Stress and anxiety

What happens when we are not able to feel our healthy curiosity and instead, our mind only shows us dark scenarios that we do not know how to cope with, other than running in the opposite direction?

If we are faced with a new situation (new country, new language, new job, new family role…), the natural response, adjusted to the circumstances, is to raise our alert system to ensure that the environment does not pose any risk and to increase our performance level to respond accordingly to the need of the situation.

When this way of being in our environment becomes rigid and we can hardly reach the physical, mental and emotional state that allows us to perceive the situation as finally safe, it is when we speak of anxiety and stress from the pathological point of view.

Therapeutic work in the face of this type of suffering is aimed at supporting the person to regain their flexibility and curiosity, that is, their ability to perceive the novelty (or uncontrolled situation) as worthy of interest, allowing a better adapted reaction to each situation and including room to restore our performance levels. To get there, the support tools are diverse and flexibility between therapeutic approaches is key, also given the wide number of forms in which anxiety presents itself (generalized anxiety, social phobia, separation anxiety, illness anxiety…).

As an example, based on the work of Dr. Shelly Harrell, we can cite four core strategies for managing anxiety and reducing residual stress. These are:

Attention – Centering Techniques
To neutralize anxiety, it can often help to use techniques designed to focus attention beyond anxious thoughts.
Tools such as meditation, mindful breathing and visualization fall under this category.

Expressive, creative strategies
To channel anxious thoughts or feelings in more productive ways, we might identify specific outlets to express creativity, such as working on projects, drawing, and athletics.
Gardening, arts and physical movement such as dancing fall under this category.

Reflection exploration strategies
To monitor where anxiety arises, become more aware of anxiety triggers, and reflect on anxious thoughts and feelings, we might try strategies that foster self-observation.
The main ones would be journaling, self-monitoring and communication.

Healthy lifestyle values
To reduce residual feelings of anxiety, it could help to turn attention toward healthy habits, healthy relationships, healthy pleasures, and a healthy environment.
These values include nutrition, relationships and exercise.

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within Reach

About me and how my practice offers mental health care to bring a sense of home to nationals and internationals.

Before we meet

Practical information before you start your therapeutic process so we can establish the boundaries of our relationship.


The bridge between the different forms of human suffering we face and the therapeutic support to alleviate it.

Our next

Once your need for support has been addressed, you can decide which setting seems most appropriate for you to begin your journey to feeling better.


Psychology within Reach
Vuurvlindersingel, 403
3544 DB Utrecht

Phone +31 30 636 8981
Mon. – Fri. 9 am – 6:30 pm