It’s Okay to Have Anxiety — You’re Not Alone (Part Two)
If you read my last blog post article referencing the Fast Company article, “When your body calls time out” by author Chuck Swoboda, you may be wondering if there are a few more things you can do in order to accept that you have anxiety.
Yes, below are a few more key points regarding acceptance of anxiety.
- Self-compassion. Practicing love for yourself is one of the most important things you can do for yourself whether or not you have anxiety. Be gentle and accept yourself for where you are today can help take off that pressure you may constantly be feeling. We can have goals for the future, but sometimes we just need to give ourselves a break and pat ourselves on our back for all of our accomplishments thus far in life!
- This is the new me. Swoboda is very vulnerable and authentic in the reality that he realizes the old him is not coming back. It was through therapy that he realized the old him was not fully accepting of who he is, someone who has an anxiety condition, and there is nothing wrong with that. Part of therapy is learning who you are at your core. I have several clients who are at times scared to start therapy because they are scared of what they might find out about themselves and what they truly think and feel. While I validate to them that it can be scary, it is important to allow yourself to live an authentic life where you don’t need to put a mask on anymore to impress yourself and/or others.
- Mental health stigma. Nearly 20% of Americans have treatable anxiety in their life but only 1/3 actually seek treatment for it. The percentage is even much higher if you add depression in the equation. It is shocking that 2/3 of the people are not seeking treatment for their anxiety due to the stigma that there must be something wrong with you if you are taking ownership in your mental health. There is nothing wrong with you if you decide you need help as you are certainly not alone. If fact, seeking treatment shows you are incredibly self-aware and taking care of your mind and body. Our mental health is essentially another body part. If we have the flu, we go to the doctor. If we have anxiety, depression, stress, trauma, a significant life change, we have the option to go to therapy. Why not take advantage of the option to learn better ways to manage the stressful things in your life?
- Do I need therapy? If you have read this far into both of my blog posts until the end, you may be wondering if you think you need therapy. As a clinical therapist, I truly do believe therapy can benefit everyone whether it is the happiest to the most anxious/depressed people, and anywhere in between, but it is the brave people that take time to invest in themselves. People invest in cars, houses, spas, but I sometimes wonder if people allow time to invest in themselves. Therapy is a wonderful place to allow yourself to truly invest in getting to know yourself better.
- Therapeutic match. That being said, I also believe in order for people to truly get a wonderful therapeutic experience, it means they need to be ready for therapy and also make sure they are matched with the right therapist who they feel they can bring a sense of vulnerability to each session. Sometimes people will even “therapist shop” where they see a few different therapists for an intake session or perhaps a free phone consultation with the therapist to hear their different therapeutic styles. Ultimately, it is your time and money, it might as well be with a therapist you feel connected to!
If the stress in your life is leading to anxiety, it may be a good idea to connect with one of our skilled counselors at Symmetry Counseling today. You can contact them at 312-578-9990 to set up an appointment.
Written by Kara Thompson-Miller, Licensed Clinical Social Worker: January 2023 “Why is it so hard to like my body?”: A unassumingly complex question that has been asked by many clients in many different variations, but one that, nonetheless, tends…Read More
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