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Anxiety is a natural response to stress or danger, but when it becomes excessive and uncontrollable, it can interfere with daily life. It is often characterized by overwhelming feelings of worry, fear, and nervousness, as well as physical symptoms like sweating, trembling, and rapid heartbeat.
There are many definitions and descriptions, but no one argues that living with anxiety feels terrible. When anxiety goes unabated, our bodies release cortisol into our system, a powerful steroid that enables us to fight, fly or freeze, in an effort to help deal with the imminent threat to our life. This is one of the key reasons that those who suffer from anxiety may feel like every day situations are life and death, and can feel paralyzed. This may come in the form of isolation, procrastination or other means of dysfunctional coping.
When the brain is in fight, flight or freeze, it constantly is looking to ascertain the threat, scanning the environment, looking for escape routes, gathering all the information it can as quickly as possible and discarding any information that is not vital to staying alive. When anxiety creates a state of fight, flight or freeze, your mind will not find that vital information, so it stays on high alert, overstimulating your body with cortisol. When we are desperately looking to find the angry bear hellbent on killing us, it is difficult to get rational brain back on track!
Examples of chronic anxiety issues include:
That’s quite a list! Anxiety takes a significant toll on our lives. The good news is that you can gain control over your anxiety. The most effective solutions for lowering your anxiety are not prescription drugs. Drugs mask symptoms, and do not create processes that allow you to respond differently and more effectively to your environment. Anxiety, after all, is a response to your environment.
Ways to integrate rational brain with emotional brain include:
Effectively engaging emotional brain in those solutions requires work. Recognizing and implementing successful daily routines is best done with help. At Apex, we are experts in helping you recognize environmental triggers, understanding the emotional component of your anxiety and developing a successful program to experience relief of your symptoms. We do not believe that 45 minutes of talk therapy and a prescription is a successful resolution to anxiety. Once your rational brain understands you are not in danger, and you have tools to help get you there, you will regain control. We will work together to create the least invasive, most effective schedule and structure that provides the relief of symptoms you seek. Our therapists will help you put together an 'anxiety tool box' for intense environmental triggers that can prove overwhelming to our daily routine. And finally, we will be there with you the whole way; Coaching, pushing, pulling, listening, encouraging, until you are back in control.