Have anxiety and negative thinking taken over your life? Feeling preoccupied and worried? Do you feel stressed and irritable these days, but suspect this is just the way life is? Anxiety can take a lot of space up in your mind, leaving you with less self-confidence and decreasing your ability to focus. Anxiety can be emotionally and physically exhausting, and you may have difficulty trusting your own perspective. Know that you are not alone; it is estimated that 18.1% of the population experiences some form of anxiety disorder.
Stress, anxiety and depression don’t have to rule your life. Chronic anxiety and depressive disorders respond to therapy methods addressing your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Treatment may require some motivation and persistence, yet with practice of new skills and persistence, your symptoms can improve or recede so you’re able to resume ordinary life.
I incorporate a mindfulness-based approach to working with anxiety, working to help others change their relationship to their own anxious thoughts. Mindfulness can help us focus on the present moment rather than on feelings of worry or panic, meaning anxious thoughts become temporary and are no longer viewed as reflections of reality. With mindfulness we can learn to engage in sustained, nonjudgmental attention to anxiety without attempts to avoid it; this has the potential to reduce anxiety and panic attacks, and increase the ability to regulate emotions. Art therapy techniques can often be combined with mindfulness approaches to help with insight and symptom management.