All About Anxiety
“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.”
~ C. Spurgeon
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is an incredibly common emotional state. These feelings of worry and fear keep us up at night, rifling through negative memories and anticipated consequences. Anxiety often makes us feel alone, that no one else would really understand what we are going through or that no one has messed up as badly as we have. Our worries keep us focused on mistakes, shortcomings, and the ways we have let others and ourselves down.
Sometimes it’s hard to make the thoughts stop. They just keep coming, no matter how much we try to ignore them or get rid of them. And then there’s the feeling—the racing heart, the shaking, stomach-churning pit. These feelings make it hard to eat and focus. The thoughts and the feelings come at the worst times, too. No matter how hard we try, the thoughts just won’t stop, and the feelings get worse. It’s easy to feel hopeless when we’re stuck.
The good news is, there is hope. Early detection and treatment of anxiety symptoms can make a major difference – but it is never too late to be helped.
Fortunately, anxiety tends to be easy to spot. Here are some of the most common symptoms (DSM-5):
Constant worry or difficulty controlling worry
- Racing thoughts
- Pounding heart
- Sweating or shaking
- Difficulty sleeping
- Difficulty feeling rested or relaxed
- Specific fears (situations, animals, etc.)
If you or a loved one struggle with anxiety, do not wait. Contact me today to begin the process of overcoming your fears taking control of your life.
How does anxiety affect people?
The effects of anxiety usually permeate multiple areas of life. These feelings tend to affect our mental space, social functioning, and even physical health. As anxiety often motivates us to avoid uncomfortable or stressful situations, people tend to isolate themselves. We may have a hard time focusing in school, finishing tasks at work, and it may show up in our personal relationships. Sometimes, conflict with loved ones or even the thought of possibly letting someone down can be paralyzing. Oftentimes we may feel restless, irritable, and on edge.
Chronic anxiety has been consistently found to lead to poorer health outcomes. For example, those with long term symptoms of anxiety tend to struggle with cardiovascular disease (Blakemore et al, 2014), obesity (Nigatu et al, 2016), diabetes (Melin et al, 2017), and other major health complications. This means that, although traditionally thought of as a mental health issue, anxiety can be a medical concern.
Fortunately, anxiety is very treatable. If you or a loved one struggle with the effects of anxiety, contact me today to schedule your first session.
How can I overcome my anxiety?
The most effective method for managing and coping with anxiety is psychotherapy (Carpenter et al, 2018). Therapists are trained to align with clients in a way that communicates understanding and empathy. Working closely with a counselor can help with reducing symptoms and increasing overall life functioning. Many psychologists help clients determine the root cause of anxiety while also offering more practical, day-to-day methods for managing symptoms in the moment.
As you begin counseling, you will learn to:
- Quiet your mind
- Slow your heart rate
- Increase positive self-talk
- Feel more joy
- Challenge irrational thoughts
- Embrace your emotions
- Reach new heights
My name is Elizabeth Anderson, MFA, LMFT, and I am here for you. I work hard to stay on top of the most current research, particularly mindfulness-based techniques, and the latest in brain research & neuroscience, to provide the best help possible for my clients. My offices are located in Burbank and Pasedena, California, but I also see people from all over the Los Angeles county area. I can easily be reached to set up a session through phone or email, check out the Contact Me page to learn more!
Some clients find it helpful to read a book along with attending therapy. Feel free to check out this list
- The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety: A Guide to Breaking Free from Anxiety, Phobias, and Worry Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, by John P. Forsythe, PhD, and Georg H. Eifert, PhD
- The Mindful Way Through Anxiety, by Susan M Orsillo, PhD and Lizabeth Roemer, PhD
- Calming Your Anxious Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You from Anxiety, Fear, and Panic, by Jeffrey Brantley, MD, and Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD
- Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World, by Mark Williams and Danny Penman
Blakemore, A., Dickens, C., Guthrie, E., Bower, P., Kontopantelis, E., Afzal, C., & Coventry, P. A. (2014). Depression and anxiety predict health-related quality of life in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: systematic review and meta-analysis. International journal of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 9, 501.
Carpenter, J. K., Andrews, L. A., Witcraft, S. M., Powers, M. B., Smits, J. A., & Hofmann, S. G. (2018). Cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety and related disorders: A meta‐analysis of randomized placebo‐controlled trials. Depression and anxiety.
Melin, E. O., Thunander, M., Landin-Olsson, M., Hillman, M., & Thulesius, H. O. (2017). Depression differed by midnight cortisol secretion, alexithymia and anxiety between diabetes types: a cross sectional comparison. BMC psychiatry, 17(1), 335.
Nigatu, Y. T., Reijneveld, S. A., de Jonge, P., van Rossum, E., & Bültmann, U. (2016). The combined effects of obesity, abdominal obesity and major depression/anxiety on health-related quality of life: the lifelines cohort study. PLoS One, 11(2), e0148871.