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I float past this

Your palms are sweating, heart is racing, dizziness overcomes, and you can’t breathe. You look for an escape, and you look around to see what is causing these unpleasant symptoms. Your body has gone into fight or flight mode. But why? There is no immediate danger, just your usual surroundings.

This is excessive anxiety. It affects 12% of Canada’s population, including a former client of the Centre. Sherri admits she had always experienced low level anxiety but had managed to cope with it. However, when it overcame her daily life and threatened her career and marriage, it was time to confront it.

“It crept into every area of my life,” she recalls “I would try to hide it, but it would only make it worse.”

Sherri had excessive worry about everyday things; her thoughts would spiral until they completely broke down communication between her and her husband, and her co-workers.

Sherri couldn’t see a way out. She didn’t believe anything could help. Until she made the decision to go for counselling, and face the anxiety head on.

Sherri came to Calgary Counselling Centre and met with a counsellor once a week. After several sessions her counsellor recommended she join the group “Mastering Your Mood” where she met others facing anxiety and depression.

“At first I didn’t feel like I belonged,” she recalls. “But the encouragement I received was amazing. The power of not feeling alone is incredible, that’s the most important thing I took from the group.”

Anxiety is still a part of Sherri’s life, but it no longer over-powers her ability to thrive. Through individual and group counselling sessions Sherri learned many techniques and strategies for putting things into perspective.

In particular she learned a phrase that continues to help her through moments of anxiety. “Whenever I feel the symptoms coming on I just relax and repeat ‘I float past this… I float past this,” she says.

– Sherri, age 35

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