Overcoming Anxiety: Find Anxiety Therapy In Nashville

By David Pearl, LCSW

Managing Anxiety is Possible with Confidential, Expert Guidance and Support From the Therapists at Music City Psych

By reading this article, you will:

  • Better Understand Your Anxiety: Learn what anxiety is, why it occurs, and the emotional and physical symptoms that may accompany it.
  • Recognize the Link Between Anxiety and Depression: Understand how these conditions often coexist and how a therapist can manage their approach accordingly.
  • Learn About Effective Anxiety Treatments: Discover how proven techniques like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) treat anxiety.
  • Get Practical Tips for Daily Anxiety Management: Learn how you can supplement therapy to manage anxiety through relaxation techniques, physical activity, and more.
  • Find the Help You Need: Overcome your anxiety with the best anxiety therapy provider in the Nashville area.

Everyone faces anxiety from time to time. It’s a natural response to stress, change, and the unknown. But for some people, anxiety starts to occur more frequently and gets more severe. When anxiety begins to take hold, it can interfere with important aspects of a person’s life, affecting work performance, relationships, and more.

If you’re experiencing more anxiety than you used to, or even if it’s been a regular part of your life for as long as you can remember, you should know that there’s something you can do about it. Anxiety is treatable. It doesn’t have to keep you from finding the health and happiness that you deserve. 

At Music City Psych in Nashville, we’re experts in proven anxiety therapy techniques that can help you manage and overcome anxiety disorders, paving the way to a more stable and fulfilling life.

In this article, we’ll cover what anxiety is, why it happens, and what you can do to manage it. If you’re interested in finding a Nashville anxiety therapist, you can reach out to us or call our office to find out more.

Understanding Anxiety: What is Anxiety and Why Does it Happen?

Anxiety is an emotional and often physiological response to stress that’s characterized by feelings of tension, worry or fear, and physical changes like increased blood pressure and heart rate. These symptoms can build on each other, perpetuating a cycle of overwhelming negative sensations. 

While anxiety is a natural reaction to stressful situations, it can become acute or even chronic. When anxiety is intense, it can lead to a panic attack. When it’s chronic, it’s classified as an anxiety disorder. 

Let’s learn a bit more about anxiety. Here are some basics:

Quick Facts About Anxiety:

  • It’s prevalent: Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health issues globally. It’s estimated that 19% of the US population experiences anxiety every year.
  • Symptoms vary from person to person: People experience anxiety differently, but most have several of the typical symptoms. These can range from excessive worrying and sleep disturbances to a racing heart or upset stomach.
  • It can stick around indefinitely: Anxiety disorders could but most often do not go away on their own. Along the way, they can significantly interfere with daily activities, relationships, and one’s overall quality of life.
  • It’s treatable: Anxiety is highly treatable, yet only a fraction of those suffering receive the appropriate treatment.

Are There Different Kinds of Anxiety Disorders?

There are four main types of anxiety disorders. While they have some similarities and it’s possible to have more than one, there are important differences that an anxiety therapist can pinpoint to determine the most effective treatment. 

  1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): GAD is characterized by chronic anxiety, exaggerated worry, and tension, even when there is little or nothing to provoke it.
  2. Panic Disorder: A panic disorder is indicated by repeated episodes of intense fear accompanied by physical symptoms such as chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, or stomach issues. Sometimes, these episodes may relate to something specific, like driving or being in a store, but they often come unexpectedly.
  3. Social Anxiety Disorder: People with Social Anxiety Disorder experience overwhelming worry and self-consciousness in everyday social situations. They may obsess about the possibility they will embarrass themselves or be judged by others.
  4. Phobias: Many people have minor phobias that don’t really get in the way of their day-to-day routine. Perhaps it’s snakes, spiders, or something else they rarely encounter. For others, their phobia may be persistent and get in the way of daily life, warranting treatment. People with problematic phobias exhibit regular, irrational fear and avoidance of a specific activity, situation, or thing.

These are the four main types of anxiety disorders, but there are others that many think of as being part of the anxiety spectrum. Two of the more prominent issues that are adjacent to anxiety are Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). While they may share some similarities with anxiety disorders, these are different problems with their own unique causes, which means they usually warrant a different approach to treatment. A professional therapist can develop and manage the appropriate treatment plan based on your needs. 

If you have or think you may have anxiety disorder, OCD, or trauma issues, the team at Music City Psych in Nashville is ready to listen and guide you through it. Reach out today to get the help you deserve.

Why Do We Get Anxious? The Causes and Triggers of Anxiety

People experience anxiety for many different reasons. Most of the time, it’s completely normal as long as it remains relatively brief and infrequent. Getting some “butterflies in the stomach” is natural before public speaking, a medical screening, an interview for a promotion at work, or other similar situations.   

When anxiety grows and evolves into an anxiety disorder, there may be a complex and multifaceted set of reasons to cause it. Here are some of the most common factors that might encourage people to develop an anxiety disorder:

  • Genetic and Environmental Factors: Anxiety problems can run in families, whether through physiology or learned behavior.
  • Brain Chemistry: Hormone imbalances and other issues in the brain can lead to anxiety disorders.
  • Significant Stressors: Stressful aspects of life, such as difficulties at work, relationship problems, and financial troubles, can help someone establish an anxiety disorder in themselves.
  • Medical Factors: Anxiety can be a symptom of health issues, medications, or a complication stemming from another mental illness.

A Note About the Link Between Anxiety and Depression

If you’re experiencing periods of depression in addition to your anxiety, don’t be alarmed. It’s estimated that roughly 60% of anxiety sufferers experience depression and vice versa. Since both of these issues can have similar triggers, it makes sense that someone might be experiencing them at the same time.

Dealing with both anxiety and depression can complicate the emotional landscape for sufferers, but it doesn’t affect their ability to receive treatment. A skilled anxiety therapist can identify the presence of depression and manage treatment accordingly.

If you’re ready to talk to someone in Nashville about your anxiety or depression, please contact us today.

What Can You Do About Anxiety? How to Treat an Anxiety Disorder

The best way to deal with an anxiety disorder is to talk to a professional who has experience helping people manage them to improve the situation. A trained and licensed anxiety therapist can discuss what’s happening with you, provide support and treatment, and make suggestions if you need to take other steps.

Many people find that working with a therapist helps them develop a more positive perspective about their anxiety issues as well as new ways to approach anxiety when it flares up. Therapy provides not only a confidential and respectful atmosphere to open up about feelings but a real-time feedback mechanism of support and rationality that can help people retrain their thoughts and get back on the right track.

How does an anxiety therapist help people overcome their challenges? Through proven techniques that are safe and attainable. Here are a few of those strategies:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns that contribute to anxiety and depressive emotions. Through CBT, an anxiety therapist can help people learn to recognize and combat irrational thinking.
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): ACT helps people refocus on positive behaviors despite negative thoughts and feelings from anxiety or depression. Using ACT, a therapist can help a client accept what they are feeling and learn to move on to something more positive and affirming.
  • Exposure Therapy: When someone has an irrational fear, an anxiety therapist may employ a process of systematic desensitization where the client faces it in incrementally more significant ways to reduce the fear over time. Perhaps it starts with a picture of what the client is afraid of, giving them a chance to manage that fear before moving to a video. By gradually challenging the fear, the client can develop better rationality and confidence to eventually overcome it.
  • Mindfulness Therapy: Mindfulness is a talk therapy strategy that allows a client to get more in touch with their anxiety by discussing their feelings, emotions, and physical sensations. Through mindfulness, a client can begin to better understand and anticipate what happens to them when they face anxiety, tie in the reality of their surroundings to better ground themselves and combat what they are experiencing, and regain control.

A skilled anxiety therapist may use one or a combination of these strategies — as well as others — customizing a therapy plan to their client’s needs and personality. 

Benefits of Anxiety Therapy

Anxiety therapy offers a variety of benefits beyond symptom management, including:

  • Improved Well-Being: Clients often experience a marked reduction in symptoms and an improved quality of life. This creates a positive feedback loop that can further reduce the effects of anxiety and depression.
  • Better Relationships: When clients are able to better manage their anxiety, it becomes less of a factor in their daily lives. This can improve relationships with friends, family, and colleagues.
  • Enhanced Self-Awareness: Understanding the triggers of anxiety and depression and what feelings, emotions, and physical symptoms they produce creates self-awareness in clients. With self-awareness, clients can regain control over their anxiety and be more effective in preventing it.

The team at Music City Psych is ready to help you overcome your anxiety. Contact us to get started.

Tips for Managing Anxiety

Alongside therapy, there are practical steps you can take to alleviate symptoms of anxiety. These include:

  • Relaxation Techniques: Activities like yoga, meditation, and deep-breathing exercises can reduce symptoms of anxiety and increase feelings of relaxation and emotional well-being. A therapist can also teach mindfulness techniques that clients can use to manage anxiety when they are not in session.
  • Physical Activity: Regular exercise can help keep anxiety and mood swings at bay. For those with panic disorder, exercise can actually reduce the frequency of attacks, perhaps due to regulated brain chemistry, though others may find that vigorous exercise has the opposite effect. Consult your therapist and physician to find out how much physical activity is right for you.
  • A Balanced Diet: Eating a nutritional diet can help keep your energy levels and mood stabilized.
  • Avoiding Stimulants and Drugs: Stimulants like caffeine and nicotine can mimic physiological symptoms of anxiety. Avoiding them as well as alcohol and illicit drugs may reduce the intensity of anxiety episodes and the frequency of panic attacks.

Talk to your therapist about these tips and see what other suggestions they have. Dealing with anxiety is a challenge, especially when it’s actively affecting you, but it’s possible to take steps to improve the situation. Even small amounts of progress can mitigate the severity of an anxiety disorder, opening the path to take bigger steps to overcome it.

Why Choose Music City Psych? Expert Nashville Anxiety Therapists

Music City Psych is a Nashville, Tennessee, therapy provider committed to helping clients break through barriers to find lasting change. We combine our expertise with a passion for real results to ensure the best outcomes for our clients. We help you take on anxiety and depression using an integrated approach, customizing the most effective techniques by listening to your feedback and observing your progress. Consider us an invested partner in helping you find your best life. 

Music City Psych is located near Belle Meade and Green Hills, with convenient access to downtown Nashville, Music Row, The Gulch, Hillsboro Village, Brentwood, and more. We also provide online therapy to residents throughout Tennessee, Florida, and New York. Are you ready to take control of your anxiety? Contact Music City Psych today to discuss your therapy options and schedule your initial consultation.

Photo by SHVETS production from Pexels

Article written by:

David Pearl

LCSW, Psychotherapist and founder

I am a psychotherapist, executive coach, and organizational consultant helping athletes, performers, professionals, and businesses in Nashville, Tennessee, New York, and online via telehealth.

I obtained my Master’s degree from The Silver School of Social Work at NYU and my Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I am formally trained in Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), and have certifications in Imago Relationship Therapy and Prepare/Enrich Premarital and Marital Counseling.

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