This is Part Six of a six-part series called “Overcoming Anxiety.” It derives from the article Anxiety: Part II, which introduced these topics as ways to combat anxiety. The purpose of this series is to analyze these topics on a deeper level to ensure they provide you with the most meaningful information to apply towards changing your life.
Here we are: the final part of “Overcoming Anxiety.” The first five parts of the series offered ways to combat anxiety with details that outlined how you can incorporate them into your life.
Resort to an alternate option.
Sometimes, life changes aren’t enough. They will undoubtedly help and make things much more manageable, but for some people, they may not solve the problem completely. And that’s okay.
Therapy can be a true difference maker because it treats more than just the symptoms; it can identify underlying worries that cause the symptoms and address the actual root of the problem.
When I was 14 years old, I was introduced to the power of therapy. Back then, I hadn’t tried any of the life changes I have since adopted. Therapy was the first and last thing to run its course on my mind.
My anxiety was bad. My doctor and parents coerced me into therapy sessions. I fought hard against it in the beginning, claiming it would have no effect. I ended up giving in and the sessions lasted once a week for a few months.
And they worked.
My anxiety levels substantially decreased that summer going into high school and I had therapy to thank for it.
Therapy can be an extremely effective method to wash away anxiety. It seems to have a bad stigma, as people tend to brush off the idea when it’s suggested to them.
But if you’re struggling to make changes alone and have an urge to speak to someone about your feelings, consider it as a valid option. It can be more effective than talking to a friend or loved one because it’s new and offers a fresh perspective on your situation. Plus, it’s a therapist’s speciality to offer help.
There are upwards of 3,000 scientific studies and 300 summaries of studies that underscore the consistent and positive effects of therapy. According to these studies, the average client receiving therapy is better off than 79% of clients who do not seek treatment.
The studies also prove that therapy is as effective, if not more, than antidepressant medications, in addition to having less long-term, harmful effects on the body.
Effective therapy translates into more happiness and better health. The key to it is determining what works for you and fully embracing it.
Forms of Therapy
The form of therapy that is often chosen for those with anxiety is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Simply put, CBT is what we all associate therapy with – sitting down with a therapist or mental health counselor weekly to focus on an intervention of inner feelings.
CBT can have quite the positive impact on your mind. It helps you become aware of inaccurate or negative thinking so you can view challenging situations more clearly and respond to them in a more effective way.
To break this method down further, the cognitive (C) aspect examines how your negative thoughts, or cognitions, contribute to anxiety. The behavior (B) side examines how you behave and react in situations that trigger anxiety. Together, once analyzed in therapy (T) sessions, they can provide you with exact reasoning behind your mental struggles and offer clarity on ways to fix them.
This type of therapy takes time, but it can also have the most lasting, long-term impact of them all.
Therefore, talking to a professional is regarded as the most common and effective form of therapy for anxiety and depression disorders.
However, there are other forms of therapy.
Therapy is found in many areas of life. Things like reading a book, meditating, listening to music or talking to a relative can qualify as therapy.
Yes, these things were aforementioned as strictly life changes. However, if you take one or two that appeal to you the most and create an atmosphere in which your mind focuses heavily on them, a sense of therapy is created.
For example, if you allocate multiple hours every day to meditating and reading books with self-growth material and positive affirmations, your mind will slowly begin to change. Over time, the negative thoughts that create anxiety will turn into positive thoughts that heal your mind.
It takes more dedication and discipline than traditional therapy, but it can work just as well for some people.
Issues arise when you skip a few days and lose touch with your routine. When this happens, you begin to slide back into old habits and your mind forgets what you have been working on, putting an end to your progress. Consistency is essential in establishing a new mindset on your own.
That’s why if you choose a route other than CBT, you must make it a true lifestyle change. Instead of viewing it as something to do until you notice improvement, make a commitment to instilling it as a permanent fixture in your life that will keep you happy and healthy every day going forward.
The Wrap Up
Therapy exists for a reason.
The tips and guidance provided to you during the process will clear your anxious mind of its worries over time.
Though making life changes will enhance your life, sometimes it only takes you so far. That’s where therapy comes in: to finish the job these changes started.
If given the chance, therapy can wash away the root of your problems, putting an end to the symptoms as a result. Once the therapy sessions end, you will be in a better mental state.
Plus, if you had already begun to make healthier life changes, those will set you up for a new blueprint to life and keep you wandering further away from the anxiety and stress.
Bottom line: Don’t shy away from therapy if you think it could help or you notice the need for an extra push towards peace.
You never know, it might be just what you need to allow yourself the headspace to truly flourish.