With the rapid manner in which life whizzes past us on a daily basis, it’s no surprise that an increasing number of adults in the United States experience anxiety at some point in their life. Anxiety is defined by a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. Anything from work stress, concerns over money, problems at home, or disagreements with friends can trigger anxious feelings. While these episodic instances of anxiety happen to everyone, the big problem arises when anxiety is chronic. When these anxious feelings continue without resolution, there’s a strong chance of them becoming highly detrimental to daily life. Chronic anxiety can trigger panic attacks, depression, interpersonal issues and the reliance on drugs or alcohol. Anxiety issues are serious and need to be worked on with the help of a professional therapist. Thankfully, there is a well-respected and widely used approach for treating anxiety called cognitive behavioral therapy. This therapy can help you understand the root of your anxiety and how to work through anxious episodes to achieve balance and calm in your daily life.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a psychosocial intervention technique used for improving overall mental health. It’s the most popular evidence-based practice due to its ease of use and general effectiveness. Guided by empirical research, CBT focuses on developing personal coping strategies that aim to change detrimental patterns of beliefs, behaviors, and emotions. It was initially designed to treat depression and is now used to help individuals with various other mental health conditions including anxiety. In fact, it’s the most widely used therapy for anxiety disorders. Research has shown it to be effective in the treatment of panic disorder, phobias, social anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder, among many other conditions.
The primary distinguishing factor of CBT is that its problem focused and action-oriented. CBT actively works to combat an individual’s negative thoughts, feelings, and actions to help them achieve a stronger sense of self-worth and confidence. A major factor of anxiety is the obsessive thoughts that come with it. Anxiety leads to a negative, self-deprecating mindset that makes it difficult to go about your daily life in a positive way. CBT helps to break through these negative thoughts by helping you change them into positive ones. Just as lifting weights can help your muscles become stronger, the exercises within CBT can help your brain grow stronger too. The beauty of CBT is that it looks at a person as a whole being and not just as a condition that needs to be fixed. It helps identify maladaptive thinking and changes it to help modify behaviors in ways that will positively influence all parts of a person’s life. This type of therapy is a wonderful way to help relieve anxious thoughts and to help you live a more balanced life.
Do you think that CBT can help you or a loved one conquer issues with anxiety? Ask your therapist for more information about how to use CBT to work towards ultimate wellness.
Counselling Burnaby Vancouver, Via Counselling & Consulting. Burnaby Counsellor Shari Wood, M.Ed., R.C.C. dedicated to helping clients begin their personal therapeutic journey. A Clinical Counsellor, specializing in helping people overcome self-doubt and build healthy relationships.