Center for Shared Insight, PC

Anxiety: Understanding Causes & Ways to Cope

February 25, 2020
Posted By: Kristen Hick, Psy.D.

At one time or another, you've probably experienced a sense of anxiety in your life. Whether this was due to the stress of a job, the loss of a loved one, a situation at work, or financial hardship, it is normal to experience stress when going through a major life change. However, when fear and worry grow disproportionately and start to interfere with how you live your life, it becomes what we call anxiety.

In this post, we’ll help you understand the root causes of anxiety, and how you can tune into it to cope with the associated feelings, and overcome them.

Root Causes

In this day and age, with growing expectations to be and do more and more, anxiety is more prevalent than ever. Anxiety stems from internal pressure to be different or more perfect than you naturally are. This usually comes from childhood experiences that felt to some degree, unpredictable, uncertain, and in some cases, unsafe. Being different, more or better becomes a way to compensate or overcome those feelings.


Is COVID-19 creating more anxiety in your life? Do you constantly wonder when this pandemic will end? Are you concerned about bringing coronavirus home on groceries or even into your home with the mail? We understand how anxiety-provoking this time can be, and we can help. Contact us to schedule an online therapy session.


When underlying roots are coupled with the demands and stressors of everyday life, anxiety can start to feel very overwhelming. While there are an abundance of theories about the root causes of an uptick in anxiety, “the accessibility of information” is at the top of that list for many. From social media, which makes everyone’s lives look perfect, to the news, which reports situations in society that will cause the greatest emotional response (they can sell more ads when you are glued to the television), it’s easy to internalize a mindset that the world is untrustworthy, dangerous, and scary.

Tuning In

When you face your anxiety instead of putting on a front, stuffing it or avoiding the depth of it, you can learn more about what the anxiety is saying, and learn from that. For instance, if you have anxiety around your job, you might sit with that feeling, look at the roots, and identify it more specifically. Where do you feel that stress in your body? Does it evoke a certain physical response in your body? Is there a root cause beyond what’s on the surface? For instance, is the stress about your job really just your tendency to question your value (professionally or in general), capabilities, or ability to stretch into a new role in your life? Sitting with the feelings rather than spinning them into a story in order to make sense of them is a practice that can help you better understand the root causes of your emotions and the related limited beliefs that you hold about yourself.

Ways to Cope

When you are working through feelings of anxiety, remind yourself that every feeling will pass. No feeling is forever, although it undoubtedly feels like that when your feelings are intense and overwhelming. While you are waiting for waves of strong anxiety to pass, you can use a variety of tools to cope:

  • Limit social media to reduce feelings of inadequacy.

  • Limit exposure to any media outlet as the news can provoke more anxiety.

  • Say “no” to situations that evoke anxiety (crowds, new situations, financially burdensome social invitations), unless you are working on your avoidance of these situations, such as with the help of a therapist.

  • Use box breathing to calm your nervous system. This controlled, conscious breathing can help take your mind off the feelings associated with anxiety.

  • Tune into the visceral experience around you. Notice the texture of the chair you are sitting on, the sounds you hear in the room, what you see, and label these experiences. This practice can refocus your mind and ground anxious energy.

  • Commit to self-care.

  • Practice yoga, choose stretching, or try journaling

At Center for Shared Insight, our team of therapists help clients identify the causes of their anxiety, how to manage it, and ways to cope until the powerful sensations pass. We start with a free consultation to ensure our services are a good fit for your needs. Contact us today to start the process of connecting with a therapist and getting the support you need to better understand, and overcome, your anxiety.

Related Blog Posts
March 25, 2020
Online Therapy: Get the Support You Need During COVID-19

During this time of global crisis, you don’t have to put therapy on hold. In fact, it’s more important than ever to get the support you need when life is more stressful and challenging than normal. With the impact of the news resulting in high anxiety and fear about everything from the health of loved ones to the impact on the economy, therapy can serve you in so many ways during any crisis.

Yet, you might be wondering: “Are online sessions as effective as in-person sessions?” The ...

May 22, 2018
Understanding and Overcoming Mom Shame

When you hear the words “mom shame” you probably think of the judgement and criticism moms have for one another. Psychology Today cites a study in which sixty-one percent of the recipients report that they have been criticized for their child-rearing decisions. While this form of mom shame and judging is highly prevalent and painful, there is another kind of personal mom shame that runs parallel to it. Personal shame, anxiety, and doubt about your own abilities, and judging yourself as a mother, are thoughts that might run ...

If you have difficulty using our website, please email us or call us at (720) 644-6698
View the ADA Accessibility Statement
This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal psychological or mental health advice or treatment nor the formation of a therapist-client relationship.
CSIP UPDATE - Offering Online Therapy sessions (to COLORADO residents) during Covid-19.
Our therapists are here to help you during this uncertain time. We know you and others are trying to do your part to social distance due to Covid-19, which is why we are happy to provide online therapy sessions through our secure video platform. We are here to talk with you about how we can meet your therapy needs. 
Contact us today to learn more!