The Good about Anxiety
Anxiety is actually a normal and helpful emotional response to the potential threats and opportunities that we experience in life… It motivates us to think and act. That is “the good about anxiety”. The bad and the ugly…well that’s another story.
The BAD about Anxiety
The easiest way to determine if your level of anxiety is too high is to simply ask yourself if it is helping you or hurting you. If you are having difficulty with your short-term memory, if you are experiencing racing thoughts, if you have difficulty concentrating, or wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep because you can’t stop thinking about a problem…your level of angst is a problem. That is the bad of anxiety.
The UGLY About Anxiety
If you choose not to accept that it is a problem, well, then it can get ugly.
The “Ugly” happens when it takes the simple forms of “bad anxiety” and begins to integrate problematic defense mechanisms to try and control or compensate for your edginess.
Examples of ugly ways to respond to excessive anxiousness can include the reliance on medications like Xanax (Alprazolam) and Klonopin to control your anxiety, addictions, and other obsessive habits or tics. None of these methods of attempting to cope with anxiety actually reduce it, they only mask the source. Benzodiazepines, like Xanax and Klonopin, don’t do anything to “stop the triggers”… Stop taking the pill and the anxiety is back bigger and badder than ever!
To reduce problematic anxiety you need to learn to challenge what triggers it. Triggers are beliefs and experiences in your life that “trigger the perception” that a situation is problematic and out of your control. Said another way; “Anxiety is the perception that something is wrong and that you have to fix it”! It becomes problematic when your beliefs about your ability to control your environment or other people become unrealistic.
The solution to resolving problems with over anxiousness is to go after its source. As a licensed cognitive-behavioral Christian counselor, I have learned how to help individuals get off of the roller coaster of anxiety before it leaves the station. If we look at the problem in its most basic form, it is a fear based response to our environment. Counterbalancing and offsetting these fears with faith helps reduce emotional reactivity and the overwhelming feelings of anxiousness.
As a professional counselor, at Choice Counseling, I am not paid to be a preacher, but faith overcomes fear. Faith is the belief that good things can happen despite the current circumstances. Fear is the belief that bad things will happen in the same situation. Where does your faith come from? How do you overcome your fears? Are you experiencing a peace that surpasses your own understanding?
As a cognitive-behavioral Christian counselor, I integrate the language of Christian faith with the principals of cognitive behavioral therapy. Developing these skills took an undergraduate degree in psychology, a seminary degree in Christian counseling, a university degree in cognitive-behavioral counseling, and 50+ years of life experience. If you would like me to help you with anxiety call me for a free telephone consult at 423-502-4158.
Doug Fox LPC, M Div.