Anxiety at the right level can be helpful. Anxiety can give us a boost to perform better or give us increased alertness in a dangerous situation. However, chronic anxiety that interferes with everyday life can cause unwanted suffering. Worry, stress, and fears that are out-of-control can contribute to many physical disorders and decrease the joy of living.

Learning what triggers anxiety is the first step in reducing and controlling it. Mind-Body therapies have a substantial body of research demonstrating strong positive outcomes for reducing and eliminating anxiety. Learning to use the power and energy of anxiety in a balanced way can lead to a satisfying and productive life. Wellness is about balance. Wellness is more in our control than we think. You can learn how to choose wellness.
Tired of Feeling Depressed?
Depression is a complicated disorder that can lead to the loss of energy, motivation, and hope.  Often environmental, emotional, and hereditary factors combine to produce depression.  Modern living tends to be stressful and often these multiple stressors trigger the onset of a depressive episode.  Research on effective treatments for depression consistently reveals that “talk therapy” is one of the most effective ways to treat depression.  This is a beneficial way to uncover the triggers and develop a plan in how not to keep repeating unknown patterns.

Of the various “talk therapies”, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has a well established track record for improving or eliminating depression.  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy focuses on habits of thinking and behavior. By becoming more aware of errors in thinking and automatic negative thoughts, more accurate and positive thoughts can replace the damaging ones.  Depending on the severity of depression, antidepressant medication can be used to stabilize the depression and provide a platform to benefit from “talk therapy”.  Depression is very treatable.  Seeking help is the first step to reclaiming your life and wellness.

Effects of Stress
The effects of chronic stress can lead to stress-related disorders or stress-related symptoms. This is well documented in scientific literature. Chronic stress initially changes our bio-chemistry and organ functioning due to increased activation of the sympathetic nervous system, changes in brain centers that control the release of neurochemicals and hormones. By focusing on what causes stress in your life, you are able to gain control over harmful physiological processes because you are learning a new (healthier) approach. I have often said, “Stress is nothing but a thought…and aliens don’t put thoughts in our heads. We choose the thoughts we think.” Although this saying is simplistic, it is true. We have a choice in the thoughts we allow ourselves to think. Ultimately we can choose better thoughts if we are aware of them and consciously pick something better to think about.
The goal of all this physiological activity is to ready the organism (you) for “fight-or-flight” in response to a life threatening situation (perceived threat). These physiological changes would be great if you actually fought something to save your life (fight), or ran away to save your life (flight). The first problem is that what triggers the fight-or-flight response in a modern world, would rarely be considered life-threatening. The second problem is that the body doesn’t know the difference between the thoughts that trigger the response. The fight-or-flight response will occur to either of these two thoughts, “Oh no… the neighbors dog is barking again and it is so annoying.” and “Oh no… the pack of wolves is chasing me into the forest and they look hungry.” The former thought is not life threatening, but the body will activate the fight-or-flight response none the less, with dozens of physiological processes changing and millions of cells being affected.

As an example, how many times have you heard someone say, “When I am under a lot of stress, I can’t stop eating.” This is an example of a stress behavior. The stress behavior (eating) starts simple, but leads to major health (psychological and physical) concerns. The process looks something like this - Thoughts that activate the “fight-or-flight” response will trigger consumption of calories/energy needed for energy to fight or run (flight). Over eating is a problem in a modern world because we don’t actually fight or run away. Modern stress is not so much physical harm, but psychological in nature. All those extra calories are stored as fat, which then results in being overweight. Being overweight strains the entire body from the heart to the joints.

Mindfulness Based Intervention Treatment Approach
Mindfulness has become increasingly popular over the past 40 years, with particular interest within the scientific community to find out more about its effects on health and happiness.

Formally, Mindfulness can be defined as cultivating a calm awareness and observation of specific physical sensations and content of thoughts from moment to moment.  From this ability, the "should of...would of...could of" types of thoughts can be effectively identified, better understood, and lead to an improved ability to let go of disruptive thoughts and behaviors.

By learning and practicing this approach to living, a clearer understanding can become known about what is causing each patients stress and effectively reduce its harm on the mind and body. Mindfulness therefore, provides an excellent practice within the Mind Body Medicine approach of health and happiness.

Depending upon individual patient needs, Dr. Seay may use Biofeedback Treatment in conjunction with a Mindfulness cognitive approach to better understand and teach patients how to control harmful physiological reactions within themselves to stress.

Stress Management
Stress management is an overused term, but none-the-less an extremely helpful set of skills to use. Stress Management is 1) the identification of situations and triggers that “cause” stress and 2) learning to cope with them in a healthier way.  It involves applying one of many different strategies and using one of many tools to understand or think about the stress trigger differently.  It sounds simple on paper, but takes a little practice.  Learning, understanding, and applying that "stress" is a perception, can be extremely helpful in reducing "stress".

Once new thinking habits and strategies become second nature, the effects of stress are minimized.
There are many common stress triggers (red lights, freeway traffic, barking dogs, social gatherings, late for appointments, rude people, family gatherings, self-doubt, etc…).  Each person has their own personal triggers.  The hardest part in managing stress is establishing new thought habits and not responding to stressors in the same old ways.  The best way to develop new habits is to practice. Dr. Seay offers you all the evidence-based treatment approaches, support, and tricks in order to create a healthier and happier life.

Biofeedback is a technique that enables a patient to see their body's physiological state on a computer monitor. Sensors monitor specific physiological processes and allow the patient to change unhealthy processes into healthy ones. Typical processes monitored are muscle activity, body temperature, breathing patterns, heart rate/blood volume (heart rate variability), and sweat gland activity (Electrodermal Activity/Galvanic Skin Response).

Through computer technology, we are able to magnify signals from the body's physiological system. The patient is then able to learn to consciously control physiological processes. It does seem odd to be able to control body temperature, heart rate variability, sweat gland activity, etc…, but you can. By being able to consciously control particular physiological systems, a patient can learn to illicit a relaxation response and allow the body to return to a homeostatic or healthy state. In this physiological state, the body can better regulate health and healing.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a treatment approach that allows the patient to stop, think, and choose a different thought and response. It is possible to choose a less stressful way of understanding daily events (i.e. work, personal relationships, the neighbor, traffic, etc...).  As we know, aliens do not put thoughts in our head….we choose what we think. We have control over our thoughts.  The physiological processes maintaining health are very susceptible to positive and negative thoughts.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps the patient focus on understanding daily irritants differently.  By changing the stressful thoughts that are manifesting as an unhealthy physiological response (monitored by biofeedback), healthful changes can occur. Learning and using techniques such as, guided imagery, meditation, relaxation, etc..., are effective ways to change harmful ways of thinking.  By strengthening positive cognitive processes we allow for optimal physical and mental health.