Learn To Feel Comfortable Feeling Uncomfortable.
Douglas Johns, LCSW
Portland, Oregon

Counseling Therapy For Anxiety ~ Portland, Oregon
Douglas Johns, LCSW

Anxiety can be difficult to identify. Sometimes anxiety is experienced as depression and some people cycle between the two. Anxiety is a lot like stress. Both can make us feel keyed-up, touchy, vulnerable or exposed. The constant worry, sometimes just out of conscious awareness, is exhausting. And because it's painful we don't want to feel it. So we may work at not feeling it. In the long run that's a mistake.

The place to begin addressing all suffering is by first admitting it to yourself. "I'm suffering." That's sometimes easier with depression than with anxiety. Anxiety feels like something I should just be able to get over and be done with. But then that's part of the problem that fuels anxiety: Worrying about worrying.

Both anxiety and depression decrease with similar interventions: Regular exercise, a more healthy diet, calming influences. And perhaps the most important is learning to feel comfortable feeling uncomfortable. This means relating with our experience rather than ignoring it or trying to get rid of it. Paradoxically, when we acknowledge the anxious feeling it often begins to decrease.

Try this. The next time you feel stressed-out or anxious repeat the following to yourself: "There is stress" or "There is anxiety." Don't identify with it as in, "I feel stressed-out." Just label it objectively. "There is stress. There is anxiety." In time you can create some space between you and the feeling. This "space" is a place of increased responsiveness rather than reactivity. It's like taking a step back from the experience. Space is created where we can actually make decsisions, in the moment, regarding how we respond to our anxiety. And, as I emphasize throughout my work, my counseling method helps people cultivate
self-compassion for the challenges you face from just being a human being.

Please call me with any questions you have about my counseling practice at 503-252-3739.

Accessing this web site in no way constitutes an implied or explicit contract for services between Compassionate Enterprises, LLC or Douglas Johns and any person. Documents are for informal information purposes only. Please speak directly with a qualified professional regarding any specific health concerns you have. Douglas Johns, MSW, LCSW ~ 811 NW 20th Ave., Suite 304, Portland, Oregon 97209 ~ (503) 252-3739