We’re hiring! View our open positions. 

Are you a current client? Contact your clinic 

Living with Anxiety and Managing Symptoms

For many people, anxiety is a part of everyday life. Anxiety disorders are more than just feeling nervous or worried from time to time—they’re chronic conditions that can significantly impact a person’s day-to-day functioning. Living with anxiety can be challenging. There’s always something to worry about, even when there’s nothing to worry about. It can cause physical symptoms, such as increased heart rate and muscle tension, and it can also lead to avoidance behaviors that can interfere with work, school, and relationships.

Fortunately, there are ways to manage the symptoms of anxiety and even feel relief from them. Working with a mental health professional to better understand your anxiety and learn coping techniques can be incredibly helpful. Whether you’re struggling with social anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, or another type of anxiety, Columbia Associates can help.

Call 703.682.8208 today to learn more about our anxiety counseling services in Reston and schedule your first appointment.

What Living with Anxiety Is Like

Living with anxiety can feel like living in a constant state of fear. It’s like having a heightened sense of danger and always being on high alert, even when there is no actual threat present. This can make it difficult to relax and enjoy life, as worries and what-if scenarios constantly flood the mind.

Anxiety can also manifest in physical symptoms, such as headaches, stomachaches, and muscle tension. These symptoms can be distressing and may even lead to more anxiety—worrying about the physical symptoms can make them worse and create a cycle that’s hard to break.

Other common challenges of living with anxiety include difficulty sleeping, trouble concentrating, and avoidance behaviors. Avoidance behaviors, like canceling plans or not attending social events, may provide temporary relief from anxiety, but they can also lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Understanding Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is a common type of anxiety disorder that can make social situations incredibly stressful and overwhelming. It can look like:

  • Feeling self-conscious in social situations
  • Worrying excessively about being judged or embarrassed in front of others
  • Having physical symptoms, such as blushing, sweating, or trembling, when faced with social interactions
  • Avoiding social situations altogether

Social anxiety can make it challenging to form and maintain relationships, advance in one’s career, or even complete daily tasks such as grocery shopping. It can be incredibly isolating and may lead to feelings of shame and inadequacy. Overcoming social anxiety often involves facing fears gradually and learning coping techniques to manage anxious thoughts and physical symptoms.

Managing the Symptoms of Anxiety

There is hope for those living with anxiety. One of the most effective ways to manage symptoms and improve overall quality of life is through therapy. A licensed therapist can work with you to better understand your anxiety, identify triggers, and develop coping techniques.

One of the goals of therapy is to help clients cope with anxious thoughts and feelings in a healthier way. This may involve techniques such as deep breathing or mindfulness exercises. Therapists can also help clients challenge distorted thoughts and develop more realistic, rational thinking patterns.

In addition to therapy, some people find relief from anxiety through medication. It’s essential to work closely with a psychiatrist if medication is prescribed, as they can monitor side effects and adjust dosages as needed. Combining therapy with medication may be the most effective approach for managing anxiety.

Reach Out to Columbia Associates for Help with Anxiety

If you’re ready to take the next step in your mental health journey, click here to reach out to our team of empathetic mental health care experts. For existing clients, please click here and find your office location to contact your office directly.