By Elaine Ryan
Self help program to recover from anxiety
that you can start right away, using Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Mindfulness as a treatment for anxiety
Many people experience anxiety that interferes with their daily life. You might find that it is difficult to relax and stop your mind from racing and worrying. Stop for a moment, and pay attention to how you think. You will probably find that most of your thoughts are to do with the past, that is everything from when you were born, up until you started reading this page, or you are worrying about the future – what you have to do later today, tomorrow or what will happen in the years to come. This is normal, this is how most of us think, but it can be these very thoughts that are fueling and maintaining your anxiety.
The program will show you, that often, we create most of the anxiety that we experience, with our thought processes and how we habitually react to stress. We repeatedly go over and over the same things in our head, the same old worries, and that this “habit” is not necessary. You will be shown how to take control of your mind using mindfulness based stress reduction.
Mindfulness helps to quiet your mind and put a stop to the endless stream of worries that run your your mind.
Throughout the program you will learn how to
- Quiet your mind
- Get help with sleep
- Stop worrying
- Taught relaxation and mindfulness skills
- Reduce the anxiety symptoms you experience, such as tension, aching muscles, irritability, chest pain and other symptoms.
People with anxiety generally worry that bad things are about to happen nearly all of the time. Usually, these predictions or worries seldom happen. Often the thoughts come from feeling anxious – and the mistake is made that feeling anxious may mean that something bad is about to happen.
For example, if you are worried about a social event that will happen in a few days time, you may well start to feel anxious. You may have thoughts such as ” I will say something stupid” “People will know that I am anxious.” These thoughts lead to more anxiety in the body and it starts to create a cycle.
Sometimes people with anxiety may think that worrying somehow gives them control; they are prepared for when things go wrong. They may find themselves constantly thinking “What if this happen? What if … ?”
You may also find that you start to worry about worrying. You are concerned that all the worrying is making you crazy or ill.
How does CBT help with Anxiety?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps you to understand how your thoughts, feelings and behaviors are all linked together.
If you look at the image you will see a map of thoughts and feelings. The example used is attending a social situation.
The social situation in itself is not a dangerous one. Rather, it is how we think and what we feel about it, that decides for us whether it will be dangerous or not.
Consider it was going to a children’s birthday party. This is not a scary situation.
It will be full of children and parents and will occur in the afternoon. It seems sensible on one hand that this should not cause us to worry, so why do we?
It is largely due to our habitual thought process and what we believe about ourselves that may make our brain interpret the situation as one that could turn out bad.
CBT helps you to not only make sense of what is happening, but also shows you how to change your thought processes. Changing how you think affects how you feel. It also shows you how to reduce the amount of time you spend worrying.
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