• Anxiety Management
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Anxiety Management

Anxiety treatment

Anxiety management is important because although anxiety is a normal reaction that we all need to experience to help get us motivated at times such as before an exam, anxiety can become excessive and problematic, affecting your life.

Excessive anxiety may develop gradually as a result of some change in your life circumstances such as loneliness after the loss of a loved one or moving somewhere new and being too shy to make new friends. Or it could develop as a result of prolonged illness or feeling over-loaded with responsibility.

All these circumstances affect your emotional health because your essential emotional needs are not being met in balance. Therefore finding healthy ways to get your emotional needs met is an important part of anxiety management.

Anxiety can also develop suddenly after some tragic disaster such as a fire, a crash, or a violent incident which results in your life being ruled by fear. This is known as post-traumatic stress.

Anxiety symptoms can include faster heartbeat and breathing, tense muscles, sweaty palms, a queasy stomach, trembling hands, fear, worry, nervousness and negative thoughts. And excessive anxiety can sometimes build up into panic or anxiety attacks.

Anxiety may also take the form of obsessions, compulsions, phobias or a nagging feeling of foreboding. These are all attempts to ward off a sense of threat.  Learning ways to manage anxiety and having self-help techniques can help to prevent it from escalating and affecting you in such ways.

Some people face various life circumstances without becoming overly anxious, but other people end up almost crippled by anxiety. How you perceive the negative events that happen to you has a considerable bearing on whether you are likely to suffer from excessive anxiety. Three particular types of thinking are especially connected with its development and with its close partner, depression. One such thinking style relates to how personally you take negative events, such as thinking that everything is your fault, as opposed to seeing the bigger picture. An example of this is reacting to not getting a job, by thinking that you weren’t good enough as opposed to thinking that the competition was particularly stiff. The second type of thinking style relates to how pervasive you think the effects of the negative event will be, seeing it as affecting your whole life. An example of this type of catastrophising is if you lost your job, thinking that everything in your world is going wrong, and not seeing the positive things that exist, such as a good relationship and good health etc. And the third type of thinking style relates to how permanent you perceive the effect of the negative event to be. For example if you lose your job, thinking that you will never get another job like that one. These thinking styles contribute to excessive anxiety, and the resultant emotional state in turn inhibits clear thinking.  Therefore it is important to learn relaxation exercises that you can use to calm your mind, as well as cognitive techniques to deal with the negative thinking.

People who suffer badly from anxiety also tend to have a lot of negative thoughts running through their minds that they sometimes don’t even notice eg “I’ll never cope” or “it’s going to be awful” or “no one likes me”. They commonly catastrophise  and have thoughts such as “I’m going to be late, my boss will sack me”. It is important to change such negative self-talk and  catastrophic thinking and to learn some anxiety management techniques that you can use to regularly help yourself. These include relaxation techniques, worry management techniques and cognitive techniques to challenge the negative thoughts.

Another major cause of troublesome anxiety is misuse of your imagination by worrying and dreaming up scenarios that are never likely to happen.  This keeps you in a constant emotional state. It is important to break this pattern and to learn how to use your imagination positively in ways such as using visualisation  to calmly rehearse positive scenarios. This can be very effective for dealing with the anxiety of feared or worrisome situations. Calming yourself down when anxious is extremely important because high emotional arousal inhibits you from thinking straight and that makes the situation worse.

Anxiety Management – Professional Help

All therapists in the MindFully Well network can help you to alleviate anxiety and also to deal with the causes quickly and easily. This helps you to get lasting relief. We can show you how to relax, and teach you techniques that you can use regularly to help yourself. We can help you to deal with negative thinking and to think more positively. We can show you how to use your imagination to rehearse successful outcomes instead of bad ones.  We can help you to find ways to get your emotional needs met in balance. This is important in helping you to have a good sense of security and well-being in your life. We can also help you to overcome phobias, panic attacks and traumatic memories quickly and painlessly.

If you would like professional help with anxiety management, contact any counsellor – psychotherapist in the MindFully Well network and they will be happy to help you.

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