Anxiety counseling can be a great way for you to take a closer look at what is causing you to feel certain ways. You may discover in your anxiety counseling sessions that you have actually been lacking a sense of purpose or passion. When you work with an anxiety counselor your sessions will uncover aspects of your thought patterns that might be preventing you from having a sense of meaning in life. You may find that this is directly related to your value system.
Maybe you have been feeling anxiety because you have been wondering how to create a sense of meaning in your life. Maybe you’re feeling dull and down, without motivation or a real drive. Maybe you’re legitimately depressed. What could be missing is a connection to who you want to be in this world and what really means something to you. These are your values.
Values are a personal choice about what truly matters to you, deep in your heart. They ask, “Who do I want to be in the world?” and “What do I want to stand for?” They’re qualities of being that never reach an end. Values are enormously important to well-being, as they promote a sense of purpose and motivation. As an anxiety counselor in Orlando, I explain to my clients that values are not the principles that have been placed upon you by others or the values that you believe you “should” have, but rather I’m referring to what genuinely matters to you. Qualities like being kind, genuine, caring, strong, resilient, independent, interdependent, healthy… these are the values I talk about, and the list is endless.
You can begin to identify your values by looking to areas of your life that are working. These are areas that you may discover do not cause you anxiety. Consider what is working well in your life, and why that is. What values exist within that? For example, maybe you are in a great relationship, enjoy your job, or appreciate cooking wonderful meals for your family/friends. Values that may exist there could include being loving, committed, connected, smart, having mastery of a skill, and being healthy, to name a few.
Journaling is another way to look within and discover what means most to you. Take some time to free-write about what you care about, why those qualities matter to you, and what they can bring to your life in terms of purpose and meaning. Anxiety counseling sessions move much more quickly when you are writing thoughts and feelings down. This can often uncover more depth about them, increasing your ability to choose based on values.
Anxiety can stem from specific pain points from compromised values. When struggling with unpleasant feelings, ask yourself, “What is this pain telling me?” A situation hurts because something within the experience really matters to you. For example, having some social anxiety is painful. Maybe you care a great deal about having close relationships with friends- being connected, which you struggle to create if you’re avoiding social situations due to anxiety. Anxiety tips you off that something here matters.
There is this notion that living in line with values should just feel great, but that isn’t true. Telling somebody that they hurt you, for example, or moving on from a situation that hasn’t been working for you, can be trying! Yet, these could be values-guided actions for you. Following values can feel good, but oftentimes it’s hard, so you must mindfully commit every day.
Think to the last time you did something significant to you, like giving a presentation at work, applying to a school(s), or telling somebody how much you care about them. You probably had some degree of anxiety or other difficult emotions beforehand. What was important to you here? Values-guided actions aren’t always sunshine and rainbows, but they are meaningful, fulfilling, and important.
Anxiety counseling in Orlando is a great way to give you a professional forum to explore your value system. Maybe you will find after talking to an anxiety counseling expert, you have been compromising aspects of your value system and it is causing you tension. To find out more and speak directly with an anxiety expert at Orlando Thrive Therapy call 407-592-8997 today.
Heather Oller is a licensed Orlando therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching & Counseling who specializes in counseling Orlando couples, individuals, and families who are seeking changes in their lives. She has been a mental health professional for over 17 years and is a practicing Orlando counselor that specializes in conflict resolution for couples. You can contact her for an appointment or call 407-592-8997 for more information.