Telehealth Services for Anxiety and Stress Management

Anxiety and fear are specifically designed to help us prepare for and respond to threats.

As Dr. Jill Stoddard put it in her new book, Be Mighty: A Woman’s Guide to Liberation from Anxiety, Worry, & Stress Using Mindfulness and Acceptance, “by simple definition, anxiety is a state of future-focused readiness to deal with potential unpleasant events; this is related to but different from fear, which is a more acute reaction to an in-the-moment perceived threat (Barlow, 2002).” It makes sense that many of us would be experiencing both anxiety – as we are grappling with an enormous amount of uncertainty regarding the future health and financial stability of our nation and our families – and fear, as we are facing an immediate threat to our individual and collective wellbeing.

Feeling anxious right now makes sense. Be gentle with yourself.

One important piece of self-care during this time is to recognize and honor our feelings. Anxiety has a purpose: it is specifically designed to motivate us to prepare to manage threats. It makes sense to feel anxious and afraid. A certain amount of anxiety and fear are adaptive in this situation; they are here to remind us that something is amiss. And stress can help us to adjust our behavior in response. As Kelly McGonigal (2013) pointed out, stress releases a combination of adrenaline and oxytocin, which are hormones designed to prepare us for action and to prompt us to connect, increase empathy, and seek and give care to others. All of these feelings are evolutionary responses designed to kick in in moments like this. So as always, responding to our emotions with self-compassion is crucial.

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