Anxiety is one of the most common mental health concerns faced by children and adults alike today. Anxiety can be an incredibly frustrating and painful experience. Common attempts to quell anxiety, such as avoiding things that provoke it or telling yourself “it will all be ok”, actually make anxiety worse. Anxiety can be paralyzing, it can greatly alter the way a person lives and inhibit people from experiences they need or would like to accomplish.
Anxiety makes things feel urgent and terrifying. There is a very real neurological and evolutionary reason for this. Historically, anxiety kept us safe. We need anxiety to survive. If a bear were to jump out from behind a tree, we would need to act fast, it wouldn’t be in our best interest to think first. A problem emerges, however, when we begin to respond to non-life threatening situations in this way. Anxiety lives in the future and pulls our brain out of the present. A hall mark of anxiety are questions that begin with “what if…” Anxiety tricks our brain and provides a stream of worst case scenarios. Very few things, however, are actually dangerous in the present. In fact, if there were danger in your present, you would’t be anxious, you’d be responding!
Anxiety is a necessary part of life, but without the tools to manage it, it can be a painful prison. For more information on anxiety and treatment please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We also recommend the book The Worry Trick by Dr. Carbonell