What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a natural response to stress. When we feel fear, apprehension, or nervousness at the right time, it is a very appropriate and natural response to life events that keeps us safe. In fact, if we were to eliminate anxiety from our lives completely, we would likely begin making very poor decisions! The appropriate amount of anxiety or stress is a survival tool that reminds us to drive slower in a blizzard, or speak carefully and thoughtfully when a stranger is yelling at you. Anxiety is never enjoyable, but it serves an important purpose.
Anxiety becomes a problem, however, when its presence begins to interfere with your daily life. If anxiety begins to stop you from doing things that you enjoy or limits your ability to do everyday things (like go to the grocery store, drive, leave your house, talk to new people), it is important to address it and get help for anxiety treatment.
There are many types of anxiety disorders, including panic disorders, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and phobias. The anxiety cycle can present in different ways. The kind of anxiety experienced often dictates the therapy that will best support recovery.
Some anxiety seems to be generated by thinking. The more you think about something stressful, the greater the anxiety grows. Unfortunately, the thinking cycle is very difficult to break. Therapy to learn how to change thinking patterns can be very helpful for these clients. (For example, cognitive behavioural therapy.)
At other times, anxiety seems to spike in the absence of conscious thought. A panic attack may be experienced in response to a particular circumstance or trigger( such as the presence of animals such as spiders). Thinking therapies are less effective for these clients and we use other techniques to help the brain and body learn how to feel calmer again.
Major Types of Anxiety DisordersMost people experience occasional anxiety. For instance, you might worry when faced with a challenge at work, before a test, or before making a crucial decision. Occasional anxiousness is healthy; anxiety disorders, however, are different. “Anxiety disorders” refers to a set of mental conditions that produce persistent, intense worry and fear, often leading you to avoid activities like work, school, and social gatherings.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Individuals with GAD experience persistent and excessive worry about different situations in their lives, such as work, relationships, or health. Seeking professional help, such as anxiety counselling, can be crucial in managing and overcoming GAD symptoms.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social Anxiety Disorder is a common disorder characterized by a strong fear of social interaction. Extreme self-consciousness and worry about being ridiculed or ashamed are frequent symptoms of this disorder. This might result in a complete avoidance of social encounters, which can have a negative effect on relationships and personal development.
Separation Anxiety is not limited to children; it can also affect adults. Individuals with separation anxiety might experience extreme distress and anxiety when apart from their loved ones, often leading to behaviours aimed at avoiding separation.
Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder that involves the dread of situations or places where escape might be difficult or embarrassing. People with agoraphobia often avoid crowded places, public transportation, or situations that they perceive as unsafe. This can severely restrict their daily activities and independence.
What is an Anxiety Attack?
Anxiety attacks, a common symptom of anxiety disorders, can be overwhelming and distressing. Episodes can occur spontaneously or might be triggered by an event. Anxiety attacks include:
- Intense feelings of fear or panic
- Rapid heartbeat or palpitations
- Shortness of breath or hyperventilation
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Sweating or trembling
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Nausea or gastrointestinal distress
- Hot or cold flashes
- Fear of losing control
- Difficulty concentrating or focusing
- Restlessness or feeling on edge
Seeking support is crucial in finding effective anxiety disorder treatments and regaining control of your life. Anxiety disorder treatments at Renew Neurotherapy can provide individuals with tools and techniques to manage and cope with anxiety attacks.
What Causes Anxiety?
Finding effective anxiety disorder treatments requires an understanding of their underlying causes. Here are a few typical reasons for anxiety:
- Traumatic life events (e.g., abuse, accidents, or witnessing violence)
- Chronic medical conditions or illnesses
- Family history of anxiety or mental health disorders
- High-stress environments or lifestyles
- Substance abuse or withdrawal
- Certain medications or medical treatments
- Major life changes or transitions
What does Anxiety Feel Like in the Body?
Most of us have experienced anxious thinking. Our thoughts race a million miles an hour, it’s hard to concentrate, we become irritable, etc. But what about physical symptoms? Anxiety and the activation of your ‘fight or flight’ system (sympathetic nervous system) are linked. That means that anxiety could cause symptoms like chest pain, dizziness, shortness of breath, muscle pain, headaches, even high blood pressure and digestive issues.
Can Anxiety Get Better?
Yes! Anxiety can absolutely improve. There are many therapy options to help manage anxiety.
The therapy approach that you use for anxiety needs to be customized to you, because your individual life circumstances impact how effective your therapies will be.
What Are the Symptoms of Anxiety?
Associated physical symptoms
- Drowsiness and tiredness
- Pins and needles
- Irregular heartbeat (palpitations)
- Muscle aches and tension
- Excessive sweating
- Shortness of breath
- Stomach ache and digestive upset
- Dry mouth, excessive thirst
- Frequent urinating, diarrhea
- Painful or missed periods
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep (insomnia)
Associated mental symptoms
- Feeling of nervousness
- A sense of dread
- Feeling constantly “on edge”
- Feelings of being overwhelmed or immobilized
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feelings of isolation, irritation and anger
- Easily distracted
- Feelings of shame, fear and more.
Anxiety symptoms are individual. Every person will have a slightly different set of symptoms.
How is Anxiety Diagnosed?
Diagnosing anxiety involves a comprehensive assessment conducted by trained psychologists, psychiatrists or physicians. Both online and offline, psychotherapists and psychologists utilize various methods to determine the presence and severity of anxiety disorders.
Through in-person evaluations at anxiety counselling centers or trauma and anxiety clinics, therapists employ clinical interviews, questionnaires, and observation to assess symptoms and gather relevant information.
In online settings, therapists employ video consultations and virtual assessments to diagnose anxiety. With the diagnosis in hand, they can recommend appropriate anxiety disorder treatments, such as anxiety therapy or anxiety treatment programs available near you.
Treatments for Anxiety
In order to support your recovery, Renew professionals offer anxiety counselling and employ a wide range of techniques. We at Renew Neurotherapy include emotion regulation training, cognitive behavioural methods, dialectical behavioural strategies, distress tolerance, acceptance and commitment therapy, yoga therapy, emotion-focused therapy, motivational interviewing, behaviour activation, stress and anxiety management, graded exposure therapies, boundary setting, and more. Our aim is to provide you the essential tools to manage and overcome anxiety. Visit Renew to find out more about psychotherapy.
LIFESTYLE CHANGES AND BRAIN HEALTH SUPPORT
At Renew, we understand the significance of simple yet powerful practices for combating mental health presentations, like engaging in regular exercise, maintaining a nutritious diet, cultivating a healthy work-life balance, nurturing meaningful relationships, embracing relaxation, reducing screen time, prioritizing quality sleep, and more.
Our compassionate therapists are committed to assisting you in restructuring your daily routine, establishing boundaries, setting practical goals, and specifying priorities as you embark on a road toward a healthier and more balanced life.
Chronic anxiety can have a detrimental impact on brain function, affecting attention and memory. Many individuals experiencing anxiety express difficulties in organizing their thoughts and feeling overwhelmed by never-ending to-do lists.
At Renew, our therapists are skilled in cognitive rehabilitation and provide compassionate support to address these challenges. We will assist you in developing practical strategies and tools that offer short-term symptom relief and foster long-term recovery. We aim to help you with the resources to manage anxiety effectively, enhance your cognitive abilities, and regain a sense of clarity and focus.
The inability to participate in jobs, school, or even social or community activities might be caused by illnesses. Our therapists will be able to assist you in creating a plan for returning to work/school programs after your symptoms have abated to the point where you are able to resume the sides of your life that you have lost.
A brain map, which can show your therapist the patterns of brain function that may be contributing to your symptoms, is used as the first step in neurofeedback therapy. Neurofeedback often has positive effects on anxiety symptoms.
After the patterns are identified, brain training exercises can be carried out to reorganize and/or restructure brain activity, enhancing the brain’s capacity to work more effectively and increase its adaptability. Symptoms are better controlled when the brain is able to regulate itself more effectively.
Neuromeditation is a meditation style that takes into account your individual brain activity and innate skills. At Renew, we prioritize understanding your unique profile through a thorough assessment of your abilities before embarking on meditation training. By tailoring the meditation styles to match your personality and lifestyle, we can enhance the effectiveness of this practice. Clients frequently report that incorporating neuromeditation techniques makes the process of learning to meditate easier and more enjoyable.
How Anxiety Counseling and Therapy at Renew Neurotherapy Can Help
If anxiety is hindering your ability to lead a fulfilling life, Renew Neurotherapy is here to support you. Our experienced counsellors specialize in helping individuals navigate their worries and fears in a way that promotes personal growth and positive well-being.
We understand that anxiety is a natural human emotion, but through targeted anxiety counselling, you can learn to transform the way you respond to it. Our dedicated team is committed to providing effective anxiety counselling programs tailored to your unique needs.
We provide our services at convenient locations in Ottawa, Pembroke and North Bay to help you start your journey toward a calmer, more balanced life with Renew Neurotherapy.
Frequently Asked Questions
The type of counselling that is recommended for anxiety often focuses on addressing the underlying causes and developing coping strategies. There are several different approaches that are best customized to your needs.
Yes, you can definitely seek counselling for anxiety. Anxiety counselling and therapy provided by trained professionals can be highly beneficial in managing and reducing anxiety symptoms. Neurofeedback therapy to help manage your stress response can also be a helpful tool in anxiety management.
The best person to treat anxiety is typically a psychotherapist and psychologist specializing in anxiety disorders, such as a licensed therapist, psychologist, psychotherapist, or occupational therapist trained in psychotherapy.
Anxiety disorders can be managed effectively and symptoms can be significantly reduced with proper treatment, therapy, and support from psychotherapists and psychologists.
If stress and anxiety are significantly impacting your daily life, relationships, or overall well-being, consult a psychotherapist and psychologist for evaluation and appropriate guidance.