Struggling with Anxiety: How a Therapist Can Help

Anxiety is a difficult condition which can make it hard to live your everyday life in a calm and collected manner. We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded by fear-inducing ideas, whether they come from the media, society, or indeed our own minds. Nonetheless, if your anxiety is making it difficult for you to live your life happily, you should know that counselling and therapy can help you.

When you mention words like "counselling" and "therapy" to people, it can often conjure up images of people laying on chaise longues while talking about their childhood. Alas, this is usually not the case. Various forms of therapy and anxiety counselling exist within the UK, with techniques such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and CFT (Compassion Focused Therapy) continually showing themselves to be effective in "rewiring" people's thinking patterns and instilling more rational lines of thought.

Anxiety serves a purpose

The strange thing about anxiety is that it's not a useless emotion - we all need a certain level of anxiety in our lives, otherwise, we would never have made it this far as a species. Without some anxiety, our Neanderthal ancestors would've been eaten by tigers left, right, and centre. A certain amount of anxiety and vigilance is what got us to where we are today.

Of course, you can also apply this to a modern context too. If you're walking down a derelict alleyway late at night and you see a mysterious figure approaching you, of course you're going to become anxious and worried - it's the modern equivalent of wondering whether a tiger is about to jump out of a bush and eat you. Are you about to be attacked? Are you about to be mugged? The anxiety is a valid response.

Nonetheless, most of the time, we are not in threatening situations. Most of the time, there are no tigers or mysterious figures to potentially threaten us. Most of the time, we are perfectly safe and there is no need to worry. However, some people continue to feel anxious and worried throughout their everyday lives, feeling an aversion to crowded areas, drawing attention to themselves, and perhaps even leaving their homes. These people most likely have a form of anxiety.

Although a healthy amount of anxiety is good for keeping us safe, excessive amounts of anxiety can soon interfere with our everyday lives. This is when it becomes a problem. If you find yourself limiting your life’s progress or avoiding important events because of your anxiety, it may be time to consider therapy or counselling for anxiety.

Therapists will not demonise your anxiety; they understand that it is a necessary emotion which has simply gotten out of hand. Oftentimes the anxiety is triggered by a traumatic experience or life event, something which you may be able to discuss. In some cases, a person is simply born with anxiety - they've been an excessive worrier for their whole life and they've never known any different.

Whatever the root cause, anxiety should not be suffered in silence. There are fully-licensed therapists all around the UK who are committed to treating anxiety, depression, and other issues. People have their own preferences when it comes to treatments - there is more than one way to subdue your excess anxiety.

Medication isn’t for everyone

One reason that many people choose to go for anxiety therapy or counselling is the fact that they don't want to take pills such as antidepressants. Although medication may be the best course of action for some people, many people don't like the side effects of the medication, and the pills themselves can ironically become a further trigger for anxiety. For example, forgetting to take the medication one morning could cause an anxiety attack in itself.

Therapy and counselling, on the other hand, simply look at your mental processes and try to help you evaluate your anxious thoughts and get rid of bad mental habits, to put it simply. Instead of numbing your brain with medication, you are retraining your mind to think less anxiously, especially in situations where it is not called for. For many people, this is the best way to begin getting rid of their anxiety in a sustainable manner.

Still, whether this works for you or not depends on who you are as a person. Some people are very agreeable to therapy and counselling for anxiety, whereas others will feel that it is not for them. The only way to find out is to give it a try and see if it works for you. It might not be easy, but with some top-notch anxiety counselling and therapy, you can significantly enhance your quality of life and live your everyday life much more happily.