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How counselling helps anxiety 

Updated: Aug 24, 2023


How counselling helps anxiety: Expert Counseling Tips


How to Cope with Anxiety and How Counselling Can Help


Anxiety is a common and normal emotion that everyone experiences occasionally. It is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or fear that can be triggered by various situations, such as facing a challenge, making a decision, or dealing with uncertainty. Anxiety can also be a helpful response that alerts us to potential threats and motivates us to take action.


However, anxiety can interfere with our daily functioning and well-being when it becomes excessive, persistent, or irrational. Anxiety can affect our thoughts, feelings, behaviours, and physical health. It can cause us to avoid or dread certain situations, to have negative or unrealistic beliefs about ourselves or others, and to experience panic attacks or physical symptoms such as racing heart, sweating, trembling, or nausea.


Anxiety can also lead to other mental health problems, such as depression, low self-esteem, or substance abuse. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders worldwide, affecting about 284 million people in 2017.


If you are struggling with anxiety, you are not alone. There are many ways to cope with anxiety and to seek help. In this blog post, I will explain what anxiety is, how to recognize the signs of anxiety, and how counselling can help you overcome your anxiety.



What is anxiety


Anxiety is a natural and adaptive response to stress or danger. It is part of our survival mechanism that prepares us to fight or flee from a perceived threat. Anxiety involves both psychological and physiological reactions, such as:


- Feeling worried, nervous, fearful, or apprehensive

- Having negative or intrusive thoughts

- Having difficulty concentrating or remembering things

- Feeling restless, irritable, or on edge

- Having trouble sleeping or relaxing

- Experiencing muscle tension, headaches, stomach aches, or other physical discomforts

- Having increased heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, or sweating

- Having nausea, dizziness, or faintness


Anxiety can be triggered by various factors, such as:


- Personal factors: such as personality traits like perfectionism, genetics like a family history of anxiety, life experiences like trauma, or medical conditions like thyroid problems


- Environmental factors: such as stressors like work pressure, changes like moving house, challenges like exams, or uncertainties like pandemic


- Cognitive factors: such as thoughts like "I'm not good enough", beliefs like "Something bad will happen", or expectations like "I have to perform well."


- Behavioural factors: such as habits like caffeine intake, actions like avoidance, or coping strategies like alcohol use


Anxiety can vary in intensity, frequency, and duration. It can range from mild to severe, occasional to chronic, and short-term to long-term. It can also manifest in different forms and types of anxiety disorders. Some of the most common anxiety disorders are:


- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): is characterized by excessive and persistent worry about various aspects of life, such as health, work, family, or money


- Panic disorder: characterized by recurrent and unexpected panic attacks that involve intense fear and physical symptoms


- Social anxiety disorder: characterized by extreme fear of social situations that involve interaction with others or being evaluated by others


- Phobias: characterized by irrational and excessive fear of specific objects or situations that pose little or no actual danger


- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): is characterized by recurrent and intrusive thoughts (obsessions) that cause anxiety and repetitive behaviours (compulsions) that aim to reduce anxiety


- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): is characterized by re-experiencing traumatic events through flashbacks, nightmares, or intrusive memories that cause anxiety


How counselling helps anxiety 

Anxiety can affect different people in different ways. Some people may experience more psychological symptoms than physical symptoms. Some people may experience more severe symptoms than others. Some people may experience more frequent symptoms than others.


However, some common signs can indicate that you may have an anxiety problem. These signs include:


- Feeling anxious most of the time or more than usual

- Feeling anxious without a clear reason or out of proportion to the situation

- Feeling anxious in situations that you used to handle well

- Feeling anxious in situations that interfere with your daily activities or goals

- Feeling anxious in situations that cause you significant distress or impairment

- Feeling anxious in situations that last longer than expected or do not go away

- Feeling anxious in situations that affect your relationships with others

- Feeling anxious in situations that affect your physical health


If you notice any of these signs in yourself or someone you care about, it may be a good idea to seek professional help. Anxiety can be treated effectively with various forms of therapy and medication. One of the most common and effective forms of therapy for anxiety is counselling.


How counselling can help you overcome anxiety

Counselling is a type of therapy that can help you cope with anxiety. It involves talking to a trained and qualified counsellor who can provide a safe and supportive space to express your feelings and thoughts. A counsellor can also help you understand the causes and effects of your anxiety and teach you skills and techniques to manage your anxiety.



- Identify and challenge your negative or unrealistic thoughts that trigger or maintain your anxiety


- Replace your negative or unrealistic thoughts with more positive or realistic ones that reduce your anxiety


- Learn and practice relaxation techniques that calm your body and mind


- Learn and practice exposure techniques that gradually expose you to your feared situations or objects


- Learn and practice problem-solving techniques that help you cope with stressful situations

- Learn and practice assertiveness techniques that help you communicate your needs and boundaries


- Learn and practice self-care techniques that help you take care of your physical and mental health


Counselling can help you overcome your anxiety by:


- Providing you with a safe and supportive space to express your feelings and thoughts

- Providing you with empathy, understanding, and validation

- Providing you with feedback, guidance, and encouragement

- Providing you with information, education, and resources

- Providing you with skills, techniques, and strategies

- Providing you with goals, aims and plans.


Counselling can also help you improve other aspects of your life, such as:


- Your self-esteem and confidence

- Your mood and happiness

- Your relationships and social skills

- Your performance and productivity

- Your health and well-being


Conclusion


Anxiety is a common and normal emotion that can become problematic when it is excessive, persistent, or irrational. It can affect your thoughts, feelings, behaviours, and physical health. It can also lead to other mental health problems like depression, low self-esteem, or substance abuse.


If you are struggling with anxiety, you are not alone. There are many ways to cope with anxiety and to seek help. One of the most effective ways is counselling. Counselling can help you cope with anxiety by providing you with a safe and supportive space to express your feelings and thoughts, by helping you understand the causes and effects of your anxiety, and teaching you skills and techniques to manage your anxiety.


If you think you may benefit from counselling for anxiety, please get in touch with us today. We are here to listen, understand, and guide you on your journey to recovery.




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