It is not easy to live and enjoy life when you are suffering constant feelings of anxiety, uneasiness and agitation. Anxiety is an incredibly common phenomenon with estimated 6 million people in the UK said to experience it, and treatment varies from talking therapy and medication. Why is CBT such a popular treatment? Here’s how cognitive behavioural therapy helps you overcome anxiety.
How the Body Experiences Anxiety
When we say ‘anxiety’ we are referring to the reaction your body is having. Anxiety is a normal emotion to experience in response to a dangerous situation. It causes no problem to some people. For others, however, they find their mind triggered by ordinary circumstances, and their body elicits symptoms such as sweating, increased heart rate, racing thoughts and fast breathing, at normal situations such as travelling, speaking to people or even when you should feel relaxed. Through therapy and information, you’ll find that your anxiety and your body’s reactions boil down to associations.
Acknowledging and Investigating Thought Patterns
Cognitive behavioural therapy explores why you feel the way you do about certain situations. The first stages of your treatment will be discussions about when you feel anxious. Your therapist and yourself will work to acknowledge the thoughts and behaviours that are problematic and why you react that way.
Responding Rather Than Reacting
When you discover that certain things are triggering you or have created negative associations and feelings around them, it’s time to learn to respond differently. Cognitive behavioural therapy is often described as one of the most manageable ways of confronting fears and triggers because everything is worked through in stages. Gentle and slowly increased exposure and re-training of the brain can help create a neutral response to circumstances and objects which previously caused anxious reactions.
Learning Coping Mechanisms for Life
Having a deeper understanding of why you are the way you are and how you can re-associate is useful, but there may be many more associations you make in the future that cause anxiety. During your CBT, your therapist will help prescribe coping mechanisms that work for you. You can use these to calm down, mentally and physically. When you leave therapy, you’ll know that you have all the psychological knowledge and tools you need to handle stressful situations and life events in the future.
To find out more about how CBT is helpful in treating anxiety, or to book an appointment with Oxford CBT, you can visit our website here or call us on 01865 920 077.