Say Goodbye to Anxiety: How a Psychologist Can Help

Anxiety: Discover How a Psychologist Can Help

How normal anxiety differs from an anxiety disorder, when it is time to turn to a psychologist, and how anxiety therapy works?

Anxiety Vs. Anxiety Disorder: What’s the Difference?

Anxiety is a normal human reaction to unpleasant and potentially dangerous events. Evolutionarily, this reaction arose so that we could mobilize and act quickly. In some cases, anxiety can actually help. For example, in a dark alley, she will make you look around, avoid suspicious figures, and speed up if the situation seems dangerous. Anxiety arises during a period of change, before important tests or meetings, and at a moderate level, it helps to concentrate, put more effort in, and better adapt.

But sometimes anxiety can literally undermine our performance. Being in this state for too long makes us spend all our energy on it. Anxious thoughts constantly spin in my head, interfere with concentration, and make me constantly prepare for a disaster. There is no strength left for work or communication.

If Anxiety Has Become Chronic And Interferes With Life, It Has Acquired A Pathological Form

Chronic anxiety can lead to an anxiety disorder. This is a serious and dangerous condition. Sleep and appetite disturbances, tension pains, and irritability appear. You can no longer control anxiety; it settles in all areas of life and begins to control you.

A high level of anxiety makes you avoid everything new and prevents you from working, building relationships, and living a full life.

Anxiety: Discover How a Psychologist Can Help

If Your Anxiety Is Out of Control

You can measure your level of anxiety using the Beck scale, which is the most common technique. If she showed a high or medium level of anxiety, we recommend contacting a psychologist.

It is considered the most effective treatment for anxiety – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This direction works with thoughts and behavior without affecting the past of the client or his deep traumas. The effectiveness of CBT has been confirmed by numerous scientific studies.

An anxious person tends to overestimate the severity and likelihood of bad events. For example, he receives a new task at work and immediately imagines how he will not cope with it—and then he will be fired. In fact, this is unlikely to happen: if something does not work out, you can always ask your colleagues for help; besides, people usually don’t get fired because of one gaffe. But a person falls into a vicious circle: due to anxiety, his level of concentration decreases, and the likelihood of making a mistake really increases. Asking for help can be scary because of the obsessive thought, “What will your colleagues think?” Then the anxious person really does not cope with the work, receives negative feedback, and the behavior is fixed.

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CBT works precisely with these patterns of behavior and thinking, helping to change them into more adaptive ones. Also at CBT, a person learns relaxation techniques to relieve muscle tension and other physical symptoms of anxiety.

There are other reliable avenues of therapy that also work with anxiety. Among them are psychodynamic approaches, in which you will explore the underlying causes of anxiety and methods of art therapy that help to accept and work through emotions.

Anxiety: Discover How a Psychologist Can Help

What Happens in Psychotherapy: A Step-by-Step Description

Perhaps you are now thinking: “How can my anxiety get away from the fact that I just talked to a psychologist?” But a psychotherapy session is not just a conversation. This is a work that includes many proven methods and techniques. For example, in CBT, the technique of “cognitive reappraisal” is widely used; let’s look at an example of how this works.

  1. Definition of negative thought

Emotions are caused by thoughts, not vice versa. For example, you thought, “I’m going to fail,” and immediately felt tension and excitement. But in ordinary life, we rarely notice such thoughts, paying attention only to emotions. This is because negative thoughts already arise automatically. In other words, we just got used to thinking that way.

It may take you some time to learn to track negative thoughts. There are many methods for this; for example, a psychologist may suggest that you keep a special diary.

  1. Analysis and refutation

The next step is a detailed analysis of this idea. The psychologist will ask you to estimate what the real probability of failure is. Have there been times in your life when you expected failure but the expectations were not met? This stage’s task is to collide automatic thought with facts.

  1. Changing your thoughts to a more realistic one

Now you need to choose a new idea to follow. It will not be the absolute opposite of the first. “Luck always awaits me” also does not stand up to the test of facts.

The purpose of this stage is to develop a more realistic view, for example, “if I want something and put in enough effort, most likely I will develop and achieve success.” You will also learn to more calmly accept things that you cannot control and to behave more flexibly and adaptively.

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