Do you feel stuck, overwhelmed, and unable to achieve your goals in life? Are fear and self-doubt sabotaging your relationships or getting in the way of your career? Maybe you’ve been fighting to get control of your emotions, but the harder you try, the more hopeless and powerless you feel. As much as you want to reduce stress and anxiety, focusing on it only exacerbates your symptoms. You may ask yourself: What do I have to do to conquer my anxiety?
If you’re dealing with anxiety, you may find yourself getting stuck in endless worries, what-ifs, and questions that have no answers. Perhaps you struggle with shortness of breath, fast heart rate, lightheadedness, nausea, restlessness or agitation, and difficulty thinking straight. Every time you get stressed, it’s as if your mind and body are betraying you, making you panic in situations where it’s essential to stay balanced.
Additionally, you may find yourself avoiding activities that are important to you, like applying for a job, going out with friends, or taking a trip you’ve always dreamed of. If you’re overly concerned with failing or thinking people will judge you, you probably feel more comfortable avoiding your hopes and dreams altogether.
The paradox of anxiety is that the harder you try to control it, the more out of control it usually gets. That’s why it’s so important to seek help. Anxiety treatment with Boston Center for Health Psychology and Biofeedback is a chance to reduce stress by coming to terms with the present moment and responding to stressors in a healthy way.
Anxiety: Widespread But Terribly Misunderstood
Struggling with anxiety does not mean you are broken or a failure. Everyone experiences anxiety and can benefit from learning how to manage it. After all, almost 20-percent of adults in the United States suffer from an anxiety disorder.
Knowing the different types of anxiety is essential. The most common forms include generalized anxiety (related to multiple areas of life), health anxiety (worrying specifically about your health), panic disorders (sudden and extreme sensations of fear), obsessive-compulsive disorder (repeated thoughts or images that create fear), and social and performance anxiety (fear of being or performing in front of others and public speaking in particular). Additionally, there are a wide range of specific phobias—such as fear of crowds, heights, air-travel, needles, and certain animals—that can cause you to panic and affect your ability to enjoy life.
Many people are afraid that they’ll be seen as weak for seeking help. They are often told to just be “strong” and “suck it up,” as if they should be able to control how they think and feel. As a result, anxiety is often seen as a personal failing rather than a result of genetics, brain chemistry, unresolved trauma, or a symptom of the human condition.
Believing that anxiety is a personal issue naturally leads to believing you can manage it alone. But since anxiety stems from issues outside your control, healing requires getting support. By working with a trained, compassionate counselor, you can relinquish your need to control anxiety and experience a new sense of ease and assurance wherever you are in life.
Anxiety Treatment Can Help You Regulate Your Stress and Live a Full, Meaningful Life
Our culture worships success and achievement. Therapy is a time to put aside these pressures and stop struggling with what you can’t control. It’s a time to disengage from unproductive efforts to combat anxiety and embrace what is important in life. Our goal is to give you skills for responding to anxiety in a healthy way, allowing you to seize on opportunities for growth and overcoming fear.
The first session is devoted to getting to know you and your unique situation and making sure you are comfortable with your therapist. Together, we will look at how anxiety affects your ability to live the kind of life you want. More importantly, we will explore what hidden purposeanxiety serves in your life—after all, anxiety usually stems from a need for protection and safety. Understanding this protective function will help you learn to regulate your emotions so that they don’t overwhelm you.
One of the first things we want you to understand is that whatever you are experiencing is not your fault or a personal failing. On its own, your body is unable to shut down anxiety because the part of the nervous system that drives stress-activation does not have a way to turn itself off. And although the part of the nervous system that drives relaxation is designed to hold stress-activation in check, this mechanism often becomes dysregulated. As a result, stress activation goes unchecked and the relaxation part of the nervous system is not strong enough to optimize it.
That’s why we draw from an approach called Biofeedback, which aims to help you strengthen your ability to regulate stress levels. The goal of Biofeedback is to create a healthier balance between the relaxation and stress-activation parts of your nervous system. This way, you will be able to meet the challenges at hand through helpful physiological activation rather than reacting to them with anxiety.
Additionally, we may utilize mindfulness-based skills like meditation and breathing strategies to help you psychologically respond to your stressors in a healthy way. The basic goal of mindfulness is to help you become aware of the present moment and allow it to be as it is without getting stuck in unproductive efforts to change what’s not changeable. This pause will allow you to choose how to respond to difficult moments rather than react automatically in unhelpful ways. Instead of trying to change the present itself, you will learn skills for changing the things that are in your control.
All of our counselors in our Boston, MA office are rigorously trained and have had years of experience helping clients find relief from their anxiety. We are confident that we can do the same for you. With our support, you can learn to regulate your emotions and your nervous system more effectively and live a full, meaningful life in spite of anxiety.