Anxiety is a very common and natural feeling that all of us experience when we encounter anything stressful or dangerous. It is a combination of physical and psychological responses that affect our mood, thoughts and behaviour.
Many people are able to manage anxiety without feeling overwhelmed, panicky, fearful and worried. Unfortunately, this might not be the case for you. Frequently you might feel that you are bombarded with negative feelings and thoughts that become unbearable. You might feel that you get into a vicious circle of ‘worrying thoughts’ and ‘what if’ scenarios, without being able to find answers and solutions.
Anxiety also creates physical symptoms such as sweating and increased heart rate that can be very unpleasant. You might find yourself avoiding situations that create anxiety. This is a common temporary solution but is also one of the main factors that will only serve to maintain your anxiety.
Anxiety can be associated with many situations and can take many forms in your life. It can be stimulated by many common activities, such as visiting a new place, meeting new people or making a speech or presentation.
CBT is the most appropriate approach for the treatment of anxiety.
In therapy, we identify what creates your anxiety. These can be linked to aspects such as your relationship, employment, family and past issues.
The next goal is to find effective new coping strategies to deal with your anxieties, so that they become less frightening. Therapy involves changing the way you think, feel and behave.
Depending on the different types of anxiety – such as phobias, social anxiety, panic attacks and generalised anxiety, different techniques will be used.
‘Overcoming Anxiety – A Self-Help Guide’ by Helen Kennerley (1997)