Do these three things to help you start improving mental wellness today!
Abigail Yeomans, LPC
The more we try to create absolute certainty in our lives, the more we may realize how much uncertainty exists around us. It is a losing battle. Sure, uncertainty is uncomfortable, but is it harmful? Discomfort will not hurt us and while it is difficult to sit with, there is relieving power in doing so. On the other side of things, rejecting uncertainty can lead to avoidance of people, places, and situations that trigger uncomfortable emotions in our daily lives. That avoidance can then create a shield between you and what you truly value and enjoy in life. It is my advice to embrace uncertainty in order to let go of all things unknown. Letting go of what is unknown to us as opposed to constantly seeking out answers and certainty, will help you start living in the present moment and feel more balanced.
As a therapist specializing in Anxiety treatment and the treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), the most common question I hear is, “How do I get rid of my anxiety?” My honest answer is, “You can’t.” However through anxiety treatment and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy you can learn skills to manage symptoms of both disorders, and we can teach you how!
I don’t say this to be discouraging or pessimistic, but I have to be realistic. Anxiety is a natural and necessary emotion that all humans–and, in fact, most living animals–experience. Anxiety is the response that warns us of immediate danger and cues our reflexes to move us out of harm’s way. Without anxiety, we would not know instinctually to jump out of the way of a moving car or to duck if someone throws something at our heads. However, with an Anxiety Disorder, those cues get thrown off and people tend to interpret harmless situations–and even their own thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations–as immediate threats. So while you can not ever “get rid of anxiety,” you can learn to discern the difference between danger and discomfort, challenge your anxiety-provoking thoughts, and manage your physical symptoms of anxiety so well that it no longer interferes with your life in any way.
For this post, all I want to do is to extend the invitation to anyone and everyone out there struggling with any type of anxiety to send me your questions. If there is something I don’t have an answer for or a piece of advice on, I will be honest and provide you with additional helpful resources. A key component of overcoming anxiety and OCD is gaining as much education as possible about those subjects, and I am happy to share what I know to help out in that respect.
Even though you don’t know me, you have to believe me when I say that you are completely capable of mastering your anxiety. I say that because all the counselors at Chicago Counseling Center have personally witnessed hundreds of people do it, using the proven therapeutic methods that we have taught them. If you want to learn more, don’t hesitate to contact us today.
Taylor Newendorp, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor