Category Archives: Anxiety

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New Beginnings

By Beth Gillem With fall quickly approaching, it seems that the mad rush to do all the “lasts” of summer begins and the "to do” lists for the start of fall rapidly grow. It happens every year. There is an implied ending and beginning that happens in September. People ask, “Have you had a good summer?” or, “Are you ready for fall?” There is something about a fresh start—a new school year, new backpacks, and new notebooks—that brings a nervous, excited energy with it. In You’ve Got Mail, Joe Fox attempts to woo Kathleen Kelly with a line that I believe

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When Putting On Weight is a Good Thing

If you have been in a Sage Hill Counseling office in the past year, you may have noticed a chunky blanket draped over a couch or chair. These quirkily shaped blankets are stuffed with heavy beads in varying weights. You may be wondering why a counseling center has heavy blankets in each office. The concept definitely sounds strange until the science behind weighted blanket therapy is explained. Weighted blankets are a tool that helps people in several ways, both in and out of the counseling office. Physiologically, weighted blankets work similarly to a deep tissue massage. The pressure of the blanket

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Life as Art

Have you ever thought to yourself, “If I could just know the future, then everything would be ok.” This kind of magical thinking troubles a lot of us. It’s called anxiety, and thoughts like this carry the potential for a lot of wasted energy. Anxiety is a powerful self-willed illusion that says, “If I can outsmart life and predict the future, then I will be ok.” When we are in anxiety, we work over a problem until our brain is like a hamster on speed in a wheel—a whole lot of running with nowhere to go. What could go wrong? How many different ways? What will he say? What will she

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Unfreezing Trauma

Things happen in life sometimes that we cannot explain or anticipate. When these events are painful, it's hard to let them go. Maybe you've said this before: "If I only would have known." "WHY?" "Wait, what happened?" "How did I not see this coming?" "This cannot be happening." When something out of the ordinary occurs it feels like a tsunami hits us and we become flooded. The flood in our heads caused by overwhelming events becomes frozen in our brains. Trauma begins an ice age in our brains. In order to begin melting the ice within, these scary events need to

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Anxiety is quite the Storyteller

Anxiety sucks. Not many will argue with that. Because of how scary anxiety is, it's hard to believe it is anything other than something to avoid. But beyond its very real terror, anxiety is trying to tell us something important. Anxiety is an internal storyteller who believes its story is so important that its chosen genre is horror. Scary stories are hard not to listen to. Anxiety does this to get our attention—scary stories work. Anxiety is our internal storyteller who tries to keep us afraid of life in order to keep us safe. But there is another storyteller in us

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Dealing with Holiday Stress

My daughters were born on Halloween and New Year’s Day. That means that nearly all of our family “holidays” are crammed into about a 45 day window. I’d like to think that, somehow, my holidays are more stressful than yours. But that’s not really true. The Holidays (with a capital T and a capital H) are universally stressful. They’re the perfect storm of things designed to feed anxiety, depression, and addiction. The Holidays are loaded with family expectations, energy drains, financial strains, and the also the highest hopes. We desperately want these few months to be the highlight of the

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What if? What then?

Have you ever thought to yourself, “If I could just know the future, then everything would be ok.” This kind of magical thinking troubles a lot of us. It’s called anxiety, and thoughts like this carry the potential for a lot of wasted energy. Anxiety is a powerful self-willed illusion that says, “If I can outsmart life and predict the future, then I will be ok.” When we are in anxiety, we work over a problem until our brain is like a hamster on speed in a wheel—a whole lot of running with nowhere to go. What could go wrong? How many different ways? What will he say? What will she

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STRESS: Where does it come from?

What is stressing you out? Work? Family? Money? All of these? Maybe your football team is stressing you out. Or your car. Maybe it’s that relationship ghost that’s been haunting you for the last 10 years. Or your addiction. Or the decision you have to make by the end of the week. Whatever it is, it’s probably not the thing itself. Most stress—about 85%—comes from indecision or lack of control. It’s not your money that’s stressing you out. It’s the lack of control, or power, or influence. Or it could be a lack of information or actual insight into the

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