Are You Exhausting Yourself With Worry?

Is it impossible for you to shut your mind off? Are reoccurring thoughts making you nervous and affecting your ability to complete simple tasks? Have you experienced rapid heartbeat, insomnia, weight fluxes, fatigue or hair loss? Are you fixating on situations and events that would normally cause you nominal or no stress? Do you feel like you have little to no control over your thoughts, happiness or even your life?

Anxiety can interfere with virtually every aspect of life. It can make you feel completely overwhelmed, stuck or scared. You may experience heightened anxiety during major life transitions, but anxiety can also cause you to fixate on seemingly small situations, too. During bouts of severe anxiety, it’s not uncommon to worry excessively over nearly anything and everything. Anxiety can affect your ability to sleep, complete tasks and make decisions. It can damage your relationships with your partner, family and friends. It can affect your job. It can literally make you sick. Living with constant anxiety can be miserable, debilitating and frightening.

You Are Not Alone

Anxiety is an extremely common affliction. Almost everyone suffers from some form of anxiety at some point in their lives. And when it’s heightened, it can severely impact your ability to feel happiness and function normally.

The good news is that anxiety is very treatable and anxiety counseling is proven to be effective. And, with the help of a trained and experienced therapist, you can feel better.

Feeling Better

The first thing to understand is that your worry and anxiety are trying to tell you something. Something is wrong and it needs to be fixed. Anxiety thrusts people into fight or flight mode – meaning they either experience a highly amped and agitated state or freeze up and withdraw. It manifests in both the brain and body, making it difficult to function normally. But, the brain simply cannot stay in fight or flight mode indefinitely. Identifying the underlying cause of your anxiety is the first and most critical step to alleviating it – to feeling better. A BPS therapist will help you turn down the volume in your head long enough to figure out what is causing the fixations and reoccurring, noisy thoughts.

Once you’ve identified the root causes of your anxiety, the next step is to develop actual skills to deal with it. The idea is to find balance and restore your mind and body. How amazing would it feel to relax – even for a few moments? With the help of a BPS therapist, you will relax again. In therapy, you’ll develop the tools and mindful techniques needed to ease nervous energy and obsessive thoughts. And, working with a trained and experienced therapist greatly improves your ability to feel better faster and experience more sustained, long-term happiness.

But, you still may have fears or questions…

I’m terrified to talk about what’s going on with me to anyone – even a therapist.

It’s the role of a therapist to support, not to judge. It’s a primary priority of all BPS therapists to meet you where you are emotionally and to provide you with a safe, respectful and supportive environment. It’s also very common to fear talking to anyone, therapist or other, about obsessive thoughts or painful situations. Anxiety cripples our ability to feel in control of our lives. It’s scary and overwhelming. Talking about it is the first step to regaining some of that control. Therapy will help you develop a greater sense of personal empowerment, and sharing will become much more comfortable.

I just don’t think that therapy will work. I’ve felt bad for so long that I’m not even sure what feeling normal is.

It is the nature of anxiety to make you doubt – that’s totally normal. Most people who seek treatment have been struggling with anxiety for months, even years. It’s not uncommon to feel hopeless. But, there is hope. What’s important now is that you find a therapist who is highly trained and experienced in working with people suffering from anxiety. Finding one who fits well with your personality and has a style you can relate with is key, too. BPS will help you find that match. It’s also helpful to remember that every moment is an opportunity to feel better. And, working with a qualified therapist will get you there faster and help you enjoy more sustained results.

I can barely keep up with my current commitments. I’m not sure that I could manage taking on another every week.

There is a reason that you’re looking into therapy and reading this now – and it’s that you need relief. What you’re doing right now to cope with your anxiety isn’t working. Working with a therapist will help provide some relief. You will gain the support and tools you need to better organize your thoughts and your life. Your daily routine can become less overwhelming and much more manageable. And, with a BPS therapist, you can design a system and a schedule for therapy that works with your individual needs.

To increase the likelihood of a good fit, BPS offers an online therapist directory which will help you to determine what your specific issues are and to ensure a good match between you and a BPS therapist in terms of personality, style and expertise.

Check out our free, online therapist directory, which will match you with a therapist who has expertise working with anxiety issues.

BPS therapist Jennifer Key, LCSW helped create the content for this page. Jenny has been working with clients suffering from anxiety since 1998. She practices traditional therapy methods, such as psychoanalysis and cognitive behavioral techniques, but has also found that many people with anxiety experience significant, positive change while interacting with animals. Jenny’s practice includes equine and animal therapies.