If there is one thing I can be confident about as I write this, it is that each of you reading this knows what anxiety feels like. But coping with anxiety or feelings of panic is not always easy and sometimes, we need expert help to learn to deal with these worries or anxieties better.
We all worry!
Many of us worry for more of the time than we actually want to, but we all do it … and for many, it is just a normal part of our day-to-day lives. “Did I pay that bill?”; “Am I going to get to the meeting on time?”; “What will the neighbours think of me if …?”
For some people, coping with worries and anxieties can be fairly straightforward and they seem to take in their stride and resolve quickly, and then move on. Indeed, a little worrying can be said to be a good thing, as it helps us to problem solve, keeps us on track with the things that we need to do within our family and work lives, and even ensures that we take reasonable precautions to keep ourselves safe in the world generally.
But for others, “simple” worries can lead to more wide-ranging anxieties, to feeling out of control and even to outright panic! Within a short space of time, they can find themselves lying awake at night, fighting anxious thoughts that are just spiraling out of control, imagining the worst. They can become too anxious to do normal, everyday things and their lives can become extremely limited by their fear of experiencing another panic attack or wave of overwhelming anxiety.
When our thoughts are allowed to race out of control in that way, we become caught up in unhelpful downward spirals, with worry building upon worry, with less and less capacity to see a solution; we wear ourselves down (and out) worrying excessively and unproductively, letting our thoughts create greater catastrophes, becoming more and more critical of ourselves and ending up feeling more and more dejected, angry and useless.
But here’s the thing: anxiety and panic do not have to define you. There are things that you can learn to do that will give you back the control you’ve lost. Talking therapy, with an experienced clinical psychologist, can help you manage your anxieties more effectively as well as teaching you how to stop your panic attacks.
Therapy for worries, anxiety and panic looks to help sufferers recognise and appropriately label their unhelpful thinking styles and worries, manage the physical arousal that worrying causes (those gut-wrenching, stomach-churning feelings, that racing heartbeat, those clammy hands) and challenge their negative thoughts with considered, positive alternatives, reviewing the evidence that can help them dispute their unhelpful beliefs and adjust their behaviours into more effective and more useful responses that put them back in control of their thinking.
Beating anxiety and worry is possible, but it does take effort … and that is where working with an experienced therapist to guide you through the steps involved in treating anxiety and panic can be an important element in tackling your worrying. Having a knowledgeable guide enables you to work smart and be more effective more quickly in your dealing with your anxiety and stress, increasing the likelihood that you will succeed sooner rather than later. And when you do, you can once again feel that sense of being in control of your anxious thoughts, rather than at their mercy.
If you think you or someone in your family would like the opportunity to work with me (Dr Clerkin) and have my support to overcome the challenges that they are facing with anxiety or some other emotional health issue at the moment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch for an initial chat. You can call me directly on 01244 677010, email firstname.lastname@example.org or use the link on the sidebar to book a free 15 minute consultation with me at a time to suit you.