Develop ease by skillfully managing stress and anxiety.

STRESS is an inevitable part of life.  We can’t avoid the multiple stressors that affect us…financial pressures, work challenges, conflict with our partners, health issues, family dynamics…you know these well.

It’s easy to blame the outer conditions and feel powerless to improve our lives. But we do have choice in how we respond to stress.

In counseling we will investigate how you respond to stress:

What is your physical response?  How do you know how stressed you are?  Can you track your various levels of stress?  What is your snapping point?

How does stress affect your behavior? Can you choose how to respond when you are stressed-out?  How can we strengthen your awareness and choice while under stress?

How does stress affect your thoughts, beliefs and self-image?  Are your thoughts and behaviors adding to the stress?  Are your thoughts based in what is actually happening or they infused with fears of what might happen?

What resources do you use to manage stress and to feel less overwhelmed?  Are they healthy resources?  What resources can we add to your stress-management toolbox?

We will develop a set of practices that will help you change your response to stress.  You will practice how to track your internal stress levels, how to manage your feelings of stress and how to respond more skillfully when under stress.  We will play with letting go of our stressful stories.  By changing your relationship to stress, you can increase the ease, health and joy in your life.

“Pain is inevitable.  Suffering is optional.”

–Gil Fronsdal

ANXIETY is what we feel when we get caught in fear or push away what is difficult.  It seems easier to avoid sinking into grief that might be endless or to keep busy rather than figure out how our lives are meaningful.

Unfortunately, what we avoid rarely goes away.  Often it gains more influence over us as we consciously or unconsciously avoid it.  Avoidance requires a lot of energy and vigilance.  There can be a huge relief from finally facing our shadows and unpacking our fears.

Perhaps you are suffering from some of the anxiety symptoms listed above.  If you are experiencing acute anxiety, I encourage you to seek local help from a health professional.  A good start is to consult your primary care physician and ask for referrals.  If you identify mostly with the low to moderate symptoms, I invite you to contact me for a free consultation to see if online counseling will be a good fit for you.

In counseling, we will first evaluate and strengthen your resources to manage anxious feelings and symptoms.  We will develop a practice schedule of relaxation and calming activities.  You will learn mindfulness techniques to stop perpetuating worries and to deflate your fears of the future.  As these new behaviors become more comfortable and common for you, we will start to investigate the feelings and difficulties that are being avoided.  We will increase your ability to tolerate and allow what is difficult and decrease patterns of avoidance.

This work can take some time, but it is completely worth it.  Imagine feeling more calm, relaxed and able to fully enjoy your life.  What better investment can you make in yourself than this?