Traditional Therapies for Anxiety: 3 Tested Recommendations

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Explore these 3 popular and traditional means of controlling your anxiety to see what option may work best for you. If you are interested in taking a more holistic approach, you can find out more here.

1. CBT

CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and is a well-acknowledged treatment for anxiety and panic attacks.

CBT is essentially a talking therapy based on the principle that our thoughts and consequent behaviours are interconnected.

If something bad happens at work, this can have an impact on the way we think and then go on to approach the remainder of our day.

In order to change this cycle, we need to focus on improving our thought patterns, actions and emotions. CBT also typically only focuses on the current moment, never really on the past so it is very much a therapy for the here and now.

I worked with a CBT practitioner over the course of 6 weeks where I had weekly sessions (this is a typical time frame for CBT therapy).

I really liked the practicality of the sessions because it required analytical thinking over so many different elements. Each week, I would be given a sheet to work on which covered emotions, common thought patterns with anxiety and also examples of how we can react differently in certain situations. I quickly discovered all the changes I could easily make and was also set some homework to put these newfound changes into practice.

After the 6 weeks, I was able to go on my first long-distance journey by myself, I was able to detect and stop myself from reacting in unhealthy ways like I previously had and best of all I learnt that even though I didn’t have control of external factors and other people around me, I had 100% control of myself and how I wanted to feel, act and think.

If you try CBT, I would recommend working with a qualified practitioner who will be able to help you detect your thinking patterns and resulting actions to see where changes need to be made.

The standard therapy time for CBT is usually hourly sessions over a course of 6 weeks but this will be monitored and determined by your practitioner.

I have also included a great video from Mind which helps to provide some further context on CBT which you can view here.

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Counselling is an immersive therapy where conversations ranging from your childhood, family dynamics, relationships and employment are discussed in order for a therapist to gain a thorough understanding so they are able to help you accordingly.

By analysing your life and your behaviours from a variety of angles, it makes it easier to detect your possible triggers and causes for any stress and anxiety you may be feeling.

You will then work with your therapist to create a plan in which you will introduce new coping mechanisms and adopt healthy techniques to deal with challenging moments.

Counselling will typically take place over a longer period because it is such an inclusive therapy and is a good treatment option for those who feel they may have deeper rooted issues that are attributing to their stress.

If you are looking to explore counselling and perhaps have a consultation, it is very important to make sure when you are researching that you are always looking at credible sources.

The best way to ensure this is to search for the counselling association in your area. Not only will you be able to obtain more factual information and guidance but this will help you connect with qualified therapists who you can work with and know you are in safe hands.

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The moment that you start to feel like you are not managing your anxiety and it is preventing you from carrying out normal day-to-day activities, it is important to see your GP for a number of reasons.

The first being that after explaining your symptoms, your doctor will be able to help in ensuring there is nothing else going on from a health perspective.

Secondly, your doctor will be able to refer you for some treatments and therapies. There may be free options through a scheme but it is likely you will be recommended for one on one sessions. If you have medical insurance through your work or are on a personal plan, it is worth looking in to check if you can be covered for the recommended therapy and if the sessions will be paid for by your provider. Your doctor will also be able to provide you with a fit note if you need a break from work to focus on getting better.

When you are feeling so overwhelmed by your panic, your doctor may also recommend taking some medication to help.

This is something that is typically introduced as a last resort if nothing else seems to be helping or if the level of anxiety is so intense you cannot get even a slight hold on it.

The medication is usually designed to increase your levels of serotonin in your brain or as a sedative during severe anxiety periods to calm your nervous system.

Unless you are in a dangerous state of mind, to the point that you are thinking harmful thoughts (in which case it would be beneficial to take the medication) I believe everyone has a choice. However, I am not a doctor so please do bear this in mind when I give you the following advice.

If you are feeling so incredibly out of control, out of your body, that you become a threat to yourself, it can be a hard decision to make but it might be best for you to take the medication. There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of and this medication will help you to take back that control.

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