Do you feel you worry excessively and frequently find yourself feeling on edge as a sense of dread follows you everywhere?
You find yourself always needing to do something or keep on moving
You worry about letting people down
You find yourself needing to be distracted to avoid the discomfort of difficult feelings?
Or you find yourself closing down parts of your personality and limiting your life’s potential in order to avoid these painful feelings?
No matter how fast you try to outrun your anxiety it always seems to catch up.
Anxiety can be reduced, no matter how hopeless you are feeling
You may relate to some of the experiences described above. These are some of the many of symptoms of what is commonly described as anxiety, yet the manner in which it troubles us is different for each and everyone of us.
Anxiety can be motivational where it serves you, for example, to help prepare for an exam or a business presentation. Without it you might not perform to your potential.
However, when anxiety crosses the line into unhelpful territory, where it painfully impedes you, causing you heart palpitations, coats your hands with sweat, interrupts you with urges to go to the loo, then it may be time to seek some support.
Life does not have to be this hard
Maybe now it’s time to get some support in dealing with your anxiety. Maybe you now need a space to discover new ways to cope with your anxiety through healthier, self-soothing behaviours and embark on an exploration into the deeper possible causes of your anxiety.
Psychotherapy can offer you this space.
You can learn to develop compassion for your anxious thoughts and see how they deviate from the truth—how your anxiety keeps you from the whole story.
In truth, your anxiety locks you out from your resilience and strength.
Your anxiety won’t allow you to speak to these other parts of your psychological life—psychotherapy can open and start this conversation.
“If I talk about my anxiety, I will only feel worse”
Suppression can work as a coping mechanism, but at some point a person may get to the point where they find suppression is no longer working, as anxiety takes more control of their lives and they then seek another way of dealing with their anxiety.
Psychotherapy offers that other way.
And it can be true that in Psychotherapy, like many other disciplines, things can get worse before they get better, but talking about your anxiety in a safe, non-judgemental space can help take the edge off it and clear the way for you to explore what possibly lies beneath your anxiety, addressing it at a deeper level.
“Actually, I am aware plenty of people suffer from anxiety, but mine isn’t really that bad”
Whether your anxiety is better or worse than the next person’s isn’t really that relevant. It is how your anxiety is impacting YOU that really matters.
Deflecting our attention towards other people's lives can prevent us from connecting with our own.
My anxiety has drained me of so much confidence that I am now even anxious of contacting a therapist
Yes, it can be a big step contacting a therapist. It confronts that part of you which tries to pretend or suppress the idea that you struggle with anxiety at all.
Making a call feels like giving your anxiety more weight, and you don’t wish to give it more weight.
It’s a bit of a catch 22 situation. I am afraid you have to balance the risk of reaching out for support versus the risk attached to staying where you are.
“Anxiety treatment does not work, nothing works”
At times things can seem hopeless as you may have adopted many different strategies, approaches and techniques to help you with your anxiety.
I would tap into that part of yourself that knows the situation can be better and has you still seeking and searching for relief from your anxiety.
If you find you are able to establish a relationship with a therapist who you can trust and feel safe with and who meets your anxiety with a deep empathy and understanding, the seeds of healing your anxiety can take root.
Sometimes you may need to try 2 or 3 therapists before you find one you feel safe enough to work with.
Your Anxiety does not have to be fought alone
There is lots of help out there for Anxiety and countless people have managed to overcome it, or at least reduce its impact on their lives.
During sessions, I can offer the empathic guidance and gentle support you need to recognize your feelings around your anxious thoughts and at times help you challenge negative beliefs and automatic scripts you may have about yourself and the world you live in.
You can learn to tell yourself a different story - a better story.
Sitting with anxiety, however uncomfortable, is part of the healing process. What we resist persists. Only so much of the feelings of anxiety can be experienced at any one time.
I work at the client’s pace, journeying with them through their anxious world and we explore their world together for clues that point towards seeds of healing and psychological growth.
If you find yourself connecting with any of what has been communicated above and you feel like taking your exploration of talk therapy as a means to deal with your anxiety one step further, I invite you for a free 15-minute phone consultation.
Just enter your contact details in the ‘request a call’ form here.
I understand you may be even anxious of taking a call so please be assured that this is a no-obligation consultation.
Ask me any question you wish about Anxiety and how I work with it. After the call, you may choose to enter therapy or you may choose not to enter therapy, or you may defer to a later time; either way, you will have taken action and reached out which is a therapeutic exercise in itself!
Written by Tadhg Hayes, MSc Integrative Counselling & Psychotherapy.
Psychotherapist working in South Dublin.