Stressed & Anxious: Should I Go to Therapy?
Have you caught yourself saying things like "It's been a day." when people ask how you're doing? Do you feel like you can't catch a break and one stress is piling on top of all the others? You're not alone if you find yourself lying awake at night running with worries running through your mind. Ongoing stress from the pandemic, loss, inflation, political unrest, war overseas, and gas prices; the list of things we have to worry about is growing, and that's outside of stressors from other areas of our lives.
Feelings of stress, being overwhelmed, and the rapid spread of negativity affects the lives of everyone in our community and targets our mental health, which can be vulnerable at times.
The Anxiety & Depression Association of America reports that 40 million American adults are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder each year. And that's only the people who seek help and receive a diagnosis. Many others live with or struggle with stress and anxiety and don't seek treatment. After all, some levels of stress are "normal," right? So, how are you supposed to determine when to get help?
Understanding Symptoms of Stress and Anxiety
There are several symptoms that can indicate stress and anxiety. Some of them may not be easily noticed but may still be in the background impacting your daily life. These can differ from one person to another because we're all unique and react differently.
Here are some of the common signs of stress and anxiety on your body that you may already be feeling right now:
Weakness and fatigue
Muscle and chest pain
Decrease in sex drive
Sweating and trembling
Hyperventilation (heavy breathing)
Stress and anxiety can also change our moods. These symptoms can include:
Lack of concentration and focus
Lack of motivation to do anything
Nervousness even in casual occasions
Restlessness even if you are doing nothing
Feeling overwhelmed by what is happening in your life
Feeling that something bad is always going to happen
Sudden frustration or anger over small things
Extreme sadness that can lead to depression
Moreover, stress and anxiety can also alter our behavior toward other people that can also result in misunderstandings and arguments such as:
Social withdrawal or ignoring friends & family
Alcohol, tobacco and/or drug overuse
Undereating and overeating
Inability to exercise or perform physical activities
Uncontrollable anger outbursts
Repetitive and compulsive behaviors
Inability to make firm decisions
Unwanted changes in personality
Carelessness in relationships
Making errors at work or missing deadlines
For some, these symptoms of anxiety and stress may be minor, but others find their daily life altered.
Should I go to therapy for stress and anxiety?
While we will all experience stress and anxiety at times in our lives, it does not mean that we need to navigate it independently. Society has a myth that therapy is only for people who have extreme "problems" or mental health disorders, but that's not true. Therapy is for anyone and everyone.
If you find that your stress and anxiety symptoms are getting in the way of your daily life, working with a therapist can help.
Mental health professionals may be able to help you:
Learn effective strategies to cope with daily stress
Understand and recognize the root cause of the stress and anxiety you experience
Help you explore other treatment options (for example, we offer medication management in Stillwater through our Certified Nurse Practitioner)
Identify your triggers and how to recognize them
Understand how your feelings are impacting other areas of your life
Therapists provide a safe, judgment-free space and help you in your journey of dealing with your stress and anxiety. In addition, a therapist can work with you to help diagnose if you do have an anxiety disorder, which can help you find the right treatment plan specifically for you.
At The NEST Clinic in Stillwater, we want to support you in relieving the stress and anxiety that you have been feeling every day to feel your best and enjoy life to its fullest.
How to Find A Therapist to Work With
Several factors need to be considered in finding the most appropriate therapist for your stress and anxiety.
Location - Choose a therapist that will be easy for you to work with. This could be by choosing someone near your home or workplace or choosing a therapist that provides teletherapy so you can attend from anywhere.
Budget - Therapy sessions can range in cost based on many different factors. You may prefer to find a therapy clinic that accepts insurance or provides a sliding scale to help reduce your out-of-pocket expense.
Specialties - Therapists can specialize in different areas of mental health. Look for someone who specializes in working with people who have anxiety. While many therapists will be able to help, it’s nice to have someone passionate about the specific area where you are looking for support.
Comfort level - It's vital that you are comfortable with the therapist you choose. During therapy sessions, you will want to share personal details about your life (whatever you're comfortable with), so you want to work with someone you feel comfortable opening up to.
Keep in mind that you might not connect with the first therapist you work with, and that's okay. If you don't feel the level of comfort you're looking for, you can move on to try meeting with someone else. Therapists want to help you feel your best and get the help you need. Therefore, they are generally willing to refer you to another mental health professional if you think they are not a good fit. You don't need to be shy about telling them you want to work with someone else.
You can learn to manage stress and anxiety
There are many things you can do on your own to manage daily stress and anxiety. Some common DIY strategies that can help include:
Practicing self-care activities like exercise, eating right, and getting enough sleep
Learning deep breathing techniques
Learning time management and limiting how much you put on your calendar
Spending time with your support circle
Engaging in activities that help you unwind and feel your best
If you're experiencing stress, try some of these strategies to see what works the best for you, but don't hesitate to reach out for therapy. Our clinic provides a family-friendly and baby-welcoming environment to help make sessions easiest for you. In addition, we have a team of mental health professionals with a wide range of specialties—including a yoga/meditation teacher.
We're here to collaborate with you and provide personalized therapy to help you create meaningful change.
Call 651-425-9297 or schedule online to be matched with a therapist who is right for you.