Here is your therapy guide for anxiety that offers practical guidance
and strategies for leading a healthy and happy life.
Anxiety is often characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and fear of the unknown. People with anxiety usually have recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns, also known as "overthinking."
Anxiety is not the same as fear, but they are often used interchangeably. Fear is a proper, in-the-moment reaction to a clearly identifiable threat, whereas anxiety is a long-lasting, broadly focused, and future-oriented response to a diffuse threat.
If you feel you are the only one who goes through anxiety or intrusive thoughts, you are mistaken. Every person goes through this cycle and often ends up overthinking. Anxiety is as common as getting a headache, but the symptoms and cure vary from person to person.
There are some signs and symptoms to identify and understand if you are going through anxiety. They are as follows:
These are some of the common symptoms of anxiety. This doesn’t have to happen in severe cases, but it can also happen to people who tend to overthink every now and then.
There is no one reason to get triggered by anxiety, as it depends on numerous factors and events. The causes can vary from parenting patterns and the upbringing of the child to the kind of people they interact with. Anxiety usually occurs when there is a build-up of stress, both internal or external, and an individual is burnt-out or exhausted. Though anxiety may be triggered by a lot of situations which may be specific like social interactions, speaking in front of people or before exams; or it can be more diffused and non-specific, e.g. worrying about the future
Everyone has an alarm stage where their saturation level is hit, and that is when the anxiety gets triggered. Once this pattern becomes familiar, our hormones and emotions fire up whenever an uncomfortable situation is at hand, and we keep falling into the loop of anxiety until and unless we do something consciously to break that pattern.
However, a lot of people also experience social anxiety, where they have this intense feeling of being the centre of attention, and in severe cases, it is known as "agoraphobia." For this specific reason, people tend to seek therapy for social anxiety.
Regardless, the cause of anxiety varies from person to person and cannot be determined objectively for everyone. Although, you can determine the cause of this by taking therapy for anxiety.
There are a lot of ways to manage your anxiety and get back in control of your life. The ulterior motive of psycho therapy for anxiety is to help you understand the root cause of your issues and how you can tackle them by developing healthy coping strategies. Let’s see how you can treat your anxiety with some psychotherapies for anxiety disorders mentioned below –
Cognitive behavioural therapy
CBT is a famous therapeutic technique for anxiety therapy. The basic ideology of this therapy is that our behaviour is are connected to our thoughts and emotions. The basic premise of CBT is that our thoughts make us feel things, and those thoughts and feelings come out in our behaviour, meaning that our thoughts, feelings and behaviours are interconnected.
The goal of CBT is to identify these negative thoughts and patterns and challenge them through logic and reason and developing alternative healthier thoughts . There are some thoughts we all get because of the teachings of society; however, there are some thoughts that are an impression of our trauma and conflict. To rectify those thoughts, it is important to understand the root cause of your automatic negative thoughts, and that is done through CBT.
Moreover, CBT is also used as a therapy for social anxiety and has been shown to work wonders for people.
This kind of therapy is usually used to treat phobias but is a great treatment for anxiety as well. Exposure therapy encourages an individual is to face what they fear the most head-on. This is not done abruptly but with a gradual process, so even you don’t get anxious or nervous.
This therapy for anxiety works in different styles, varying from patient to patient. It includes:
Guided imagery, wherein you use all your senses to imagine the situation that you fear the most so that slowly and steadily you can move past it.
Create a list of your anxiety-provoking thoughts and rank them in intensity so that you can tackle them one by one.
Letting go of your fear gradually by consulting a psychologist and exposing yourself to the stimuli that make you anxious. For example: being assertive makes you anxious, so gradually your psychologist will help you let go of this fear by exposing you to taking a stand towards your family members, then towards your manager, and then towards strangers. This is also an amazing therapy for social anxiety.
In this kind of therapy, there is the use of Freudian methods, wherein the psychologist and the client develop a strong therapeutic alliance and the psychologist takes a deep look at the client's childhood and what could have led to their anxious behaviour.
Psychodynamic therapy is a long-term and intensive form of therapy. To get into the depth of the situation at hand, this therapy is based on the realities of childhood conflicts, parenting styles, attachment styles, the upbringing of the child, and the child's fears and anxieties. All this leads to how the child will become when they grow up. To get rid of your anxiety and fears, the psychologist analyses whatever you tell them and helps you determine the best course of action. The principle of psychodynamic psychotherapy is based on the fact that anxiety is caused by deep-rooted unconscious fears that are brought to conscious awareness through interpretations and analysis done by a trained psychotherapist, which results in elimination of the root cause.
This approach is time-consuming, but it is a very effective therapy for anxiety. It is also specifically great as a therapy for social anxiety disorders.
Dialectical behavioural therapy
The concept of DBT therapy is to have a dialectical approach to change and acceptance. In this, you have a reverse outlook on your anxiety, and you learn to accept it while still working on it. This is like the concept of accepting and loving yourself while you are still trying to become a better version of yourself.
This is usually used to treat borderline personality disorder, but it is also regarded as an effective tool in anxiety counseling. This is usually done through mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance and developing interpersonal effectiveness.
Acceptance and commitment therapy
ACT mainly works on the notion of surrendering and accepting whatever comes your way as it is. This involves identifying your life values and principles and building a life around those values and principles. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy helps to build ‘psychological flexibility’ by helping an individual to look at oneself as a context, developing the ability to distinguish oneself from one’s thoughts, living in the present moment and identifying one’s values & developing a committed action toward those values.
This therapy has two narratives -
Accepting that you cannot always control your thoughts and feelings and just letting them be.
Committing to building a life around your beliefs and values.
Anxiety counseling is not an easy task and can take weeks or even months to understand yourself and get to the root cause of your anxiety. So, once you commit to helping yourself, try to stick through the good and bad days, as taking therapy for anxiety won’t be a quick fix and you will have days where you will feel like giving up. However, with the mentioned anxiety disorder therapies, it will seem possible for you to get back to your real self real soon.
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There is a difference between a normal amount of anxiety and an anxiety disorder. But how can one understand if they are going through normal anxiety or a severe case of anxiety?
When it comes to anxiety, it can be defined as a feeling of impending doom in certain situations that can be described as dangerous or out of your comfort zone. It is something that every other human goes through, and you can handle it and take control of yourself and your life.
However, when it comes to anxiety disorder, it is diagnosed by a clinical psychologist or a psychiatrist and has to meet certain diagnostic criteria before it can be diagnosed as a disorder. We, cannot diagnose ourselves, but when you feel your anxiety is getting out of hand and it is interfering with your relationships, work, and other aspects of your life, it is good to consult a doctor and take therapy for anxiety. If you have any kind of specific anxiety disorder, like social anxiety, it is better to take therapy for social anxiety disorder.
If I share my personal experience, I used to overthink stuff that probably didn’t mean anything, but my mind used to tell me to go into the minute details and make sense of things that had no meaning whatsoever. At that time, I went through a whole process of overthinking and crying mindlessly. I wasn’t aware that slowly and steadily, my anxiety was getting out of hand, and I didn’t understand that I needed to look after my mental well-being. But to my great fortune, I came across Now&Me, and the platform changed my life completely. I took anxiety counseling from one of the greatest psychologists here, and not only did it make my overthinking better, but it also made me more self-aware. I would definitely recommend this platform if you wish to seek online anxiety therapy.
There are different types of anxiety disorders, like generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, separation anxiety, and various phobia-related disorders.
Every disorder has its way of being treated and has a different set of symptoms to diagnose. Most anxiety disorders are treated with a combination of medications and therapies like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness-based Therapies, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Physiological therapies along with developing sustainable and healthy changes in lifestyle. While there are different sets of therapy for social anxiety disorder, which can be a combination of CBT and eclectic approaches that differ from person to person. The type of disorder and the suitable treatment are all decided by the psychotherapist.
Yes, a certain level of anxiety is definitely good for your health, as it gives you motivation and an incentive to work towards something you really want. For example, if you are stressed about an important examination or worried about your job interview, this shows how much you care about the result of the situation you are in. In this case, an optimum level of anxiety helps a person to reach an optimum level of performance and the anxiety or stress acts as a motivator to perform.
However, there is a certain line to it; it can always get out of that limit and hinder your physical and mental health. It usually becomes a problem when the same anxiety that motivated you makes you overwhelmed and makes it difficult to manage your day-to-day tasks.
So, there are two types of anxiety – one that is beneficial for you and one that can harm you. If you are hit with a small amount of anxiety, it is quite alright, as that can help you in various ways. Likewise, you have to define that particular limit for yourself so that anytime you cross that boundary, you can ask for help and save yourself.
Yes, psychotherapy for anxiety or anxiety therapy is indeed very effective and helpful. It has been scientifically proven that therapies like CBT, mindfulness, physiological therapies and psychodynamic therapy have high efficacy and help in the treatment of anxiety.
Along with anxiety counseling, it is also important to look after your health and lifestyle, and in severe cases, medications should be provided too. However, overall, if you look after your holistic well-being, there are higher chances of getting better.
Research shows that the best therapy for anxiety is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
If you wish to try anxiety counseling, whether it be for severe cases or to understand your day-to-day issues, you can sign up on Now&Me and get to know yourself with a trusted psychologist with prices as low as Rs. 30 and at 1/4th the cost of traditional therapy. Moreover, if you wish to chat with them, you can do that as well.
It is hard to trust psychologists in an instant, and getting the right kind of psychologist who understands every bit of your problem like their own is really important, which is why Now&Me offers you to get to know the therapist before you invest yourself emotionally and take counseling for anxiety.
Once you invest in your mental health and take help from an anxiety therapist, slowly and steadily you will be able to see signs of healing from your anxiety.
At first, it will be tough for you to not fall into your familiar cycle of anxiety, as it will seem attractive and inviting. This is a part of growth pains, which basically means that when you discover a new part of yourself that you never knew existed, it takes time to make that part your own. But, consciously and with small steps, you will start looking at the bigger picture and listening to your inner voice, which knows you better than your anxiety does.
You will become more aware of yourself and your anxiety, what triggers it, why it triggers you, and how to let go of it. It is a lengthy process, as unfolding your childhood and anxiety patterns can take time. However, once you invest in it completely, you will become more nonchalant towards life, you will be able to enjoy life as it comes, obstacles won’t scare you away, and most importantly, you will start trusting yourself.
All of this won’t happen inadvertently; you will have to take conscious steps toward it through anxiety counseling. Your anxiety therapist will always be with you, guiding you and helping you along the way, so you will never feel alone in this painful yet amazing journey.
Our platform, Now&Me, is a safe place that makes you feel light by writing out whatever is weighing you down. It can help you engage with others and make you look at things from a different perspective while helping you practise gratitude, which further pushes you to love yourself. Become a part of the larger community and understand yourself differently by seeking counseling for anxiety.
When you do not know how to tackle your anxiety, sign up on Now&Me and seek online therapy for anxiety. Be a part of a non-judgmental, inclusive, and friendly community . A platform made for you to readily ask for help and let our anxiety disorder therapists help you understand the root cause of your issues and make you aware of how to effectively tackle them.
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