How Anxiety Disorders Develop: The “Spread” of Fear
Clients often ask, “Why do I have an anxiety disorder?” or “How did this happen to me?”. The development of anxiety disorders is complex combination of genetic predispositions and learning experiences. However, this post will discuss one factor that distinguishes individuals with an anxiety disorder from those who do not develop anxiety disorders: fear generalization. Fear generalization refers to the process by which fear “spreads” from one object, sensation or situation to others that are similar to it. For example, a soldier returning home from combat may have fear when driving because his convoy was attacked on a road in the war zone. As this fear spreads to more and more situations, the individual may report greater impact on his daily life. Continue reading
Why Can’t I Get A Good Night’s Rest?
- Do you have trouble sleeping because of anxiety?
- Does it feel like every time you lie down to get some sleep, your brain starts running through every possible worry from the day?
- Are you waking up in the middle of the night and can’t seem to shut off your brain?
Anxiety is a common causes of insomnia. With so much going on in our lives during the day (school, work, family, friends, bills, chores, etc), there is not only a lot to think about but also very little time to think about it…that is until our head hits the pillow at the end of the day. No matter how tired we may be, stress and anxiety seem to find a way to perk us and leave us sleepless. Understanding the impact of anxiety on sleep (and vice versa) is the first step to making changes that can lead you to a good night’s rest. Continue reading
Coping with Unwanted Thoughts
Has anyone ever given you the advice “just don’t think about it,” when you share worries, fears or concerns? For most worriers this advice can feel defeating and near impossible. While the advice may be well meaning, the truth is that “just not thinking about something” is not only ineffective, the act of trying to avoid thinking about something can actually make you think about it more! Fortunately, cognitive behavioral therapies offer several effective techniques that can help you manage these unwanted thoughts. Continue reading
Real Threat or False Alarm: Understanding the Nature of Anxiety
- Have you ever felt anxious “for no reason?”
- Do you worry something bad might happen?
- Are you anxious about getting anxious?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have experienced an anxiety “false alarm.” Read on to find out more about these errors and to learn the first step in stopping them from sending you into a panic. Continue reading