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Why am I so anxious?

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

How can I reduce my anxiety in a way that is healthy and connected?

First Step Men's Therapy helps men across Ontario, Canada develop healthier relationships with themselves and others. We offer individual, couples, and group counselling to men and their families online using our secure telehealth platform.

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Men often come to therapy expressing that they feel anxious all the time, and have difficulty either functioning or being present in their daily lives. Some people describe themselves as an "anxious person", while others describe their anxiety as a result of an event or situation (i.e. relationship issues, burnout, work pressures). While anxiety never feels comfortable, it is important to remember that.....

Anxiety is an energy.

That's right, just like happiness, anger, sadness, or joy - anxiety is another emotion that everyone feels from time to time. Anxiety itself isn't inherently bad, however, anxiety can become more debilitating when it starts to take over our ability to function, stay present, or focus on tasks or activities. Some examples include:

  • anxiety that leads to a fear of flying, which leads to someone avoiding travel and adventure

  • anxiety that can be so difficult to bear that one cannot eat or sleep properly

  • anxiety that leads us to shut down and not be present for our family

  • anxiety that causes us to isolate rather than hang out and socialize with others

Historically, anxiety is often a warning signal to the brain that something is wrong, or is dangerous

Our prehistoric ancestors required anxiety as a way to seek safety from woolly mammoth and other predators. Anxiety, and fear, would stimulate the nervous system and shut down any systems that weren't necessary to run for cover and survive an attack. As we evolved, humans kept the system but no longer need to run from woolly mammoths. Today, those mammoths might look like financial pressures, war, public speaking, flying, or speaking to your partner about a difficult subject.

Avoidance typically prolongs, and intensifies anxiety

The more we avoid the things that make us anxious, the more the anxiety worsens and impacts us in different ways. So what are some ways that we can work on facing anxiety head-on and not prolonging those anxious feelings:

  • understand that anxiety, just like any other form of internal energy, is a part of who we are and will eventually pass

  • try to keep moving through exercise or some other form of activity

  • practice self-care, including good sleep hygiene, diet, and water intake

  • minimize phone time and screen time - set boundaries with your phone if it increases your anxiety

  • reduce caffeine intake and alcohol/marijuana consumption (if applicable)

  • spend time with others - get connected

  • use mindfulness, yoga, or deep breathing

Anxiety Therapy can be a helpful tool that can allow you to learn more about your anxiety, the root causes, and techniques that might allow you to move forward from the anxious thoughts or situation.

Want to learn more?

Anxiety Therapy: Click here

Anxiety Resources from Anxiety Canada: Click here

First Step Men's Therapy offers anxiety therapy and anxiety counselling in Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Barrie, Hamilton, Peterborough, Milton, Oakville, Burlington, Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, Sudbury, Windsor, St. Catherine's, Pickering, Oshawa, Kingston, Belleville, Ottawa, and London, Ontario.


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