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Piper Walsh, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist
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Therapy for Children, Adolescents, Adults in South Orange County

5 Tips to Manage Anxiety

Published by . Filed under Anxiety & Stress, Orange County therapist, PTSD / ASD, Uncategorized. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Anxiety occurs as an emotional and bodily reaction to alleged danger. When we perceive a threat (actual or imagined), we experience anxiety as a general sense of uneasiness and fear. Learning some tips to manage anxiety can assist you in identifying the roots of your anxiety, reducing your symptoms, and reaching your highest potential.

Do You Have Anxiety?

Everyone feels apprehensive, worried, or afraid at times. When we feel threatened, anxiety is not just a normal emotion; it may also be vital for our existence.  Below we will talk about  types of  anxiety and 5 Tips to Manage Anxiety.

How do you know you have anxiety?

When the duration or severity of anxiety outweighs the circumstances, it can affect your well-being. You can become overwhelmed with worry, exhaustion, and panic. If your reactions exceed the usual feelings of discomfort, affecting your everyday life, you may be suffering from anxiety.

The most common types of anxiety involve:

Anxiety, while persistent and often severe, is a highly curable disorder. Learning valuable tips to manage anxiety attacks can help you improve your mental health and overall well-being.

5 Tips to Manage Anxiety and Feel Better

So, here are some helpful strategies to manage anxiety and calm your mind.

1.Recognize and Challenge Negative Thoughts and Ruminations

Negative thoughts and ruminations, or overthinking, can take root in your mind, distorting your thinking and triggering anxiety. Therefore, identifying negative thoughts is one of the first steps in managing anxiety.

2. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness involves focusing on the present and being here and now. Studies show that regular mindfulness exercise can help you identify and overcome negative thinking patterns, relax, and feel more optimistic.

Activities like mindful photography, going for a mindful walk, or coloring can help bring your attention to the present, diverting your mind from negative thoughts and ruminations.

3. Keep a Journal

Journaling is an excellent way to record and track your negative thoughts and ruminations. It can also assist you in identifying patterns in situations or thoughts that cause anxiety.

Furthermore, studies show that journaling can help reduce stress, improve mood & process emotions.  Journaling helps process negative toughs and calm you down so you can better deal with troubling situations.

4. Practice Deep Breathing

During a panic attack or an anxiety attack, your breathing may become quick and deep (known as hyperventilation), causing sensations such as shortness of breath, weakness, a dry mouth, numbness in your arms, chest pain, etc.

When you exhale too much air, you decrease the amount of carbon dioxide in your blood, causing some panic attack symptoms.

Deep breathing exercises can assist you in balancing your breathing, relaxing, and relieving discomfort.

To practice focused, deep breathing, sit or lie comfortably and focus on your breathing. Then inhale slowly through your nose, allowing your breath to fill your stomach and lungs. Next, slowly and softly exhale through your mouth while focusing on your breathing and nothing else.  Follow this link to find more information on deep breathing and how it can help.

5. Talk to a Professional

Counseling can help you understand your anxiety triggers, recognize anxiety symptoms, and identify positive ways to address them. A skilled counselor can also help you learn strategies to manage anxiety, so it doesn’t cause harm or disruption in your life.

Therapy for Stress and Burnout

Published by . Filed under Anxiety & Stress, Orange County Counseling. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Stress occurs as a natural psychological and physical response to the demands of life, so everyone experiences it at some point. However, daily stress, whether due to your job challenges, parenting issues, financial difficulty, or everything in between, can impact your health and well-being. Therapy for stress and burnout can help you figure out what sets you off, learn and practice ways to deal with stress, and avoid burnout.

Acute vs. Chronic Stress

A stress reaction starts in the brain, preparing us to adapt to a specific situation. The brain sends a message to the body when it senses a threat. This causes the body to produce stress hormones, which prepare us for a “fight or flight” response by raising blood pressure, making the heart beat faster, and giving us more energy, among other things.

So, small amounts of stress can be practical since it encourages us to avoid danger or perform better.

Chronic stress, however, does not allow the body to recuperate from such a response.

Excessive or chronic stress can affect you in many ways, causing various emotional, cognitive, and physical symptoms. If you cannot find a way to get your stress under control, it can lead to anxiety, depression or a state of complete exhaustion known as burnout.

What is Burnout?

Burnout is the state of extreme fatigue caused by chronic and excessive stress. It happens when we are overwhelmed by stress caused by ongoing personal and professional demands that spills over into the other aspects of our lives.

Burnout can be described as feeling stretched to the max. When you are burned out, your fatigue typically doesn’t improve with rest. It can also cause other health problems that affect your mood, ability to balance work and life, relationships, and overall health.

The Symptoms of Burnout

Counseling can assist in reducing stress and avoiding burnout by addressing its early and often subtle signs. So, it is critical to identify the symptoms of chronic stress and burnout as soon as possible. Speak to a mental health specialist if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Feeling exhausted most of the time
  • Loss of energy and motivation
  • Feeling helpless and hopeless
  • A sense of isolation and detachment from others
  • A lack of fulfillment in life
  • Weakened immunity
  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Changes in appetite
  • Irritability and aggression
  • Avoiding responsibilities
  • Using alcohol or drugs to cope

How Can Therapy for Stress and Burnout Help?

Psychotherapy offers a safe environment to examine your symptoms and get to the bottom of the problem with the guidance and insight of your counselor. Once you’ve identified your stress triggers, your therapist may be able to assist you in developing coping strategies.

Stress Management

Professional counseling can teach you practical ways to deal with stress, which can help you be more productive, live a more balanced life, and have satisfying relationships.

Stress management increases resilience, which allows you to persevere under pressure and recover from adversity.

Some of the stress management strategies you can learn and practice in personalized therapy involve:

  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Assertiveness
  • Positive self-talk or affirmations

In addition, stress treatment can help you recognize and eliminate errors in thinking that generate anxiety and replace them with more realistic thoughts.

In short, therapy for stress can provide you with the tools you need to avoid burnout, increase resilience, and move forward confidently.

In Individual Counseling Orange County Clients Discover the Beauty in Everyday Life.

Published by . Filed under Individual Counseling, Orange County Counseling. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Listen, life isn’t when you are standing on top of a mountain looking at a sunset. Life isn’t waiting at the altar or the moment your child is born or that time you were swimming in a deep water and a dolphin came up alongside you. These are fragments. 10 or 12 grains of sand spread throughout your entire existence. These are not life. Life is brushing your teeth or making a sandwich or watching the news or waiting for the bus. Or walking. Every day, thousands of tiny events happen and if you’re not watching, if you’re not careful, if you don’t capture them and make them COUNT, you could miss it. You could miss your whole life.”
― Toni Jordan, Addition

Toni Jordan is an Australian-born author whose debut novel “Addition” is coming soon to the U.S. market. In the above quote, Toni makes the observation that life is what happens in the smallest of moments. To fully appreciate life, we must learn to find value in the everyday. In Orange County Individual counseling with Psychotherapist Dr. Piper Walsh helps clients learn to appreciate and find value in their everyday life, and discover how to make their life line up more closely to the life they envision for themselves.

Individual Counseling Can Help

Often people will describe having a feeling that life is passing them by, or that they are waiting for their life to “begin.” When we don’t appreciate the life we’re in, we may feel like our “real life” is yet to come. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In Orange County Individual counseling Dr. Walsh, people are able to learn how to identify and appreciate the things that make life rich and to truly enjoy life, now. For Orange County Individual counseling, your best resource is Dr. Piper Walsh.

Dr. Walsh provides Orange County individual counseling in San Clemente, Talega, Dana Point, Capistrano Beach, Laguna Beach, San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, Lake Forest, Aliso Viejo, El Toro, Lake Forest, and Irvine.


In Men’s Therapy San Clemente Men Discover New Meaning

Published by . Filed under Men's Issues, Orange County Counseling. Total of no comments in the discussion.

“I didn’t know what exhausted me emotionally until that moment, and I realized that the experience of being a soldier, with unlimited license for excess, excessive violence, excessive sex, was a blueprint for self-destruction. Because then I began to wake up to the idea that manhood, as passed onto me by my father, my scoutmaster, my gym instructor, my army sergeant, that vision of manhood was a blueprint for self-destruction and a lie, and that was a burden that I was no longer able to carry. It was too difficult for me to be that hard.”
― Utah T. Phillips

Men’s Therapy Can Help Everyone

It’s more common than we often recognize, that emotional exhaustion that the poet Utah T. Phillips describes. Trying to live up to that mythical image of manhood, – it can weigh down a man. It can be suffocating. Still, knowing what to replace it with, what can replace the “lie” is often an unknown that can keep men from finding release from this “burden” they carry. In men’s therapy San Clemente Psychotherapist Dr. Piper Walsh works with current and former soldiers and those who have been serving as “warriors” on other fronts – often in business. Often they come to Dr. Walsh not sure why they feel as they do. All they know is that life isn’t satisfying. They aren’t happy. They need to find a solution. Dr. Walsh helps her clients discover what is at the heart of their concerns and find lasting solutions.

How Can Therapy Help Men

In Men’s therapy San Clemente Dr. Piper Walsh helps clients address core issues while also addressing symptoms which often include a mixture of depression, anxiety, withdrawal, violence, overeating, infidelity and/or substance abuse. In men’s therapy San Clemente men are able to discover new strengths from within. Dr. Walsh helps her clients develop new approaches to solving old problems and find new ways to achieve success.

In addition to San Clemente, Dr. Walsh serves clients in many of California’s South Orange County communities including Talega, Dana Point, Capistrano Beach, Laguna Beach, San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, Lake Forest, Aliso Viejo, El Toro, Lake Forest and Irvine.