You have the ability to work through your anxiety. And by taking the necessary time, you will change your patterns of thinking for the better.
Anxiety is an incredibly common affliction. So common that most people assume their anxiety is just normal stress. After all, everyone experiences some stress at one time or another.
But when it becomes a part of your daily mindset, or affects the way you view yourself and the world, that is no longer just stress.
Do you have anxiety?
You find yourself viewing most situations through a negative lens. You avoid life events that you worry will trigger your stress. You worry about things all the time, and it impacts your concentration and sleep habits.
If all or any of these apply to you, you may have a generalized anxiety disorder. Of course, only a medical professional can confirm a diagnosis. And if you suspect that your chronic stress may actually be an anxiety disorder, you should not hesitate to reach out.
You’ve likely gotten used to your anxiety in some capacity. It’s familiar, and you figure it’s just the way your mind works, so you have to deal with it. But if “dealing with it” involves pushing your anxiety to the side, it will only worsen.
And anxiety does not need to have physical manifestations to be debilitating. Panic disorder is a related but separate condition. Just because you don’t have panic attacks, that does not mean you don’t have anxiety. And just because you are used to your mind working this way, that doesn’t mean it can’t change for the better.
Anxiety counseling - Should I go to see a therapist for anxiety?
Depending on your circumstances, you may be referred to therapy by your primary care physician. Or you might decide on your own that therapy is the right choice for you.
Either way, in therapy we will help identify your symptoms. The symptoms of various anxiety disorders can be similar. For example, both obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and generalized anxiety may lead to you avoiding stressful situations. They also both can create negative thinking patterns.
So the first step will be to confirm your specific experience. And ultimately, we’ll provide you with both your diagnosis and treatment.
Treatment has various possibilities; medication may or may not be involved. And the treatment will always be designed uniquely for you.
The most common treatment is cognitive therapy. This involves actively changing your negative thought patterns, which has several steps:
How long does it take for therapy to work for anxiety?
This process will take time and patience. The amount of time is different for everyone, but it can be as long as 12 to 16 weeks.
In that time, we will help you learn the necessary coping skills. And with guidance, you will start identifying your negative thoughts. The goal is to address them as they come, rather than pushing them away.
By doing this repeatedly, over time you WILL notice improvement. You may feel worse initially, but don’t let this discourage you. Facing your negative thoughts and fears, as well as their sources, may naturally affect your mood.
But by pushing through, your patterns of thinking will begin to change. And you will ultimately see a great change in your levels of anxiety and general well-being. Start this process today.