

The most common treatment options for anxiety are medications and talk therapy. The most effective type of therapy is cognitive behavioral therapy, which includes helping you to overcome your fears through changing your thought patterns, and helping you to respond with different behaviors through changing responses to life stress and fears. A key factor in treatment of anxiety is Healthy Emotional Intelligence. If you’d like more information on how to become more emotionally intelligent, click here.

If anxiety is a lingering pattern in your life, and not a “fluke” during this time in your life, you may need to be assessed for an anxiety disorder, PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder), or other problem. Contact us today for an assessment.  If you are having panic attacks, seek treatment right away, for these physical symptoms can be debilitating and can also imply the need for further assessment.

Cornerstone Christian Counseling in Kalamazoo, Michigan