Anxiety is one of the most prevalent conditions of the mind today. One of the biggest problems with anxiety is its tendency to strike at the most inopportune times. Being able to keep your anxiety levels in check will make you a more resilient and confident person.
Fortunately, if your anxiety is not at the rarest form, there are many ways to cope with it that do not need medical intervention. Giving anxiety an all encompassing definition is difficult because of its different effects on different individuals. It does, however, share some common traits.
Anxiety is the feeling of fear we all experience when faced with threatening or difficult situations. It helps us to avoid dangerous situations, makes us alert and motivates us to deal with problems.
Everybody knows what it's like to feel anxious - the butterflies in your stomach before a first date, the tension you feel when your boss is angry, or the way your heart pounds if you're in danger. Anxiety rouses you to action.
It gears you up to face a threatening situation. It makes you study harder for that exam, and keeps you on your toes when you're making a presentation. In general, it helps you cope.
But if you have an anxiety disorder , this normally helpful emotion can do just the opposite -- it can keep you from coping and can disrupt your daily life. Many people still carry the misperception that anxiety disorders are a sign of weakness; a problem that happens because you are weak. They say, "Pull yourself together !" and "You just have a case of the nerves." Wishing the symptoms away does not work, but there are treatments that can help.
Anxiety disorders and panic attacks are not signs of a character flaw. Most importantly, feeling anxious is not your fault. It is a serious mood disorder, which affects a person's ability to function in everyday activities. It affects one's work, one's family, and one's social life.
One of the most proven and tested treatments for anxiety disorder come from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. behavioural therapy that focuses on behaviour in response to those thoughts.
CBT is based on the belief that people learn most of their unhealthy ways of thinking and behaving over a long period of time. Using a set of structured techniques, a CBT practitioner aims to identify how you are thinking and how this can cause problematic feelings and behaviour. You will learn to challenge negative ways of thinking, which helps you to react more positively. This can lead to behavioural changes and then to improved self-esteem.
For example, negative thoughts usually lead to upsetting or angry feelings which can affect your mood and your behaviour. If you're unable to balance such thoughts with a more positive view, a negative spiral starts and your perceptions of a situation become distorted. CBT encourages you to challenge the way you react to events, your beliefs about yourself and your abilities, so that you achieve a more realistic view of a situation.
You may be thinking at this point ‘this is not for me’, But, if you are prone to serious bouts of anxiety, you really should pay a visit to a doctor or therapist. When it comes to anxiety, CBT can help in a number of ways that you may find surprising.
Perhaps one of the most important benefits of CBT is that it encourages self empowerment. The aim of CBT is to encourage the individual to take control of themselves so they no longer need to visit a therapist.
Lets think of the example of public speaking and how CBT can instil positive beliefs. We can become agitated, a similar feeling to anxiety, when doing things we say we don't want to do or being somewhere we say we don't want to be.
If I'm giving a talk to 500 people, then I tell myself that that's exactly what I want to be doing at that moment and that there is nowhere on the planet that I would rather be.
Remember that everybody gets anxious, no matter who they are. We make the assumption that we're the only person who ever gets nervous and the only one that struggles. There are plenty of guides out there that can teach the basics of CBT, so don’t delay in dealing with your anxiety problems right now.
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