Anxiety Counsellingregain peace of mind
Are you are overwhelmed by anxious thoughts and feelings? Is the stress of London taking its toll on your health? Anxiety counselling can help you find mental and emotional peace, and lead a happier, more constructive and empowered life.
Anxiety counselling looks at recurrent patterns of thought, anxious habits and the feelings underneath them. By shining a light on just how things are for you, counselling for anxiety helps you pinpoint what’s wrong, what caused it, and change how you think and feel.
Stress and anxiety come in many shapes and sizes
There are many different causes of anxiety. It may have its roots in the past and may be triggered by a wide variety of things in the present. Common causes might be:
- a very stressful period at work.
- stressful problems in your home life.
- separation or relationship problems.
- bereavement or other forms of loss.
- multiple difficulties piling one on top of the other.
Small amounts of stress or anxiety are usually manageable. But over time, manageable stress levels can escalate into on-going worry, all-pervading anxiousness (or ‘generalised anxiety disorder’) and even full-blown panic attacks.
Some symptoms of anxiety, stress and panic
If anxiety has built up over time, it’s not always easy to know that things have gone too far and that you can no longer cope. Here are just some of the symptoms of anxiety, stress and panic, that bring people to see a counsellor for anxiety.
- Being unable to concentrate.
- Checking and re-checking.
- Difficulty sleeping.
- Feeling life is too much and that you are unable to cope.
- Feeling separated from life, in a bubble.
- Feelings of inadequacy or fear, in social situations or at work.
- Intense worry.
- Irritability and bouts of anger.
- Rapid heart rate or palpitations.
- Repeatedly bursting into tears.
Untended, anxiety, panic and stress can take their toll not only on you, your peace of mind and your health, but on friendships, family ties and relationships. Anxiety can affect your ability to cope with work. It can even affect your sex life.
Over time, too much stress and anxiety can also cause you to turn to drink, drugs, over-work or other forms of escaping or ‘numbing out’.
Getting help and support
Realising that things aren’t OK and that you do need help can be difficult, if things have gone on for a long time, or if life is so hectic you don’t have time to think about yourself. Acknowledging the truth can also make you feel guilty.
It’s important to remember that pretending things are fine won’t help you or those around you in the long run. Many people experience anxiety, stress and panic. It is not a failure on your part. Nor is anxiety counselling a way of ‘opting out’ or ‘evading responsibility’. It’s a brave step towards doing something about your problems.
What benefits can you expect from anxiety counselling?
Firstly, you realise that things can change. Then, you feel relief, because you have finally unburdened yourself and are doing something about the problem.
Over time, these are some of the many other positive results you can experience from counselling for anxiety.
- More peace of mind.
- Learning strategies to deal more calmly with daily problems.
- Feeling connected to the world again and to those who are important to you.
- No longer feeling trapped or isolated in your bubble of pain.
- Feeling more confident about yourself.
- Feeling happier.
Anxiety counselling can also help you know yourself a great deal better and stop feeling scared of your own thoughts and feelings.
Why is talking to a counsellor better than a friend or relative?
Coming to anxiety counselling means working with someone who genuinely wants to understand what you are going through. Someone who is supportive, warm and won’t judge you for being who you are or where you are in your life. A counsellor won’t tell you what to do or push you to go into areas that are too painful. Anxiety counselling is at your pace and things are talked about when you are ready.
Talking about your feelings and experiences is a brave thing to do. In anxiety counselling it is possible to do this in the best conditions, with an experienced professional.
3 steps to breaking free from anxiety, stress or panic
1. Acknowledge the problem
Awareness is the first step. It may feel scary to admit you have a problem. But wishing it away hasn’t worked in the past and is unlikely to work in the future.
It can help to write your feelings, or your repeated cycles of thoughts. This can get them ‘out of your head’ and show you whether it’s time to seek help and support.
2. Decide that you are ready to do something about it
Working through difficult feelings and thoughts may look like an impossible mountain. As a counsellor with over 15 years’ experience, I know that it can also be extremely rewarding. It can transform your life.
3. Get support
Simply sharing how you feel with friends or family may help.
If you would like to contact me to discuss how counselling, I will be delighted to hear from you. I will always try to arrange an appointment for you as soon as possible, (or if it seems right, refer you on to another health professional). We would then have an initial counselling session and discuss how you want to proceed.
Please see the Q and A page for details about counselling costs, length of therapy and practical issues.
If you cannot afford to pay for counselling, your doctor may be able to help and get you free counselling sessions.
More details about anxiety counselling can be found on the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy ‘It’s Good To Talk’ web-site. There are also some useful articles on counselling in general and anxiety counselling, counselling for stress and counselling for panic in particular, on the Counselling Directory site.