Coping with Anxiety
Coping with anxiety involves understanding WHY we experience anxiety in the first place, and what we can do to change the way that we REACT to certain situations.
Anxiety is a completely normal human response to ‘stressful’ or ‘dangerous’ situations which prepares our bodies to take ‘evasive’ action to avoid or minimise the threat we are confronted with.
Physiologically our heart rate increases and our blood-stream is ‘flooded’ with Adrenalin so that our muscles can act to physically relocate ourselves away from the danger, or, at the very least, put up a damn good fight!
This reaction is known as the ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ response and is a ‘hard-wired’, unconscious response that evolved when we might have been ‘food’ for wild animals back in our ancestral history.
As you can imagine, this was a very useful facet of evolution that helped us to survive as a species.
However, we are also capable of experiencing this automatic reaction when the danger is ‘imagined’ or we simply ‘perceive’ that something is a danger to us.
In this case we might say that the anxiety is ‘inappropriate’ (or mal-adaptive).
Coping with Anxiety – Key Ideas
If you want to be better at coping with anxiety then there are a number of key points worth understanding:
- Anxiety won’t kill you – coping with anxiety means learning that you can tolerate the feelings, even if they are unpleasant
- Anxiety is your own, personal response to danger, or what you ‘believe’ represents danger
- Anxiety is a logical response to danger – but we all perceive danger in our own way
- Avoiding anxiety ‘makes’ you more anxious in what are known as ‘avoidance’ or ‘safety’ behaviours
- Coping with anxiety requires changing your beliefs about what is dangerous
- Anxiety is an ‘outcome’ of a thought or thoughts, either conscious or unconscious, not the ’cause’ of anything
- Most people are anxious about the idea of being anxious
Coping with Anxiety by Not Creating It
The most effective and sustainable way of coping with anxiety is by learning how to manage your thinking processes more effectively.
The fact is that we ‘create’ the anxiety ‘response’ through cognitive, or ‘thinking’, processes based on what we believe is happening, or about to happen ‘to us’.
If, for example, you are off on your annual summer break and you believe that the plane you are about to board is going to crash into the sea killing all on-board, then it is 100% understandable, logical and appropriate that you become anxious.
The problem is, that you’ve not even got on the plane yet and are just ‘imagining’ that your life is about to end in an aviation disaster. What you imagine is not actually ‘reality’ so you are ‘creating’ anxiety about an imaginary idea.
It is possible, although incredibly unlikely, that you will die on this plane, but its actually 11,000,000:1 against that you will!
In fact you’ve got more chance of being killed by a meteorite at a very risky 700,000:1 but chances are you’re not getting too anxious about that.
So one of the key concepts for coping with anxiety is recognising that YOU are the architect of this feeling – its NOT simply happening to you, you are actually creating it!
This is GOOD news because you can also learn how to un-create it (or simply not create it in the first place).
Transform Your Thinking & Start Coping with Anxiety
The Tranceformental programme is a highly successful & pragmatic psychotherapy course, run over 10 sessions, that will teach you everything you need to know to understand your problem, identify how unhelpful thinking and limiting beliefs might be reinforcing the issue, and then show you how to make any changes to your unhelpful thinking styles or maladaptive safety behaviours that you may have developed as part of your coping strategies.
Our Tranceformental CBT programme is an empirically supported approach used by mental health practitioners around the World.
Free Initial Consultations to Discuss Coping with Anxiety
The consultation is free and lasts around 50 minutes.
During this consultation we will discuss the various types of psychological therapy that are available to you and make a considered recommendation based on your individual personal circumstances.
Initial consultations are also available as part of our online counselling service.
At Tranceform Psychology we emphasise the importance of the therapy relationship in helping people to bring about effective change, so its important to be able to ‘meet’ to discuss our change programmes BEFORE proceeding.
Our policy is to help people make a fully balanced & considered decision about undertaking mental health work with us, including both the financial and personal implications.
Overcome Your Problems with our CBT Course
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is clinically proven to be effective across a range of different mental health problems.
Using our online learning platform, it is available with 2, 5 or 10 sessions of clinical support either face-to-face in the Wombourne offices, or using Zoom video facilities.
It can also be taken as a self help CBT course that will teach you the fundamental tools and techniques used throughout the mental health profession.