Anxiety disorder sufferers do not wish to have anxiety. They do not wish to have their lives disrupted or to disrupt the lives of those who love them. There is nothing worse than feeling out of control, knowing you are out of control, and not being able to stop the behavior. Here are five ways you can help your loved ones suffering from anxiety.

  1. Reinforce the fact that suffering from anxiety does not mean your loved one is mentally deficient. Show empathy and support, but not sympathy. They need help, not pity. Encourage them to seek help from a medical professional.
  2. Educate yourself about the links between triggers – thoughts – behaviors and how to reframe anxiety thinking.
  3. Show positive reinforcement of rational behavior rather than criticism of irrational fears, etc. Knowing you are pleased will lead your loved one to want to repeat the rational behavior to keep that good feeling longer.
  4. Maintain your own support system. Having someone you trust to talk to is vital to your continuing ability to give the support your loved one needs.
  5. Spend time with them, as much as possible. Try to do outdoor activities to help them get as much exercise as possible. Let them know it’s okay to talk about their anxiety, you’re there to listen and not to judge.

Your loved one needs to exercise, eat healthy meals and snacks, and get enough sleep. It is very important for their well-being, as well as your own. Don’t forget to take care of yourself while you’re helping them. 

Learning to deal with anxiety and give the best care are full of ups and downs. There is a learning curve you both have to go through before you reach an oasis, but you will get there. Do not give up. These five ways to support your loved one with anxiety seem simple, but they are very important and so are you! We are here to help.

Living with anxiety can be daunting, but you can empower yourself with self-help strategies to ease anxiety symptoms. The right approach to self-help and anxiety therapy, you can manage your anxiety and live with freedom and happiness.

Here are 5 scientifically proven self-care tips to help you cope with anxiety in day-to-day life.

Maintain healthy diet and exercise

Eating well and exercising regularly keeps you healthy – not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America recommends aerobic exercise for anti-anxiety effects through elevated endorphins and stress-relieving effects. Adding just ten minutes of exercise into your everyday routine can reduce anxiety symptoms and help you go through the rest of your day with calm and clarity.

Find hobbies and activities you enjoy

A creative hobby can give you an outlet for expression. Having a hobby or activity you enjoy will give you a focus for anxious energy as well as a way to find fulfillment and contentment when you develop new skills or achieve a personal goal.

This can be anything from gardening to yoga to writing fiction – an activity to stimulate and provide a personal source of happiness and fulfillment. 

Practice mindfulness and meditation

Mindfulness exercises have a number of empirically proven psychological benefits and can help you cope with situations of heightened anxiety, as well as reduce anxiety symptoms over time.

The American Psychological Association promotes mindfulness practice for reducing rumination and stress, which can improve anxiety in daily life. Taking some time to yourself in your day for a brief meditative moment can help reduce depressive and anxious feelings.

Reach out to your personal support network

You don’t have to manage your anxiety alone. A strong social support network can help you manage stress and anxiety.

Work on strengthening your social support network as a self-help resource.

Seek anxiety therapy

In addition to your personal support network, you can also seek the services of an anxiety counseling professional. Anxiety counseling can assist you with developing self-care methods to use in your everyday life.

If you are seeking anxiety therapy in Parker, Counseling Services of Parker can help you identify the cause of your anxiety, and work side by side with you to cope and thrive in everyday life. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you.

Our relationships with our significant others are among the most important in our lives. They give us satisfaction few other things or people in life can. Our relationships with our significant others provide the richest parts of our lives. However, few couples begin their relationships equipped for addressing anxiety disorder with anxiety counseling. Here at Parker Counseling Services of Parker, Colorado, we’re able to help couples build on their strengths and develop new strengths as well by addressing anxiety with anxiety counseling known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. 


What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?  

The American Psychological Association explains Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:

“CBT is based on several core principles, including:

  1. Psychological problems are based, in part, on faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking.
  2. Psychological problems are based, in part, on learned patterns of unhelpful behavior.
  3. People suffering from psychological problems can learn better ways of coping with them, thereby relieving their symptoms and becoming more effective in their lives.

CBT treatment usually involves efforts to change thinking patterns” 

Engaging consistently in this practice decreases, or brings to a normal level an individual’s episodes of anxiety. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is practical, and places tools in the hands of the client that he/she can use against anxiety, whether at work, out with their significant other, or home alone.

Self-care Tips When Living With Anxiety

Here are five self-care tips when living with anxiety:

1. Decrease or eliminate caffeine from your diet. Caffeine stays in the body’s system for up to six hours. When attempting to de-escalate from an episode of anxiety, that caffeine is resisting your efforts.

2. Get plenty of sleep. Sleep has been shown to be vital in having the energy needed to face the challenges of the day.

3. Socialize with family and friends daily. Even if it’s just a phone call, make that call.

4. Structure your day reasonably. We tend to put too much on ourselves, and it causes us to rush. This can cause heart rates to increase. Our brain responds which can cause anxiety. Make a list of all you want to get done. Cut half of that list out. 

5. Recreation is important for our daily routine and is often overlooked. Schedule recreation on your list whether it’s sports, reading a book, or crafts. Getting into the ‘zone’ is often relaxing and therapeutic.

Contact Us

Counseling Services of Parker is currently serving the Parker, Colorado area and is available with just one phone call. Call Counseling Services of Parker today for a stronger, better relationship experience when Cognitive Behavioral therapy is involved building strength upon strength. Contact us at Counseling Services of Parker. We are looking forward to hearing from you.

Many people believe that if they have never suffered a panic attack, then they don’t suffer from anxiety. However, you need to know that isn’t the case and anxiety treatment is available. Anxiety sufferers can experience a multitude of symptoms at various degrees of severity and never know that their internal struggle isn’t healthy.

Signs You May Have Anxiety

Anxiety attack symptoms may not be what you thought. Think about the following questions, and ask yourself if they apply to you. If you answer yes to more than two or three, it’s very likely you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder:

  • Are you constantly worried or tense?
  • Do you find that your worries interfere with work, school, or home responsibilities?
  • Are you ever afraid of something that you know is irrational, but you can’t control it?
  • Maybe you believe something bad is going to happen if something isn’t done a certain way?
  • Or do you avoid normal, everyday things because they make you feel nervous or frightened?
  • How about, do you have sudden, out-of-the-blue bouts of heart-pounding panic?
  • Okay, the last one, do you think there is always some danger nearby?

If yes, it is highly probable that you suffer from some sort of anxiety disorder.

How Are You Emotionally and Physically?

Your emotional and physical state are an important aspect of anxiety disorders. If you often feel apprehension, dread, or constantly on the lookout for danger, you are likely experiencing anxiety. You may feel restless, have a hard time concentrating, jumpy, and irritable. These are all normal, and treatment is available.

Physically, you may experience a pounding heart, sweating, headaches, upset stomach, nausea, muscle tension, fatigue, or insomnia.

Contact Us for Anxiety Treatment in Parker Colorado

If you think these symptoms apply to you, come see us at Counseling Services of Parker Colorado. We can teach you how to work through these symptoms and see a real improvement in your quality of life. Call now to learn more.

Anxiety attacks need not be taken lightly by those affected or their families. The condition can lead to further complications if not attended to properly. Anxiety is a natural human reaction to stress which is generally helpful for a number of purposes. Usually, it helps enhance our concentration. Not only that, it also helps us devise better problem-solving strategies. In excess anxiety can become a threat to a person’s psychological well-being. Anxiety can manifest in any number of forms. It’s not difficult to treat anxiety disorder of virtually any type. Although, it requires early diagnosis and professional care.

General Anxiety Disorder

Of the various forms, generalized anxiety disorder is the most common. Which can easily be identified with the help of a variety of anxiety-related symptoms. Usually, a person who suffers a high-level of anxiety taking on the shape of an anxiety disorder. The person is prone to a feeling of emotional irritability. This typically happens if placed in the slightest of uncomfortable situations. Numbness in hands and feet, nausea, shortness of breath and an inexplicable feeling of apprehension. This typically happens when facing routine stressful situations can indicate the existence of an anxiety disorder. A number of factors are responsible for the development of this class of psychological disorders. Consequently, one must keep in mind that it is very much possible to treat anxiety disorder effectively.

Anxiety Factors

Some of these factors involve a number of psychological traits. Additionally, it involves a family history of anxiety and depression-related conditions apart from genetic factors. If adequate treatment is not received to treat an anxiety disorder, the situation can grow worse with the passage of time. At its height, accumulated anxiety can result in panic attacks which are very disturbing in nature. Although, it can be helpful if in case of panic attacks help in the form of medication is available at hand.

Usually, a panic or anxiety attack lasts anywhere between ten minutes to more than half an hour. Symptoms may include strong feelings of panic gripping the individual. The individual may experience heavy sweating, cold hands, and feet, heart palpitation, a sensation of choking, dizziness, chills and hot flashes. The experience can be very traumatic for the victim. However, if effective medication is administered in the middle of a panic attack, the person can be relieved of the symptoms quickly. Emotionally, it can be a very disturbing experience. This might bring a rude jolt to the usual feelings of physical and emotional security.

Recurring Panic Attacks

If a panic attack should recur, it can be one of the worst possible developments possible leading to panic disorder, which is treatable yet holds the potential to wreck major psychological damage. Some patients with anxiety-related conditions are best referred to a specialized anxiety treatment center. They are developed to create a professional treatment and support system for those affected. Here, the patient might be subjected to different approaches to treatment. The treatment will likely have a rather large component of behavioral therapy to complement the medication successfully.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy broadly covers the field of psychotherapeutics associated with the treatment of anxiety. It involves Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy (ERP) among other approaches to treat any anxiety disorder effectively. ERP helps an individual manage his fears and slowly but steadily desensitize them to uncomfortable feelings associated with anxiety and fear. The approach gradually encourages the person to face stressful situations squarely. And use his inherent psychological strength to fight the fear of the unknown. To remedy panic disorder, usually, the treatment centers use a combination of psychotherapeutics and suitable medication.

Antidepressants and benzodiazepines

Antidepressants and benzodiazepines are usually the kind of medicines usually prescribed as an integral part of panic attacks help mechanism. The stress, however, is laid on cognitive-behavior therapy instead of heavily relying on medication. This is due to some of the long-term benefits associated with the former. For instant relief, of course, medication is found very helpful. It is best to nip the threat of panic attacks in the bud. Although, don’t let it develop into panic disorder to avoid any possible complications. Panic disorder, problematic enough by itself, may well be accompanied by Agoraphobia, the fear of panic attacks recurring almost anywhere.

Self Help Strategies

Self-help strategies and family support form effective defenses to fend off the threat of continually growing anxiety. Any type of anxiety disorder can be treated successfully. This requires the condition is diagnosed in its initial stages and subjected to professional care. In cases with worsening symptoms, it is highly recommended to seek an anxiety treatment center for systematic treatment and proper medical support. No condition associated with anxiety is untreatable. Although, the affected and his near and dear ones must not hesitate to seek professional medical help.

Colorado Anxiety Counseling & Anxiety Treatment

Counseling Services of Parker Colorado specializes in anxiety counseling and anxiety treatment. If you have questions, or you would like to book a meeting, please contact us.

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5waystoahappieryou-300x233 Anxiety Counseling: 5 Ways to a Happier YouThe best way to fight anxiety is to be happy. Sounds easy, right? Maybe not? Wouldn’t it be great if happiness was something that just happened? Of course, that is what we all want. Counseling Services of Parker Colorado specializes in anxiety counseling. We know a lot about anxiety therapy, and anxiety treatment – and we found happiness takes a big part in treating anxiety. We want to wake up every morning with a smile on our face, ready to jump out of bed and see what the day has to offer. However, that isn’t reality. Too often, we get wrapped up in the everyday cycle of going through the motions. Some people may even be afraid of happiness.  Happiness is attainable! It might take some work, but you can find it. Happiness is a state-of-mind. More importantly, it is a choice. You need to work at it at it just like anything else in your life. Look at it like you are having a relationship or friendship with yourself. If you are married or in a relationship you work at loving that other person, you do things to show them you care and to see them smile, right? So why shouldn’t you do that for yourself. Show yourself that you care. By focusing on certain areas of your life that are meaningful to you, you can find happiness. Here are five ways to a happier you:

1.  Exercise Right

Exercise is a natural source of energy. Simply exercising for twenty minutes a day, three days a week will dramatically improve a person’s vitality. Exercise releases dopamine and adrenaline, which help us to feel better. Remember you have to work at it! It takes six weeks to build a habit. Challenge yourself to find twenty minutes three days a week for six weeks. This can be done in combination with breathing exercises to really maximize the impact.

2.  Enjoy Now

Many of us always think about the future or get stuck in the past. Instead of always anticipating what is going to happen or ruminating on the past, we need to take time to be in the present.  Practice the art of mindfulness. Take time to appreciate where you are and how far you have come.

3.  Make Life Fun

Too often we are caught up in the everyday life we forget what it is like to simply have fun. So what is fun for you? Take an opportunity each week to indulge in something you find fun. It simply may be going to the park and having lunch. You may want to join a recreational sports league or a book club. You can also try rewarding yourself in small ways daily. Treat yourself at the end of a long day! Whatever it is, it must be what YOU enjoy to do. If this seems challenging, you may want to think about anxiety counseling.

4.  Be Generous

Giving and making other people happy increase our own happiness. By serving others, we get our minds off of ourselves and focused on those in need. Find time to volunteer or to help friends or family. There are many articles about anxiety counseling and anxiety treatment which show that generosity leads to happiness. happiness. Random acts of kindness are always good for you and your soul!

5.  Laugh Out Loud

Humor is the best medicine. Laughter has positive effects on the body. It boosts immunity and lowers blood pressure. It takes five positive thoughts to counteract one negative thought, so surround yourself with positive energy. Far too often, people take themselves too seriously. Take time to smile and laugh at yourself.

These are just five ways to begin finding your happy state-of-mind. It takes time and a continual investment in yourself to be content. Investing in yourself is as important as investing in others. Take the time to exercise, enjoy the moment, have fun, give time to others, and laugh at yourself to begin finding YOUR happiness.

**For other resources on happiness, check out The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin as well as Shawn Achor’s TED talk at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXy__kBVq1M.

As a mental health counselor and anxiety therapist, I often times listen to concerns which manifest feelings such as worry, fear, panic, insomnia, and fatigue. These are all common symptoms of anxiety. Other symptoms people may experience include irrational thoughts, muscle tension and nausea. While anxiety is a natural reaction and we cannot eliminate it, there are techniques you can learn to reduce the symptoms and live a less anxious life.

  1. Exercise

    Exercise is one of the best ways to manage your anxiety. Not only does it help work out the stress, but it naturally increases the levels serotonin and dopamine in our brains. Anxiety therapists suggest exercising for 30 minutes a day.

  2. Deep Breathing

    Deep breathing techniques can help reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety such as heart palpitations. It can also help slow down the racing thoughts in your brain. Try inhaling for a count of 5, holding for a count of 5, and exhaling for a count of 5. These techniques are often suggested and used by anxiety counselor and therapists.

  3. Progressive Muscle Relaxation and Meditation

    This technique helps slow your body down. You will want to find a quiet place where you can either lie down or sit comfortably. A good way to start learning this technique is through a guide either in person or through a recording. If you would like to try this Counseling Services of Colorado suggests downloading an application on your phone such as Insight Timer –https://insighttimer.com/.

  4. Limit Caffeine and Alcohol

    Both of these are mood-altering substances and can increase levels of anxiety as well as depression. Many studies have been done stating the negative impacts of caffeine and alcohol on mental health.

  5. Get Adequate Sleep

    While insomnia is common for people who have anxiety, it is important to try to get the recommended amount of sleep. Lack of sleep will also increase anxiety. Try a deep breathing or muscle relaxation exercise to help you relax before trying to go to bed.

  6. Coloring (Yes, with crayons or Markers!)

    Counseling Services of Parker Colorado often suggests breaking out the crayons or markers and buying a coloring book. Adult coloring books have been proven to reduce stress and anxiety. Give them a try and have a little fun and make something beautiful. Many of my friends who are anxiety therapists shared the following link to affordable and popular coloring books for adults –http://www.amazon.com/Adult-Coloring-Book-Relieving-Patterns/dp/1941325122/ref=zg_bs_books_9.

  7. Acceptance

    Adverse feelings such as anxiety are normal. You’re not alone. The goal is not to eliminate the feelings rather to learn how to manage them. If you need help working through your thoughts and feelings, get in touch with a local anxiety therapist or anxiety counselor. We have a lot of experience helping people through their anxiety.

These techniques done in conjunction with therapy can help you learn your best practices for coping with your anxiety. You may also want to consider talking with your doctor about medications that can help with the physical symptoms. Counseling Services of Parker Colorado is happy to discuss this further with you. Please feel free to contact us whenever you’re ready.

How many times have you heard “just breathe” or “it will all be ok” when you are experiencing a panic attack or elevated level of anxiety? While it is nice to hear these ideas, it can also be frustrating because we know this. We know we should just breathe or tell ourselves it will all be ok, but that is not the problem.

The problem is not that we don’t know this, the problem is in how our brain processes the current situation. In these moments we may be feeling out of control or unsafe. So, we tend to move into fight or flight mode and our anxiety continues to increase.

Also, in these moments our brain and body are typically not in alignment with one another. So, how to we help our brain process what we are experiencing as it is and keep our brain and body aligned? Through coping skills, such as grounding.

As mentioned in previous blogs, anxiety is all about control. The ides behind grounding is it can help us stay present in the moment and be in control of our current situation. Also, what is great about grounding is you can use it anywhere! If you are in public, people won’t even notice what you are doing.

Grounding involves using the five senses. The next time you begin to feel out of control and your anxiety increase, try this:

  1. Stop wherever you are (If you are driving, pull over to a safe place on the side of the road)
  2. Look around
  3. Silently or aloud name five things you can see
  4. Name four things you can touch
  5. Name three things you can hear
  6. Name two things you can smell
  7. Name one thing you can taste

Again, the idea is to keep you present and in the moment. I do like to add deep breathing while completing the grounding technique. To do this, you will take a deep breathe in through your nose, hold for a short-time, and breathe out through your mouth while going through the five senses.

If you would like to learn more about grounding or other coping skills for anxiety, please contact me. I can help you find the techniques that best work for you.

Do you ever feel your anxiety increase during the holidays? If your answer is yes, you are not alone. While the holidays are supposed to be a time of joy, for many it brings higher levels of anxiety.

Why is this you might ask? Anxiety is all about control. When we feel out of control, anxiety begins to increase. Where will I spend the holidays? What should I wear to the party? Will people like me? Where will I be sleeping? Will our family get along this year? Will people like the gifts I get them? What if I can’t leave when I want to? Do any of these thoughts or type of thoughts sound familiar?

It is normal to worry much of the time when living with anxiety. We worry because we do not have control over the outcome of such events. Most of the time our perceived outcome of an event is very much out of proportion with what will actually happen. So how do I stop my constant worry from always reaching worst-case scenario?

Well, the first step is to acknowledge what is happening. You might be wondering if this is how everyone thinks? The answer to that is no. People without anxiety don’t get caught up in the never-ending loop of worry. The reason for this is because their brains process these thoughts naturally. While those who live with anxiety have to do this process “manually”. It doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with your brain. It is just different, and you will just have to learn how to move these thoughts through a process.

First is to acknowledge it. Second, ask yourself “what do I have control over right now?” The answer to this question is you only have control over you. Instead of trying to control the outcome of an event, the goal is to be able to control the anxiety so you are able to handle the event. Finally, learn what coping skills work for you. For example, deep breathing is something you can do wherever you are. Take a breathe in through your nose for the count of four, hold for a count of four, and breathe out through your mouth for a count of four. Do this for a minimum of ten times. Find a positive affirmation that works for you, such as “I can handle this”, to repeat to yourself while you breathe.

You may be saying to yourself, “this sounds really nice, but it’s just not that easy.” You are right, it’s not easy, it takes work. There is no cure for anxiety, but you can learn how to manage your anxiety and live a happy and fulfilling life through anxiety treatment at Counseling Services of Parker. You can learn how to control your anxiety instead of allowing your anxiety control you.

I can help you understand where your anxiety comes from, learn what your triggers are, and how to manage your anxiety. To set up a time please fill out the form on my website or call me @ 720-507-1907.

The-Benefits-of-Coloring-Books-for-Adults The Benefits of Coloring Books for Adults

Coloring is traditionally thought of as something that children do to pass time, but the therapeutic benefits for adults have recently become more and more obvious. Over the last few years, adults have started using coloring as a method of stress relief. Coloring offers a creative way to be mindful, and research shows that coloring affects the brain the same way meditation does. Therefore, if you are looking for a way to unwind at the end of a long day, or are looking for a therapeutic tool to help you, coloring books are a great option. Here are some of the benefits you can expect from adult coloring books.

Fights Stress

Believe it or not, the benefits of coloring for adults has been studied for decades, starting with Carl Jung, one of the founders of modern psychology. In the early 20th century, Jung studied the effects of coloring Mandalas on his patients. He found that this was a good calming tool that reduced their stress, and used coloring regularly in his practice.

Activates the Whole Cerebral Hemisphere

We hear a lot about the right and left brains, and how an activity uses one of the other. Coloring actually uses both sides of the brain, meaning it involves both logic and creativity skills. Picking a certain color for a pattern or shape involves your right, or analytical, side of the brain. In addition, mixing and matching colors engage the left, or creative, side of the brain. When you color, you are engaging your entire mind.

Brings You Back to Childhood

Coloring is also therapeutic for adults because it brings them back to a simpler time in their lives. As a child, you (hopefully) faced less stress and had fewer concerns, so being beckoned back by performing an activity you did often in your youth can make you feel more relaxed and happy. It may even help you feel more enthusiastic and optimistic for the future.

Acts like Meditation

As stated above, coloring activates the same parts of the brain as meditation. Meditation is an effective stress relief tool because it keeps you in the present moment. Instead of worrying about the future or reflecting on regrets of the past, you are completely and fully present. However, many people find it difficult to meditate, as you are essentially just sitting and doing nothing. Coloring provides a happy alternative because you can reach the same meditative state while still doing something. The act of coloring in patterns and shapes is simply relaxing, and gives you something to do while you “zone out.”

Helps with Anxiety

Anxiety is an umbrella term for a type of mental health disorder that is extremely common. Anxiety disorders can cause a variety of troubling symptoms, including excessive worry, body pain, obsessive thoughts, and insomnia. People with anxiety often rely on a variety of tools to help soothe themselves, and coloring offers a relaxing and simple one. Both the meditative and creative properties of coloring help patients and works in conjunction with therapies already in place. Research shows that coloring before conventional therapy appointments can help people with a variety of mental disorders, including anxiety, to benefit more from their treatment.

Aids Self-Discovery

As adults, we often lose the curiosity about ourselves we had in our youth. We are so busy managing our professional and personal lives, we rarely stop to reflect on ourselves and listen to what our thoughts have to say about who we are. It’s easy for our identity to get lost in our modern world full of distraction. Fortunately, you don’t have to go on an epic international journey or quit your job and start over as a street performer to learn more about yourself. Something as simple as coloring at the end of the day gives you some time to be with your thoughts and reflect on yourself. Many people who start coloring find that they are able to discover more about themselves than they anticipated.

Helps Your Physical Health, Too

The mental benefits of coloring are obvious, but even people with physical health issues can benefit from coloring. Some anecdotal evidence suggests that people with epilepsy can use coloring to help with stress relief, reducing their chances of seizures. Stress can have a major impact on a variety of health concerns, from epilepsy to heart disease to Lupus. The stress-reduction properties of coloring can be beneficial for your health in many different ways.

At Counseling Services of Parker, we have coloring books on hand to help our patients. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for anxiety treatment in Parker.