• Online Counseling for Anxiety

    Anxiety is an extremely common experience, especially in women, especially in women going through a pandemic. And currently, that’s all of us! Here are a few questions to ask yourself if you’re wondering if you might need counseling for anxiety.

    Have you found yourself overwhelmed by what used to feel like “normal” parts of your day? Do you feel like you’re always on the verge of tears OR about to bite someone’s head off, often your children or partner? Do you experience that twisting feeling in your stomach, or that racing heart, alongside what feels like a ten pound weight on your chest? Do you lay down to sleep at night and you just. can’t. stop. thinking. If so, you might be in the grips of anxiety.

    Online counseling for anxiety can be helpful if you are someone who is struggling with adding one more thing to your already overwhelmed “to do” list because you can access it with no transition time and from the comfort of your home, on your schedule. If you’ve considered getting counseling for anxiety, online therapy may be the way to go because of its ease and accessibility.

    What is anxiety?

    Contrary to trauma, in which we fear the lack of safety from something that happened in the past, anxiety revs up when we consider the uncertainties of the future. Our nervous systems are in overdrive, working way too hard, cranking out all kinds of hormones that tell us we’re in danger or unsafe, even though what we really are is really “in our feelings” about every possible future unknown. Though it’s extremely uncomfortable in the moment, there ARE ways that we can calm our nervous systems AND our minds so that we are not owned by anxiety. Counseling for anxiety can help to pull us out of future unknowns and back into the NOW.

    Anxiety symptoms can look like:

    • Chronic pain or illness
    • GI issues (stomach, bowels, etc.)
    • Racing thoughts, mental “spinning”
    • Depression
    • Panic attacks
    • Not remembering things, forgetfulness
    • Feeling fatigued, overwhelmed, easily overloaded
    • Avoiding things or being overly controlling of other things
    • Relaxing can feel like not doing enough or getting enough DONE
    • Difficulty concentrating or connecting with others because it’s too hard to be in the moment
    • Agitation and irritability

    Anxiety Treatment:

    I offer online counseling for anxiety in PA and MD that can provide you with an exploration of why you might be feeling anxious as well as giving you tools to manage your anxiety, such as approaches that are both thought-based as well as body-based. Sometimes, anxiety can be related to possessing traits associated with being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP – read more below) or to experiencing Perinatal Anxiety during or after a pregnancy.

    Anxiety counseling can help you to recognize and cope with anxious thoughts, identify triggers or situations that spark anxiety, explore and identify where you hold anxiety in your body, and find effective ways to process anxiety so that it is more of a bother rather than something that rules us.

    How to Develop Coping Skills for Anxiety:

    • First and foremost, sleeping enough is crucial in combating anxiety. A brain that has not slept is a brain that cannot function. Not sleeping because you’re anxious? I can help.

    • Anxiety can make us feel like we’ve got an excess of energy in our bodies. Finding ways to move your body each and every day is a must.

    • Find a friend who you can talk openly with about your anxiety and considering counseling for anxiety. Sometimes others see things in us that we are missing, so it’s always good to check in with a trusted pal about what they’re noticing in you.

    • Similarly, don’t isolate yourself. When we don’t feel good about ourselves, an easy go to is to just be alone, but connecting with others, even when we don’t feel like it, definitely helps.

    • Write it down. Write it down. Write it down. The more that we can externalize the chaos that’s happening inside of us, the better. Get it out, don’t hold it in. It doesn’t have to be fancy – the notes feature on your phone works!

      (These are just a few suggestions for how to cope with anxiety, but I’ve got plenty more tools up my sleeve!)

    Highly Sensitive People (HSP’s) and Anxiety

    The concept of the Highly Sensitive Person, a relatively new area of research in the world of psychology and counseling, comes from the work of Elaine Aron, PhD. The HSP “has a sensitive nervous system, is aware of subtleties in his/her surroundings, and is more easily overwhelmed when in a highly stimulating environment.” Basically, if you’re an HSP you are likely very sensitive to all of the information that this world is constantly throwing at you, and you therefore reach capacity for all the environmental “noise” in our world. It only makes sense, then, that an already sensitive nervous system would be more prone to experiencing anxiety

    Being an HSP does not guarantee that you’ll have anxiety, but it does make it something to consider. Additionally, what you are feeling may not actually BE anxiety, and instead you may be an HSP who simply experiences the world in a fuller way that can sometimes feel overpowering.

    A few traits of HSP’s are needing more sleep, becoming easily overwhelmed by stimulae in a situation, needing more quiet processing time, having a rich and complex inner world, and making sure you avoid content that is triggering/violent/upsetting. To learn more or to do a self-assessment, check out www.hsperson.com.

    Licensed Professional Counseling for Anxiety in PA and MD

    As someone who is a licensed professional counselor in both  Pennsylvania and Maryland, I assist women in transforming anxiety from something that is weighing them down into something that is, though not pleasant, a manageable part of daily living. Staying in a place of constant irritability and angst is no party. Counseling for anxiety can help.