People are more likely to attempt new things if they've seen someone like them can do it.

Managing Anxiety with Positive Surroundings

Some clients who come to therapy have an anxiety disorder. Due to their past treatment, they know they have social anxiety or a range of other conditions. They know what they are dealing with and why they should talk to someone. They may know some coping strategies, but they aren't able to manage their anxiety alone or just with medication. Fortunately, I can help people with many types of anxiety and address in therapy their current mental health needs. For example, a divorce may cause a healthy patient to enter a period of depression. The same person might have been coping well with anxiety prior to the life-changing event.

People who live with chronic anxiety will use different strategies to cope with their uneasiness. For example, they may turn to comfort eating or work out excessively at the gym to distract themselves from their negative thoughts. They don't want to hear that they should do everything in moderation. Why? Their critics may not know what it's like to have a negative voice in their head that won't shut off. One of the great solutions for people suffering from anxiety or panic disorders is entering therapy, but some people who would benefit from it have their own reasons, whether they avoid it or because of financial limitations, why they don't. That's why we offer helpful articles on our blog to benefit every reader who wants to understand anxiety. In this post, we suggest why you should surround yourself with positive role models. Everyone can experience anxiety at some point in their life:

Managing Anxiety Can Be Done

  • First we need to know that it can be done.
  • Then we need to know that we can do it.

I frequently share the vignette that psychologist Nancy Darling posted on PsychologyToday.com. She was at her Cornell graduation ceremony, and she recalls witnessing a woman walking across the stage with a baby in her arms. Then, the woman shook the President's hand and received her PhD diploma, which inspired Darling to go to graduate school while raising a little boy. In this piece, Darling shares how we need good role models to inspire us:

One thing we know is that people don't attempt to achieve something unless they believe it can be done. We know that people are much more likely to attempt to do things if they've seen that someone like them can do it.

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Be Proactive About Your Surroundings

It's one thing to say that you want to manage anxiety. Kudos to you! It's another thing to feel like you have the tools to cope with all of anxiety's effects on your life. Just like people living with chronic pain, you can have good days and bad days. You might even have a week when everything seems to be going well, and there's no need for coping strategies. Then, a wave of anxiety can cripple you, seeming to come out of nowhere. When we work together in counseling, you will discuss which mental health issues will be addressed in therapy and then set goals for what you want to accomplish. Like some people who go back to the gym, you may not see the effects of therapy right away. That being said, if you believe that your goals are possible and that you can do it, you and I have a better chance of meeting therapy goals. Your mindset will affect your success at learning to manage anxiety. However, there is also the consideration of whether you will have enough persistence to see your therapy goals through to completion.

Choose Time for Yourself

In between therapy sessions, you should relieve tension and elevate your mood. Exercise is a good option. On the path towards becoming the less-anxious version of yourself that you desire, customization is best. Choose types of exercise and daily activity that feel good. Consider whether walking or running is better for your body. One study compared thousands of runners to thousands of walkers and found that both are good for you. Researcher Paul Williams of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory explained: "It takes longer to walk a mile than to run a mile. But if you match them up on the energy expended, they are comparable. If you do the same amount of exercise - if you expend the same number of calories - you get the same benefit." When you make time for fitness or sports throughout the week, your body grows accustomed to the mood regulation benefits of exercise. It's those endorphins that elevate your mood, giving you a natural high.

For more information on anxiety therapy, please contact me.

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