a woman with her hands held to her mouth looking anxious

What is Anxiety and How Can Therapy Help?

a woman with her hands held to her mouth looking anxious

Everyone gets nervous or worried from time to time. Stress is a completely normal human reaction.

However, for people with anxiety disorders, these feelings are persistent and can severely impair their ability to function at school, at work and in other social situations.

Whether you’re suffering from panic attacks, unrelenting worries, or obsessive thoughts, some treatments can help ease your anxiety and fear. While medication can be effective in easing anxiety, therapy gives you the tools needed to manage anxiety yourself, both now and in the future.

Not only will therapy help you discover the underlying causes behind your worries and fears, but it’ll teach you how to cope and look at situations from a different, less-frightening perspective.

What Are Anxiety Disorders

In some circumstances, anxiety can be beneficial, as it makes you cautious and alert in potentially dangerous situations.

On the other hand, the feeling of constant and overwhelming fear and worry or anticipation of a future concern can cause people to try and avoid situations that may trigger or worsen their symptoms.

This avoidance behaviour will begin to affect your relationships as well as your job and school performance. There are several types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, and social anxiety.

Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders

Regardless of the specific disorder, the underlying processes that drive them often have similar patterns and triggers.

While chronic fears and negative thoughts that interfere with daily living are shared symptoms for all types of anxiety disorders, there are a few other common symptoms to take note of.

-Cold, sweaty, numb, or tingling hands or feet

a man who suffers from anxiety having trouble falling asleep

-Tense muscles

-Inability to concentrate


-Sleep problems

-Not being able to stay calm or still

Different therapeutic techniques have been developed to treat anxiety such as psychotherapy or cognitive behavioural therapy, both of which help patients identify their anxiety and implement healthy coping strategies.

Seeing a Psychologist About Anxiety Disorders

People with anxiety disorders usually become easily overwhelmed by their emotions. They tend to react negatively to those unpleasant feelings and situations.

Avoiding situations or experiences that may trigger those feelings is not a productive coping mechanism. Avoidance can backfire and feed those anxieties rather than ease them. Psychologists specializing in identifying and treating anxiety disorders focus on teaching patients healthier, more effective coping strategies.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective treatments for anxiety as it helps patients understand how their thoughts contribute to their symptoms and learn to change those thought patterns.

Psychotherapy is a collaborative process where the therapist and patient work together to pinpoint specific concerns and develop concrete skills and techniques for coping with anxiety. Such activities could include patients practising their coping skills by approaching situations that provoke their anxiety and make them uncomfortable.a young woman who suffers from an anxiety meeting with her therapist

Manage Your Anxiety With Capital Choice Counselling

If you’re struggling with anxiety, it’s essential to place your mental health in the right person’s hands.

One of the most difficult aspects of dealing with overwhelming anxiety is how it can limit so many areas of your life. If you’ve never been to therapy before, it’s natural to feel a little on edge.

Our Ottawa therapists and counsellors have created an atmosphere of trust and respect. We provide our patients with a safe space to work on improving mental health struggles.

If you’re interested in improving your quality of life and breaking down the barriers your anxiety has put up, get in touch with Capital Choice Counselling today.