Originally published at rscpp.co.uk:
If you’re struggling with anxiety, it can be difficult to know which treatments will be most effective or suitable for you. Some people worry about the side effects of taking medication, while others may feel nervous about telling a stranger about their problems and worries. The good news is that there are plenty of options, many of which are recommended as effective and evidence-based by medical experts – and you don’t have to choose just one. We explain how many of the following options can be used in combination with each other to help you gain greater control and mastery over your anxiety.
1. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a form of psychological therapy, recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
In CBT, much focus is on your thoughts, or your ‘cognitive processes’, and your behaviours. The aim of CBT is to alter your emotional states by making changes to how you process events and information, and how you behave, through the help of a solid therapeutic relationship.
Your therapist will develop a shared understanding with you about how anxiety is affecting you, and help you develop strategies based on this understanding, to manage your worries and symptoms.
People often have positive or negative underlying beliefs about worry, e.g. ‘worry prepares me’, or ‘worry is uncontrollable or dangerous’, which can in turn perpetuate the worry.
2. Applied relaxation
Applied relaxation is an alternative form of psychological treatment for anxiety. It is also recommended by NICE and can be as effective as CBT.
This form of therapy focuses on relaxing your muscles during situations that tend to cause you anxiety. The technique needs to be taught by a trained therapist.