Managing Anxiety with Psychotherapy
Psychotherapists can provide individuals, groups or family members who are managing anxiety with the tools they need to succeed.
One area where psychotherapists can provide relief is in the management of anxiety. Anxiety is a condition in which the body and mind are consumed with worry. Anxiety can be normal in stressful situations such as public speaking or taking a test. However, anxiety is only an indicator of underlying disease when feelings become excessive, all-consuming, and interfere with daily living.
In either situation, turning to a licensed psychotherapist can help alleviate symptoms.
Managing Anxiety Symptoms
Anxiety symptoms vary depending on the person and the severity of the condition. Those suffering from acute or chronic anxiety may experience a general feeling of restlessness, being wound-up, or on-edge. Additional symptoms may include:
- Body aches
- Difficulty controlling feelings of worry.
- Insomnia and other sleep problems
- Lack of focus
- Muscle tension
- Upset stomach
- Using food (eg excessive eating) or mind-altering substances to manage the condition
Anxiety vs Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety is a normal response to stress. In many cases, anxiety isn’t a bad thing. The heightened awareness and pulse rate that comes with it can be useful if a temporary fight or flight response is needed such as in the case of being attacked. However, when an anxiety response becomes all-consuming to the point where it affects your quality of life, or if it lasts longer than 6 months in duration, a professional may diagnose it as an anxiety disorder.
Being aware of the differences between “healthy” anxiety and an anxiety disorder can allow you to share with your psychotherapist whether you feel that your anxiety is getting out of hand.
Individual Causes of Anxiety
Anxiety and anxiety disorders can be caused by a number of factors, both internal and external.
The first area that can potentially cause anxiety is environmental factors. Traumatic and stressful events such as moving to a new place, abuse, harassment, the loss of someone important, divorce, addictions and similar environmental stressors can lead to increased anxiety.
A second factor may be your genetics. Research suggests that family history may be a predictor of anxiety disorders. While no anxiety genes have been identified yet, it is possible that they may exist. What looks more likely for now is that you can inherit certain tendencies to anxiety through certain lifestyle habits or environments.
Other factors include brain chemistry and other mental and emotional conditions. Anxiety can either cause, be caused by and or be a joint condition alongside other mental health conditions. These conditions may, for example, include phobias such as agoraphobia. Studies have linked anxiety disorders to nerve cell pathway (neurotransmitters) complications. When these pathways are not optimal, people can suffer from mood or anxiety issues as a result.
“Anxiety and anxiety disorders can be caused by a number of factors, both internal and external.”
Those suffering from regular anxiety can benefit greatly from daily physical activity, a healthy diet, getting ample sleep, relaxation exercises and psychotherapy. To manage symptoms effectively, it’s best to avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine.
Those suffering from an anxiety disorder could benefit from knowing that while the condition can be treated, it cannot be cured. Seeking a professional psychotherapist can be the first step in managing the condition and having the opportunity to live a fulfilling life without anxiety standing in the way
Alina Sosa Perez, Licensed Psychotherapist
Alina Sosa-Perez provides psychotherapy services to adults of all ages, individuals and couples in Miami, FL. Sessions can be online or in person.
If you are suffering from anxiety, a meeting with an experienced and licensed psychotherapist can help you manage your symptoms and live a more fulfilling, engaging and productive life. Ready to open a door to a new future where you are living well despite anxiety? Book your session today with Alina by clicking here.