Counselling to reduce anxiety

Do you feel nervous at the thought of leaving your house and meeting new people? Do you worry about presenting in front of team members and your supervisor? It can feel exhausting and overwhelming trying to commit to social gatherings while also feeling drained at the idea of meeting new people in a new environment. The idea of having to present in front of others may make you feel self-conscious and uncomfortable. We can work together in counselling to reduce your anxiety and unpack your fears and worries. 

How does your anxiety come to the surface?

Anxiety can manifest on the surface, for people, in various forms. You may feel anxious in your gut or the pit of your stomach. You may have a tightness in your chest and you may feel a heaviness inside. You may struggle to breathe and may find that you feel out of breath. Some people worry that the tightness in their chest and difficulty breathing will result in a heart attack. Some people describe their difficulty breathing as their body shutting and not having any control. Other people experience panic attacks which may last for twenty seconds or a few minutes if not more.  

What does someone who struggles with anxiety look like?

Someone who struggles with anxiety looks like you and me. It may be difficult to determine who may be experiencing anxiety based on their physical or external appearance. Someone may have a busy work schedule but they may work well under pressure and deliver results. However, inside, they may feel anxious about meeting demands and expectations from others like their supervisor. They may worry about making a mistake, disappointing their team or supervisor, and feeling like they are not good enough. 

It may be difficult for you to attend social gatherings and meet new people when you feel anxious. You may worry about what other people will think about you and that they may judge you. You may belong to a community where you and your family gather regularly however, the idea of talking to so many people that you don’t know may be anxiety-provoking. You may also feel judged by older people in the community because of your marital status, sexuality, or profession. In some cultures for example, within some South Asian communities, women are expected to be married and be a mother at a certain age.

What are some struggles you may experience if you have anxiety?

Individual Counselling

What are some possible explanations for why you feel anxious?

You may feel anxious due to work

There are several reasons why someone may feel anxious and one of the reasons may be work. You may find yourself feeling anxious at the thought of having to meet with your supervisor for example. Your supervisor may not be very supportive and at times she may be critical or even judgemental towards you. You may work in an environment that is dominated by males and consequently, you may feel like the minority. As a woman of colour, you may also struggle as the visible minority and perhaps you do not feel heard or understood by others in your team which triggers some anxiousness. Your workload may have increased due to another staff member leaving and while the firm agreed to hire their replacement, the expectation from your supervisor is for you to take on more projects.

You may feel anxious thinking about social gatherings

You may yourself in a relationship with an extrovert who enjoys spending time with their friends and they are also keen for you to meet some of their friends. While you agree to meet them, one evening, over dinner, you wonder if you will have anything in common with your partner’s friends. You question whether or not you will be able to strike up an engaging conversation. You worry that your partner’s friends may not find you interesting enough, they may think you are boring or that what you do for work isn’t good enough. One of your biggest fears is saying or doing something embarrassing and your partner feeling embarrassed as a result. You don’t want to let her down by saying or doing something stupid.  You would rather just stay at home but you don’t want to disappoint your partner.

You may feel anxious in your relationship

You may find yourself in a healthy intimate partner relationship however you feel anxious each time your partner shares what they need or what they would like to work on changing in your relationship. You may have an anxious attachment style but your partner may have an avoidant attachment style so when you argue, they shut down or withdraw which increases your anxiety. You may feel anxious and nervous about moving in with your partner especially if you have not lived with a partner before or if you had some unpleasant experiences with previous partners. You may feel anxious about starting a family with your partner as you worry about the unknowns and all the things you don’t control. You may find yourself in an unhealthy, toxic relationship where you feel like you are walking on eggshells all the time.

You may feel anxious due to your childhood

You may find that your parents separated when you were young and while at the time you don’t remember feeling anxious, you moved around a lot. You remember the instability you experienced growing up. As a result, you may crave stability and feel a pull towards familiar places and people. You may have grown up in a household where your parents argued every day and you remember coming back from school not knowing what you were walking into. Some days, you may have dreaded going home and as a result, you may have spent time with friends or just hung around your neighborhood. Perhaps you were bullied in high school and while your parents knew what was going on and so did some of the teachers, none of them intervened in the way that you hoped. You woke up feeling anxious and nervous about going to school and not knowing what to expect. 

How can counselling help reduce your anxiety?

We identify coping mechanisms in counselling

In counselling, we focus on current coping mechanisms and how effective they have been and then we spend time identifying new coping mechanisms. For example, some people find grounding and breathing techniques helpful. Some people find meditation and visualisation effective in reducing their anxiety. Other people need other tools to find them when they feel anxious.

We explore negative beliefs in counselling

Some people experience anxiety when they think about starting a new job or moving and they have negative beliefs or thoughts. Counselling can help with identifying and exploring where negative or limiting beliefs stem from. As your counsellor, I would support you with identifying triggers and experiences that may impact you in your present day. Once we learn more about how you are being impacted, we can work on changing this. 

We explore fears in counselling

Underneath anxiety, there may be fear of being abandoned by your partner, fear of losing your job, or fear that something bad is going to happen. These fears may result in you feeling anxious or having a panic attack. Your fears may stem from past experiences or your childhood. We can identify what would help reduce some of these fears and how to respond to fears when they surface. 

Call 604-997-4757 and speak to any of our office staff to learn more or schedule an appointment.



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