What is Anxiety?

We all know what it feels like to experience anxiety, worry or panic, such as nervousness before an exam, or pressure from work. Brief periods of anxiety can be beneficial as it motivates us to act. However, too much anxiety, or constantly being anxious, is unhealthy and detrimental to our lives and relationships. Anxiety Disorders are the most common mental health concern in Canada and they are highly treatable.

Anxiety is the body's way of responding to danger. This happens whether the danger is real, or whether we believe the danger is there when actually there is none. It is the body's alarm and survival mechanism. Just thinking that we are in danger is enough to trigger the alarm system. When we are experiencing anxiety we are hyper alert to danger signals in our environment, this makes it more likely that our alarm system will be activated.

Anxiety comes in many different forms, including:

  • Panic attacks
  • Chronic worrying
  • Social anxiety
  • Worry about your health
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Phobias
  • Agoraphobia

Common symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Stomach upset
  • Pounding heart or accelerated heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Chest pain or discomfort

Helpful things to consider for friends or family:

  • Educate yourself on anxiety disorders to gain understanding
  • Ask how you can help and listen carefully to the response
  • Help them to set realistic goals and recognize anxious thought pattern
  • Do not tell them to “just get over it”

How can Clinical Counselling help?

Clinical Counselling can help you learn ways to get better and stay better. How you think about a problem can affect how you feel physically and emotionally. The role of a Clinical Counsellor is to assist you in changing thought patterns or behaviors that are not working.

  • Clinical Counselling can help you learn strategies to manage your anxiety and live a more fulfilling life.
  • Counselling can help to overcome negative thinking habits
  • Counselling can help you to change how you think ('Cognitive') and what you do ('Behaviour') and these changes can help you to feel better

Clinical Counselling along with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is considered to be a treatment option for anxiety. CBT gives you a new way of understanding and thinking about your anxiety. It also provides you with the skills to better manage the issues that you are struggling with right now. Additionally, research has shown the effectiveness of body oriented therapies. This form of therapy focuses on the relationship between the mind and body and encourages your alarm system, which is activated when you feel anxious, to begin to calm down and reach a state of greater balance.

Ways to decrease anxiety:

Learn relaxation skills including:

  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Meditation
  • Deep breathing
  • Acupuncture
  • Practice self care; make sure you are getting adequate sleep, good nutrition and regular exercise

Our integrated health clinic has two experienced clinical counsellor available to assist you or a family member. Clinical counselling provides the opportunity to discuss your situation and the difficulties that you may be experiencing. Our counsellors will listen to your concerns and work with the changes you would like to make in your life. Strategies for moving forward will be developed in a manner that works for you. Everyone is unique and change needs to take place in a way that is comfortable for the individual. Each counselling session will be one hour long. To book an appointment or a free fifteen minute meet and greet time with one of our counselors please call our reception @ 250 881-1806.