“Breaking the Anxiety Habit”
Anxiety is the most prevalent mental health disorder in the United States. But what is it? Anxiety is irrational fear. It is the fear of fearful feelings. If you see a tiger coming towards you, you feel afraid, and that is a rational feelings. You SHOULD be afraid. But days later, when you remember that tiger, and you still feel that high level of fear, that is irrational. There is no tiger; there is no danger. Taking it one step further, if you’ve never seen a tiger coming toward you, but you’ve only IMAGINED it, that is an irrational fear. The tiger doesn’t exist, it never existed; only your fear exists. Anxiety is the fear of fearful feelings.
Some people are born with a tendency toward anxiety. They are more sensitive than others or they have a strong family history of anxiety. For these people, learning some coping skills to deal with their anxiety is even more important because they will probably need to take a more proactive stance in handling their anxiety before it gets a grip on them long-term. Once anxiety begins to spiral out of control, it can become quite strong and can seriously impact your pleasure in life.
There are three main reasons people don’t overcome their anxieties:
- fear of change
- belief that they can’t break a bad habit ( and much of anxiety is a habit)
- They don’t know the steps involved in how to break the anxiety habit.
Joy has extensive training, knowledge, and expertise in helping people break the anxiety habit. She can provide tools for managing anxiety. The right forms of psychotherapy can teach you to control your anxiety and feel relief from it. Joy uses several types of therapies in treating anxiety: cognitive-behavioral, positive visualization, relaxation training, and solution-focused techniques.
You will help you identify the kind of anxiety you have. Most anxieties fall into three categories:
- Feeling Tense and Stressed Out
Joy can help you break the habit of looking for problems to worry about. She can help you with awareness of anger and appropriate expression of it. She will focus on having fun as an antidote to stress.
- Rumination—not being able to turn your brain off, worrying incessantly
Joy will teach you the skills to organize your worries and “put them in storage.” She will help you practice interrupting your worries. She will teach you the difference between planning and worrying.
The keys to coping with panic attacks are to manage the body, learn to breathe effectively, and stay in the moment. Panic lives in a world of “what if.” It is irrational fear of future events that have not happened. Learning to stay in the moment is key to overcoming panic.
As a Clinical Social Worker, Joy provides therapy and guidance, listening and understanding. She does not prescribe medications, but will refer to physicians for medication should that be necessary. Joy has extensive experience in working with people to help their medications work more effectively.