If you are struggling with mental health issues and want to learn about anxiety and its treatment, look no further. Whether you got here because you’re trying to figure out what causes a panic attack or you’ve been furiously searching the internet for a “therapist near me” who can treat anxiety, I am going to provide all the information you are looking for about Cognitive Behavior Therapy for anxiety. So grab your favorite anxiety ring spinner and let’s get started.
We all get anxious sometimes, but common anxiety does not interfere with our daily life. You may feel anxious when taking an exam, moving to a new place, or starting a new job. Such anxiety is unpleasant, but it can motivate you to do better. But in anxiety disorder, you may experience the feeling of fear at all times. It can be severe or draining. Anxiety disorder can prevent you from doing things that you love to do. Sometimes it may prevent you from crossing the street, entering the elevator, or leaving your home. If an anxiety disorder is not treated on time, it may get worse. Anxiety disorder can affect anyone at any age, and women are more likely to experience anxiety than men.
Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder
Depending on the experience of the person, anxiety may feel different. You may feel a racing heart, butterflies in your stomach, or you may feel out of control, like a disconnect between your body and mind. Anxiety also includes panic attacks, nightmares, or painful memories. You may have a feeling of fear, or you may be afraid of a particular place or event. Anxiety symptoms may include rapid breathing, difficulty sleeping, increased heart rate, difficulty concentrating, and restlessness. Anxiety symptoms may vary from one person to another, so it is vital to know how anxiety can occur.
Types of Anxiety Disorder
The major types of an anxiety disorder include:
Social Anxiety Disorder
You may have an extreme fear of being judged by others in social situations.
What is a Panic Disorder?
You may experience repeated panic attacks several times in panic disorder. The person experiencing panic disorder may live in fear of the next panic attack.
You may have repetitive thoughts that lead you to repeated behaviors.
Illness Anxiety Disorder
You may become anxious about your health.
You may experience excessive fear of a particular situation, thing, or activity.
Separation Anxiety Disorder
You may have a fear of being away from home or loved ones.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
You may have experienced a traumatic event that leads you to PTSD.
An anxiety attack makes you feel extreme worry, fear, or distress. So what triggers a panic attack? For some people, anxiety attacks gradually build up. As a stressful event happen, an anxiety attack may get worse. Anxiety attacks may vary from one person to another as some people don't have various anxiety symptoms. Some significant symptoms of anxiety attacks are distress, fear, restlessness, sweating, shortness of breath, dry mouth, numbness or tingling, and dizziness.
Causes of Anxiety
Experts aren't sure about the causes of anxiety. But, multiple factors likely lead to anxiety, such as environmental, genetic, and brain chemistry. Researchers also believe that the brain parts responsible for controlling fear may be affected.
Treatment of Anxiety Disorder
There is no immediate solution to anxiety. Although sometimes medications are necessary, therapy also helps to deal with anxiety. It enables you to find the cause of anxiety and the steps you can take to deal with it. Cognitive behavior therapy is also effective in treating anxiety.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy
CBT is a therapy that works to identify and reconstruct negative thinking patterns or behaviors. CBT helps you to change the way how you think of a situation. Starting a new job can give you different feelings and attitudes. These differences depend on our personal beliefs, attitudes, and assumptions about our circumstances. If you are experiencing anxiety, negative emotions and thinking patterns overwhelm positive thinking. Feelings of fear can begin with this. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for anxiety helps to change the way you think. Change in your thought patterns can change how you feel about a situation.
CBT for Anxiety Treatment
Everyone experiences anxiety at some time in life, and extreme anxiety depends on how we think about a particular situation. Creating space between your thoughts, feelings, or action and a specific situation can give you the strength to deal with the situation. It doesn't make things worse. When you have negative thoughts or feelings about a situation, it affects your behavior over time. These behaviors become repetitive patterns. Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for anxiety, you learn to identify those patterns and practice to change them. CBT can help prevent these behaviors from happening again.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety
Here are some CBT therapy techniques to change your behavior and deal with anxiety.
If anxiety doesn’t let you do a particular activity, you can schedule it in your calendar and set up a plan to prevent worrying about it. Behavioral activation helps you cope with the problem through alternative ways and prevent worrying about it.
This includes paying attention to negative thought patterns. Maybe you tend to suppose worse things happen, pay close attention to minor details, or overgeneralize the things. To identify negative patterns, your therapist will ask about your thinking process. Once you know about them, you can reframe those thoughts into more positive ones.
You can actively observe various behavioral experiments like what you predicted and what happened. Over time, you will begin to realize that your worst-case scenarios do not happen most of the time.
Relaxation techniques help you to think clearly and reduce your stress. Also, they can help you overcome a situation. These techniques may include meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and deep breathing exercises. These techniques don’t take much time and help you to overcome anxiety.
Thought challenge is all about looking at things from various angles and using real-life evidence. It assists you in considering the objective perspective of things rather than supposing the facts of your thoughts. You may have difficulty justifying problems in anxiety. You may feel anxious without understanding the reason for it. Or, you may not know why you are afraid of social gatherings. Thought challenge helps you to actively look at various angles to prevent unknown fears.
Journaling is also known as thought recording. It helps you stay in touch with your thoughts and feelings and bring awareness. It can also help you to organize your thoughts. You may create positive and negative thoughts lists and swap the negative ones with positive thoughts.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that we happen to have Clinical Psychologists and Licensed Therapists who specialize in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for anxiety. We can pair you with someone near you so you can get started in online therapy. Learn more and book your first appointment here.