Anxiety TreatmentDanica MitchellMindfulnessWomen And Mental Health

Breaking the Silence: Women’s Struggles with Anxiety and How to Cope

Anxiety is a common experience that can manifest in various ways, and is common for women of all ages. While anxiety can affect anyone, women are twice as likely to suffer from anxiety than men, and often face unique challenges that contribute to their stress levels. While there are some biological factors such as hormonal shifts through the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, post-partum and menopause there are also many societal factors such as body image issues, sexism, family pressures and perfectionism that impact women differently from men.

 

Common Issues Contributing to Women’s Anxiety

Body Image and Self-Esteem

One of the most pervasive sources of anxiety for women is body image. Society often imposes unrealistic standards of beauty, leading to a constant feeling of inadequacy. Women in their 20s might feel pressure to conform to these ideals, often exacerbated by social media, which presents an often unattainable and filtered version of reality. As women enter their 30s and 40s, they might struggle with changes in their bodies due to aging, pregnancy, and menopause, further affecting their self-esteem.

Perfectionism and Sexism

Women often face significant pressure to excel in various areas of their lives. This pressure can stem from professional ambitions, academic pursuits, or the desire to be a perfect partner, mother, or friend. Women in their 20s might be starting their careers, striving to prove themselves in a competitive job market. By their 30s and 40s, many women are balancing career advancement with family responsibilities, leading to an overwhelming sense of having to “do it all.” This can be exacerbated by how underlying sexism may create additional obstacles or expectations for women.

Family Expectations and Responsibilities

Family expectations and responsibilities can be a significant source of anxiety for women. In their 20s, women might face pressure from parents regarding career choices or relationships. As they move into their 30s and 40s, the focus often shifts to managing their own families or choosing not to have a family. Women in this age range might be raising children, caring for aging parents, defending a life outside of children, or navigating complex family dynamics.

6 Effective Coping Skills For Anxiety

Managing anxiety involves a multifaceted approach, incorporating various coping skills that address both the symptoms and underlying causes of anxiety. Here are six effective strategies:

Mindfulness and Self-Compassion – Practicing mindfulness helps you become more aware of their negative thoughts without judgment. Self-compassion involves treating oneself with the same kindness and understanding as one would offer a friend, which can mitigate the harsh self-criticism that often accompanies anxiety.

Media Literacy – Learning to critically evaluate media messages and recognizing the unrealistic standards they promote can reduce the impact of these images on self-esteem. By understanding the pervasive nature of digital manipulation and selective representation, you can foster a healthier self-image.

Setting Realistic Goals – It’s essential to set achievable goals and recognize that it’s impossible to excel in every area simultaneously. By prioritizing tasks and focusing on what’s genuinely important, you can alleviate some of the pressure they place on themselves.

Time Management – Effective time management strategies, such as prioritizing tasks and delegating when possible, can reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed. Tools like to-do lists, planners, and time-blocking can be incredibly helpful.

Open Communication – Clear and honest communication with family members, co-workers, and friends about expectations and boundaries can alleviate misunderstandings and reduce stress. Discussing roles and responsibilities openly can help manage relational dynamics more effectively.

Seeking Support – Building a support network of friends, family, colleagues, and providers can provide practical help and emotional encouragement. Additionally, seeking professional help through therapy can offer structured support and guidance.

Therapy Options

While self-help strategies can be effective, professional therapy often provides the necessary support to navigate more severe or persistent anxiety.

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy offers a confidential and personalized approach to understanding and addressing the root causes of anxiety. A therapist can work with you to develop coping strategies, challenge negative thought patterns, shift core beliefs, and build resilience. The personalized attention and safe space provided by individual therapy make it a powerful tool for long-term anxiety management.

Group Therapy

In addition to individual therapy, group therapy can be a powerful tool for managing anxiety. Group therapy provides the opportunity to connect with others who are experiencing similar challenges, reducing feelings of isolation and fostering a sense of community. Participants can share their experiences, offer and receive support, and learn from one another.

Benefits of Group Therapy:

  • Shared Experiences – Hearing from others who face similar struggles can provide validation and reduce feelings of loneliness.
  • Diverse Perspectives – Group members can offer different perspectives and coping strategies, enriching the learning experience.
  • Support Network – Group therapy often leads to the formation of supportive relationships that extend beyond the therapy sessions.

Upcoming Group Therapy Session

Peaceful Way Psychology is excited to announce a new group therapy session starting on June 10th, specifically designed for women struggling with anxiety. This group will provide a supportive environment to explore these issues, share experiences, and develop effective coping strategies.

Group Therapy Details:

  • Start Date: June 11th
  • Duration: Weekly sessions for 6 weeks
  • Facilitator: Jaclyn Lawrence
  • Format: Small virtual group setting to ensure individual attention and confidentiality

Anxiety can be a daunting and pervasive issue, but with the right support and strategies, women can manage and overcome it. Understanding the specific challenges faced by women—from body image concerns and performance pressure to family expectations—allows for targeted and effective approaches to anxiety management.
If you’re struggling with anxiety, consider reaching out for professional support. Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength, and taking that first step can lead to profound and positive changes in your life.
For more information or to book an individual or group therapy session, please contact us today. Together, we can work towards a future where anxiety no longer holds you back.