11 May, 2021
11 May, 2021
Anxiety—as unpleasant as it can be—is a very real and completely normal part of the human experience. It’s our natural defense to potential threats or dangerous situations. And while most of us view anxiety as an unpleasant emotion, it’s also one of the biggest reasons why people seek therapy.
So, what can you do to relieve stress, stop worrying, and help your anxiety? This article aims to provide a better understanding of anxiety, and how anxiety treatment can benefit you.
Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health conditions. In the U.S. alone, 40 million adults over the age of 18 (or 18% of the population) are diagnosed with an anxiety dis-order every year, according to the ADAA.
While anxiety looks different in everyone, it can ultimately interfere with our day-to-day lives. Once someone gets to a point where they’re avoiding certain people, places, or situations because of their consistent worry, anxiety becomes problematic and can turn into an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety plays a role in the following conditions:
So What Can You Do About Your Anxiety?
Mindfulness. When anxiety leaves you feeling overly stressed and worried, it’s hard to step away from those negative or unhelpful thoughts. As an increasingly popular tool for physical and mental health, mindfulness is a concept often introduced in a therapeutic setting and has helped people change their relationship with anxiety.
Mindfulness is made up of the following concepts:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is one of the most widely recognized therapeutic interventions for anxiety. As a problem-specific, goal-oriented approach, CBT focuses on the relationship between your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
CBT is based on a number of beliefs, including the following:
Exposure Therapy: Exposure therapy is used to treat people who experience extreme anxiety and phobias. It involves gradual, controlled exposure to the thing you’re afraid of, through repeated and prolonged contact. With the guidance of a professional, you’ll ultimately feel more confident in your ability to cope with the fear and get past it.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: ACT has been incredibly effective in treating a variety of anxiety disorders. As the name implies, ACT focuses on acceptance. You and your therapist will work together to practice acceptance of your current circumstances, uncomfortable emotions, and thoughts, ultimately changing your relationship with them. Additionally, ACT incorporates your values and choosing your actions in ways that align with them.
Anxiety disorders are highly treatable and can be managed with medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two. For those who experience mild symptoms, treatment may not be necessary.
Working with a therapist can help you learn tools and strategies to cope with symptoms and ultimately live a happy, healthy life.
Interested in learning more about mental health and how to help yourself and the ones you love?