Anxiety holds us back. It interferes with our ability to be our most intelligent, creating, and capable selves. Anxiety stands in the way of our potential, our hopes, and our dreams. If you’re here, odds are you know exactly how frustrating this can be. Sometimes, we don’t even notice the anxiety. Sometimes, it is so intense and so unpleasant, that we force it out of our awareness with maladaptive coping strategies which we may not even recognize. We might avoid the things that make us anxious. Friends, relationships, activities. We might try to distract ourselves, hiding from our anxiety under the guise of work or hobbies.
At one point, anxiety was about protecting us from harm. Generally speaking, it has been an enormously helpful evolutionary adaptation. Anxiety kept our ancestors out of harm by sounding alarms in their heads and making them feel scared in hazardous circumstances for thousands of generations. The fact of the matter is, we owe a lot to anxiety and the role it played in the early days of humanity.
Unfortunately, anxiety sometimes exceeds its usefulness. We are no longer hunter-gatherers scavenging in the underbrush. For most of us, there is no bear wandering around the next bend. For some, however, anxiety remains a crippling force in their life.
If anxiety is controlling your life, one of the best courses of action is seeking therapy for anxiety. Therapy has been repeatedly and robustly shown to be remarkably effective. Thousands of peer-reviewed, individual, and independent studies and meta-analyses conducted over decades have reached the same conclusion: therapy for anxiety works.
In some ways, therapy for anxiety can be a better solution than medications. Unlike medication, the benefits can continue long after therapy ends. Those who complete therapy have been shown to be healthier, happier, and more productive, and often gain confidence in their ability to live a more full and rich life.
In addition, getting help with your anxiety may prolong your life and reduce healthcare costs. Anxiety and chronic stress play an expensive role in disease onset and progression. Further, those who complete therapy for anxiety may reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and dementia.