You may be able to relate to this experience. Resolving a misunderstanding or difficult interaction. Then rather than feeling a sense of relief that the issue behind you; a looming dread lingers, anticipating another assault on your emotional world soon to follow. Just like shoes come in pairs, so does criticism, arguments, fights, or some form of crisis. Then boom, it happens again. The pattern repeats. You may recognize that this pattern has been with you a long time, maybe even from your youth.
Relaxing into a peaceful, quiet moment becomes uncomfortable. It does not feel “normal.” What has become normal is anticipating another sharp word, or demeaning comment, or hearing another fight, or a physical assault. Anxiety has become normalized in the emotional, psychological, and physiological body systems. Anticipatory anxiety becomes part of daily life. Constantly worrying about what might happen in the future, and trying to prepare for some unknown disaster at some unknown time is exhausting and debilitating.
At the mild level, anxiety feels like a low grade irritability, mild restlessness and/or hypervigilance. At the severe level, symptoms of intense irritability, persistent worry, edginess, easily fatigued, and panic can greatly impact a person’s daily functioning.
What to do?
- Practicing mindfulness, breath work and yoga have been proven to calm down an over excited nervous system. Over time, these interventions retrain the body to stop reacting, and establish peacefulness or calm as a “normal” state of wellbeing.
- Seek the help of a somatic trained therapist. Therapeutic modalities such as Process Therapy, EMDR, Somatic Experiencing, and CBT are designed to teach clients how to break the pattern of hypervigilance and worry.
- Pharmacological therapies, medication can also be of assistance in severe cases while learning to break old patterns and establish a new healthier thinking/feeling patterns.
- Herbal remedies are also available and in many cases just as effective. It is important to consult a naturopathic doctor or homeopathic doctor. These specialists are trained to determine the type of herb and therapeutic dosage unique to each patient.
- A healthy nutritional balance plays an important role in healthy mental, emotional and physical balance. Lack of key trace minerals, such as magnesium, and/or an over consumption of caffeine and sugar are known culprits in elevation of anxiety, and irritability. Consult a professional such as a licensed nutritionist, naturopathic doctor, or medical doctor with a nutrition specialty for a thorough evaluation of your nutritional health.
- Lastly, cannabis is known to cause anxiety, especially for consistent users. Anxiety is a known withdrawal symptom, which leads the user to light up again or pop another edible to mediate the discomfort. Anxiety symptoms relative to cannabis use can be viewed as a warning sign saying to be aware of quantity, quality, and frequency, or a bigger problem of abuse.
I take an integrative approach to working with clients. I address 1 and 2 above directly in my therapeutic practice while working collaboratively with other professionals to meet client goals and facilitate optimal outcomes.
I look forward to your call to answer a question or book an appointment 408-234-1405, angelacongdonmft.com.