Brief Therapy for Anxiety
Winning the War Against Stress
You've heard it and it's true: Stress Kills. Sometimes it is the Silent Stalker, slowly but persistently increasing your blood pressure, ultimately causing strokes and kidney failure. Other times it's the Violent Sniper, striking in a deadly flash with a fatal heart attack. But before it finishes us off, it can toy with us for a lifetime, creating, headaches, shoulder pain, insomnia, backaches, anxiety, unhealthy drug and alcohol abuse, and a host of other nasty afflictions. Stress can be the villainous outsider, feeding off the jungle of city life – crowds, work deadlines, fights in relationships and a myriad of everyday hassles.
Stress can also attack us from within. Our own bodies can cause us anxiety by injuries disease and aging. Also, these bodily processes create a great deal of material for us to ponder. Our minds create stress. If we think negatively, we feel anxious and act negatively. If a situation is ambiguous, most people contemplate the worst possible scenario, This can be the unwanted yet perpetually invited dinner guest who invariably ruins an enjoyable meal. We can never consciously admit to ourselves that we brought the stress to our table. And once stress has arrived to eat, we ruminate with those internal critical voices. We either learn to leave the table or suffer through another unbearable dinner party of our own creation.
The fact is, there will always be stress in our lives. There are always be deadlines imposed, appointments to be kept, decisions to be made, too many difficult things to do with too little time to do them. The more "civilized and successful" we become, the more stress we will encounter in our lives. For example, if we were not civilized and someone, let’s say our boss, was being aggressive toward us, our fight or flight automatic response would be to punch them in the face and run. We would feel real good too! The tension would be dissipated. However, we can’t do this and that tension remains in our body and mounts higher as we think about it! We feel wound up, angry and overanxious.
The solution is learning new skills to relax.
Even with these bleak circumstances presented, there are tools you can learn to reduce the rumination, anxiety and tension caused by stress. As a strategic and brief psychotherapist, I am less concerned with the question of why stress exists and more concerned with the mechanics of how to deal with it. My aim is to teach people how to manage a stressful situation, so that they can move on in their lives towards happy objectives and joyful goals. The key to managing stress is to identify it, assess it and decide how to act on it. For example, in learning to SCUBA dive I was taught that if something were to go wrong while I was 60 feet underwater, I should, "Stop, Breathe and Think." Fear and anger are two emotions that shut off your brain and stops your mind from finding solutions. The same principle can be effectively applied on land. When something goes wrong, stop for a moment and simply breathe. We can then relax and think of a way to deal with the situation. I know from experience that doing this can avert a fatal accident at a depth of 60 feet below as well as from a height of 6000 feet above sea level.
You can learn these skills and tools individually, or more effectively in a seminar.
Breathing, positive self-talk, meditation and simple common sense are the most effective, time-proven means I have taught my patients that work to reduce the negative effects from stress. These methods refocus their energy and help them to regain positive control of their lives while reducing their negative thoughts. I now offer seminars, which identify individual stress levels and teach the basics of relaxing and reducing stress in a short 8 weeks. You learn self-awareness, breath, relaxation, meditation, stretching and postures, stopping harmful thoughts, positive self-talk, and ends with an active guided meditation that is recorded and combines all the techniques you learn to practice them at home. Although ancient in origin, my methods are the most scientifically proven and time-tested techniques available today, to arm us to win the war against stress.