Worried all the time? Trying to fix problems before they happen? Or trying to change things that already have? These are recipes for days of angst and sleeplessness. We often learn to try to control things in this way early in our lives and although it is certainly a great skill to be organized, doing it too much can obviously be detrimental to our wellbeing. This is because nothing ever goes as planned (or very rarely!). Trying to avoid the things we fear the most can become an obsession. We spend tremendous amounts of time and mental and physical energy trying to avoid these things. Eventually, when they inevitably happen, we don’t believe that we can cope so tend not to handle them very well. This is due to physiological changes that affect us as humans. Basically, when you become stressed, your heart beats faster bringing on numerous other changes in your body which tells your brain that there is a need to use a more primitive part in charge of survival. Fight, flight, freeze! being tense and constantly hypervigilant is exhausting and often leads to the development of fatigue and generally unhelpful habits (working too much, drinking too much, eating too much, using anger to obtain what we and then feeling guilty & ashamed). Learning to relax, have fun and enjoy life on its own terms is critical. To help people accomplish this task, I start with providing education about what happens physiologically when we are under stress. Then, I teach some basic grounding and relaxation skills and teach cognitive behavioral strategies to help my clients confront negative thought patterns that contribute to their anxiety level. Time and time again, I have seen people successfully use these relatively simple strategies through deliberate & hard dedicated practice, which eventually become second nature.