Successfully Coping with, and Overcoming, Anxiety, Stress, and Fear
From COVID-19 to inflation to military conflict, it seems like the world keeps jumping from one crisis to the next. Just scanning the headlines or turning on the evening news for a few minutes can be an anxiety-provoking and stressful experience these days.
Given everything that’s going on in the world – not to mention all of the usual everyday stresses we all face – there’s little reason to be surprised if it feels like your mind is constantly jumping from one thought, pre-occupation, and emotion to the next, leaving you feeling high-strung, on edge, stressed out, anxious, and even afraid.
So, please understand … if you feel this way, you’re FAR from alone. Our children and parents are struggling to cope, as are our colleagues, friends, and other family members.
Of course, the fact that everyone around us is dealing with increased levels of anxiety, stress, and fear doesn’t really help.
What can you do?!?
First of all, it’s important to recognize that anxiety, stress, and fear aren’t necessarily bad, at least not in and of themselves.
Stress and anxiety are natural survival responses that can help us focus and stay alert when we’re facing challenging, difficult, or dangerous situations.
The problems start when the mild or situational anxiety and stress we all experience become ongoing or severe anxiety that keep you from functioning effectively and enjoying your relationships, professional, and personal lives.
Knowing When You Need Help Overcoming Anxiety
Before you seek professional help, you should first consider the severity of the difficulties you’re experiencing as well as the treatment options available.
Anxiety’s symptoms are almost as varied as the people who experience them. Difficulties concentrating, listlessness and an overall lack of energy, insomnia, oversleeping, extreme changes in appetite, frequent headaches, and mood swings are just a few of the typical symptoms of severe anxiety and stress.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for people struggling with excessive anxiety, stress, or fear to try and ignore, push through, or conceal their problems and insecurities and cope with them in isolation. But withdrawing from others – especially the friends and family members you once enjoyed spending time with – only makes anxiety worse.
This isolation and feelings of insecurity can lead to a vicious cycle, in which people feel insecure, get angry at themselves for their insecurity, then become depressed over their anger and inability to cope, and then feel more insecure for being unable to manage their feelings when everyone else seems to be doing so just fine.
Well, let me tell you …
Most of the people you know – even those you see as being “fearless” – have had to learn to confront and overcome their anxiety, stress, and fears. And many of them have gotten help to do so.
Because severe and recurring anxiety can quickly escalate beyond our ability to cope, if any of the above feels familiar – if you believe your anxiety is interfering with your ability to function or simply enjoy life – you should seek professional help as soon as possible.
Fortunately, a variety of treatment options are available. And, while prescription drugs may help you manage the symptoms you’re experiencing, you needn’t commit to a lifetime of popping pills in order to get by or regain control.
In fact, professional anxiety counseling or therapy is all most people need in order to learn how to better cope with anxiety, stress, and fear, as well as move forward again in relationships and life with confidence and optimism.
Why Anxiety Counseling and Therapy?
While numerous anxiety treatments are available, seeking the assistance of a professional therapist who specializes in providing anxiety counseling and therapy can help you:
- Determine the severity of your anxiety, stress, and fear.
- Help you decide whether or not prescription medications are necessary.
- Understand the underlying causes of your anxieties – yes, world events can compound any anxiety you’re struggling with, but more often that not difficulties coping with and overcoming anxiety, stress, and fear are a result of our beliefs, perceptions, and our relationships with ourselves, others, and the world around us.
- Learn effective strategies to minimize the effects of any anxiety and stress you’re experiencing (such as mindfulness practices, breathing, and meditation), so you can start moving forward again as quickly as possible.
- Work towards resolving the beliefs and behaviors that trigger your anxieties. Again, anxiety, stress, and fear are perfectly natural. It’s what causes them, their severity, and how we cope that professional counseling and psychotherapy can help you drastically improve.
- Increase your self-confidence and self-esteem, so you can feel more comfortable, confident, capable, and optimistic, no matter what situation you’re facing.
By helping you better understand yourself and overcome the underlying causes of the anxiety you’re experiencing, counseling and therapy go far beyond the simple treatment of anxiety’s symptoms that is offered by prescription medication.
That being said, it’s important to understand that no one treatment works equally well for everyone … and none of them work instantly.
Successful anxiety counseling and therapy require your time, commitment, and effort.
Having said that, while the length of time counseling and therapy require vary depending on the type and severity of anxiety you’re experiencing, many anxiety counseling and therapy treatments are relatively brief. According to the American Psychological Association, many people begin noticing significant improvements within just 8-10 sessions.
Recurring and severe anxiety and stress can be crippling in their own right. But if left unaddressed, they can also easily lead to other issues, including depression, alcoholism, or substance abuse, as well as other physical health issues, such as migraines, high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, and so on.
So, if your struggles overcoming anxiety, stress, or fear are hurting your professional and personal responsibilities and relationships and keeping you from enjoying life, you owe it to yourself to seek the professional help you need and deserve.
When all is said and done, anxiety counseling and therapy not only offer you the opportunity to reduce your overall levels of anxiety and stress and overcome your fears, but to use the anxiety and stress you’re experiencing as a catalyst to regain a sense of balance and control, improve your sense of self-worth and self-esteem, and move forward in life with confidence and optimism, regardless of what’s going on in the world at large!
If you have any questions about this article, or if I may be of any other assistance, please feel free to contact me at (949) 310-2311 with any questions you may have or to schedule a free, initial phone consultation. I look forward to hearing from you.