This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, focusing of the theme of anxiety... my favourite subject and area of specialism! Anxiety and depression affect nearly one in four of us in the UK, so if that includes you too, you are not alone.
Anxiety is a normal human emotion that we may all experience at times, but it can escalate and become a mental health problem, and when it does it can be debilitating.
A recent poll from the Mental Health Foundation found that more than a quarter of us felt so anxious it stopped us from doing the things we want to do some or all of the time. This is something I hear from every single one of my 'anxiety client's' when having our initial conversation and often we use this in goal setting and as motivation to overcome anxiety.
If you are currently finding that anxiety is also holding you back then the good news is that there are many ways you can learn to manage anxiety and actually reduce it, using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques and Mindfulness Meditation.
Here are just a few ways CBT and Mindfulness can help support us when we're experiencing anxiety.
1. Mindfulness Soothes the Nervous System
On a simple level, mindfulness meditation soothes the nervous system and promotes a sense of calm which reduces anxiety.
2. CBT Teaches Us How To Change Our Anxious Thinking
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is the most effective way of identifying and changing negative thinking patterns for more helpful, realistic thoughts. This technique is known as cognitive restructuring.
3. Mindfulness Helps Us to Break Negative Thinking Cycles
Negative and ruminative loops of thinking often lead to an anxious mood. They can lead us down a rabbit hole of questions, doubt and fear that distorts our response to everything.
Mindfulness can help us to break this cycle as we train the mind to recognise negative thought patterns and learn the skills to interrupt and respond to them in a way that makes us more resilient.
4. CBT Encourages Us To Adopt Helpful Behaviours
Anxiety tends to make us less socially active as we tend to withdraw, think that doing less and avoiding problems lowers anxiety, but it actually increases symptoms. A key element of CBT is to get out and going places, doing things, and engaging with others to lessen the impact of anxiety.
If you would like help with your anxiety then please get in touch. I am so passionate about helping others build a happier and healthier life without the constraints of anxiety.