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Understanding and Coping with Anxiety: Expert Tips from a Registered Social Worker

Anxiety is a very common mental health issue that can impact individuals of all genders, but research suggests that women are disproportionately affected by anxiety disorders compared to men. In my counselling practice, anxiety is one of the main reasons why people reach out to me. With this article, I want to shed some light on anxiety and offer practical strategies to help women manage anxiety effectively.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a natural response to stress or perceived threats, characterized by feelings of apprehension, worry, and physical tension. For women, hormonal fluctuations, societal pressures, and life transitions such as pregnancy and menopause can contribute to increased exposure to anxiety disorders. Anxiety can have a huge impact on our relationships and it often appears with other challenges like depression, low self-esteem, or loneliness.

Causes of Anxiety in Women

A combination of biological, psychological, and social factors may influence women's experiences with anxiety:

  • Societal Expectations: Women often juggle multiple roles and responsibilities, leading to stress and anxiety related to career, family, and societal expectations.

  • Hormonal Changes: Fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone levels throughout the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, or menopause can impact mood and anxiety levels.

  • Trauma and Stress: Women are more likely to experience trauma such as sexual assault or domestic violence, which can contribute to the development of anxiety disorders.

Types of Anxiety Disorders Common in Women

Women may be more prone to specific anxiety disorders, including:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Characterized by excessive worry and tension about everyday events.

  • Panic Disorder: This is marked by sudden and recurrent panic attacks, often triggered by specific stressors.

  • Social Anxiety Disorder: Involves intense fear of judgment or scrutiny in social situations.

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Women are more likely to develop PTSD following trauma, leading to anxiety symptoms.

The Role of Counselling in Managing Anxiety for Women

Counselling is an essential component of anxiety treatment for women, providing a safe space to explore underlying issues and develop coping strategies. In my counselling practice, I use a combination of different approaches like mindfulness, somatic therapy, parts and inner child work, solution-focused therapy and life-coaching, to help clients:

  • Understand their anxiety better and what triggers it

  • Learn coping skills to regulate their emotions

  • Challenge automatic and negative thinking patterns

  • Connect with their inner strengths and resources

  • Build up self-worth, self-trust and confidence in their abilities

  • Be kinder and more compassionate towards themselves

  • Feel safe and more relaxed

Practical Coping Strategies for Women

Here are some coping strategies that you can use outside of counselling to help manage your anxiety:

  1. Self-Compassion: Practice self-care and self-compassion to counteract perfectionism and unrealistic expectations. Click here for some great self-compassion resources.

  2. Support Networks: Build strong support networks with friends, family, or support groups to share experiences and seek emotional support.

  3. Boundary Setting: Learn to set healthy boundaries in relationships and prioritize personal needs.

  4. Stress Management: Incorporate stress-reduction techniques such as breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, or creative activities into daily routines.

In conclusion, anxiety can have a unique impact on women due to biological, psychological, and social factors. By understanding these influences and implementing personalized coping strategies, women can effectively manage anxiety and lead fulfilling lives.

Remember, you're not alone—reach out for help when needed and prioritize your mental health.


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Hi there, I'm Anna, and I hope you enjoyed my article :-)

As a Registered Social Worker in private practice, I specialize in counselling for women in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. I also offer in-person sessions in my Downtown Vancouver office location.


My counselling practice is a warm and inclusive space, welcoming women from all walks of life who want to learn how to prioritize themselves and find more balance and connection in their lives.

Check out my website to learn more about my service and approach. I look forward to connecting with you soon.

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