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At times everyone experiences anxiety because we feel threatened by a certain situation or thing. Examples of anxiety provoking experiences are presenting an oral presentation, a job interview, waiting for test results, or social situations. Sometimes a certain amount of anxiety can be helpful, like when studying for an exam, and lasts only a short period of time and is not harmful. However, if anxiety becomes continual, disrupts your life and ability to cope, counselling may be helpful. Anxiety disorders are common, with one out of every four adults experiencing an anxiety disorder at some point in their life. Although the root cause is unknown there can be contributing factors such as childhood experiences, distorted perception, past experiences, family history and trauma.

When experiencing anxiety, changes occur within our bodies, our thoughts and our behaviours. Symptoms of anxiety disorders can be physical, mental or emotional. Common symptoms include but are not limited to shortness of breath, chest pain, sweating, trembling, dizziness, nausea, hot flashes or chills, muscle tension, sleep problems, startle easily, irrational fears, incessant chatter in the mind, always feeling angry, little patience, and/or mood swings.

Different types of anxiety disorders include:

How Counselling Can Help Anxiety

Anxiety disorders often are concurring with depression, disordered eating practices, and/or substance misuse. People who experience anxiety disorders need therapeutic intervention to help cope with the discomfort and move forward in their lives. Counselling as well as lifestyle changes can help manage anxiety. Utilizing cognitive behavioural therapy techniques helps clients to challenge irrational fears and gain perspective, while providing coping skills. In addition, counselling can help clients to modify their lifestyle thereby decreasing stimulants that contribute to their feelings of anxiety.