Julia on Anxiety

anxiety“I have a problem with anxiety. It’s not such a big problem anymore, but it used to be a HUGE deal before I learned how to deal with it. I’m 28 years old, and a single mother holding down a full time job. (My parents help out with day care). So a lot of stress was already there, but still, I really needed to be present for my three-year-old son, not a tangled wreck of nerves and worry and panic and anger at the end of the work day!

“When I started counseling with Jeff, it was just such a relief to finally talk about it with someone who thought I wasn’t crazy. (Some of my friends wonder, though!) He had a whole program for me, including relaxation and stress-reduction exercises. But the things that really made a difference was understanding WHY I worried about all the bad things that might happen.

“My counselor helped me understand the “costs and benefits” of worrying. What that means is some worries are useful, others a complete waste of time. I learned how to “let go” and postpone worrying. Because I worried so much, I used to avoid activities (mostly social events) or even certain thoughts. Of course, this just made me worry more!

“For my anxiety, Jeff introduced me to a lot of new techniques like good time management, mindfulness meditation, muscle relaxation, and a special kind of journaling. Since then, things have gotten a lot better and I don’t worry nearly as much. Strangely enough, though, I feel less anxious because I stopped trying to control so many things in my life that couldn’t really be controlled.”   Ring Me