Many of us feel anxious about things like paying the bills, filing taxes or having a difficult conversation. Some of us have social anxiety in large groups or become anxious when we talk to someone we’d like to date. For some, anxiety can be paralyzing. We put off deadlines, avoid conversations and in some cases avoid anxiety-causing situations to an extreme degree. For many, anxiety is cyclical. It’s not a one-off event, it’s something that appears over and over.
How can we address anxiety rather than just trying to avoid it? The first step is learning to recognize anxiety. When you start to recognize anxiety as something other than stress it can be a little bit of a relief. If you can stop and think, ‘I’m really worked up about this’, you may be able to start thinking about why things are leading to the onset of anxiety.
Once you can spot anxiety on the rise, or anxiety in progress, you can start thinking about what is triggering the anxiety. Noticing that you have high anxiety during tax time for example, might allow you to prepare for it ahead of time. Working with a counselor in the Upper Valley, you might be able to get at the root causes of your anxiety. You can also create an action plan for that specific anxiety.
Taking the example of filing taxes, maybe setting aside a day without distractions to prepare, double check and file your taxes helps. Instead of putting off your taxes and experiencing a longer period of anxiety, your action plan could help you confront and move past that specific point of anxiety.
Tax time anxiety is an example that is fairly straightforward, but anxiety isn’t always that easy to recognize or handle. If you struggle with some form of anxiety and would like to see if working with a talk therapist can help you discover the underlying causes, get in touch. Our counselors are ready to help.