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  • How CBT helps with Anxiety

    Anxiety can feel overwhelming, but there is hope. One of the treatments that I use often is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). It is a widely recognized and effective treatment for anxiety. In this blog post, we’ll look at how CBT works and why it can be so helpful in managing anxiety.

    CBT is a type of therapy that focuses on the connection between our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. The idea is that  your thoughts can influence how you feel and behave. CBT helps you to identify and change negative or unhelpful thought patterns that lead to feelings of anxiety.

    Identifying Thoughts: One of the first steps in CBT is becoming aware of your thoughts. We all have automatic thoughts that pop up in our minds, especially when we’re anxious. These thoughts can be unrealistic, distorted, or overly negative. CBT helps you recognize these thoughts and understand how they affect your emotions.

    Challenging Negative Thoughts: Once you’re aware of your thoughts, CBT teaches you to challenge them. You will examine the evidence behind your anxious thoughts and ask yourself if they’re truly realistic. Often, you will realize that your worries are based on assumptions or irrational fears. By challenging these thoughts, you can reduce their power.

    Replacing Negative Thoughts: CBT also helps you learn to replace negative thoughts with more positive and realistic ones. This doesn’t mean forcing yourself to think positively all the time. Instead, we aim for balanced thinking. We look at both the positive and negative aspects of a situation, which leads to a more accurate and less anxiety-provoking perspective.

    Behavioral Changes: In addition to working with thoughts, CBT addresses your behaviors that maintain anxiety. For example, avoiding people, places, or situations may provide temporary relief from anxiety, but avoidance actually reinforces the fear in the long run. CBT encourages gradual exposure to anxiety-provoking situations, helping you build confidence and resilience to overcome your fears.

    Learning Coping Skills: CBT also encourages the use of   practical coping skills to manage anxiety. These skills may include deep breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, grounding techniques, and problem-solving strategies. You will learn to recognize and manage physical sensations of anxiety, such as racing heartbeat or tense muscles. With practice, these skills can be really helpful tools for reducing anxiety.

    Setting Goals and Tracking Progress: CBT involves setting specific goals in therapy. These goals are tailored to your specific needs and reflect what you hope to achieve. By tracking progress over time, you will be able to see how your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are changing. This provides motivation and a sense of accomplishment in your journey to managing anxiety.

    With CBT, you can regain control over your life and reduce the impact of anxiety. Remember, seeking the support of a qualified mental health professional is crucial for a successful CBT journey.