A client I will call “Joy” came to see me and related that she had been excited about a new job but quickly found herself with increased responsibilities and a need to do training of other employees. The first time she met with the employees she was horrified when her heart started pounding, her mouth was dry, her hands shook and she had difficulty presenting the material. Joy related she had wanted to run from the room, felt “frightened” and like a “failure” and couldn’t understand her reaction to the situation – this had never happened to her before! Joy didn’t tell anyone what had happened and began to avoid situations where she might have to speak to groups of people which impacted her ability to do her job.
Joy thought avoiding the situation would be the “solution”.
Unfortunately Joy began to experience these “attacks” at different times and in different places. Once she was sitting in her living room watching a favourite television show when her heart began to beat erratically, she became short of breath and nauseated. After this experience Joy became concerned with her health and wondered if she was having a heart problems. A trip to her doctor confirmed she was physically healthy and counselling was suggested to deal with her “symptoms of anxiety”.
Through counselling Joy gained understanding of how her body was reacting to stress, learned breathing techniques, an awareness of how she “bottled things up” and her tendency to “want to be all things to all people”. Joy became more comfortable talking about herself, began to gain awareness of her thinking patterns that were making her vulnerable to anxiety and made a goal of a daily walk and a weekend restorative yoga class.
At the conclusion of her counselling sessions Joy related that although mild symptoms occur from time to time she now has better self-awareness and is able locate “pitfalls” to diminish her anxiety and functions in most settings “really well”.
do you find your heart is pounding even when you are sitting still or lying in bed?
do you feel nauseated even when you first wake up?
do you have feelings of fear and panic and don’t know why?
are you avoiding people, places or situations?
are you unable to make even simple decisions?
do you lack follow through?
do you or others think you level of worry is excessive?
Most of all do you have poor relationships with others due to being uncomfortable around people or places?
these are all signs of ANXIETY and can be treated through counselling.