Generalized anxiety disorder affects over 6 million Americans and only 43.2% are receiving treatment.
Mental wellness, or good mental health, is the key to handling life’s challenges so you can enjoy an enriched existence. Perhaps anxiety has started to affect your day-to-day life, but you’re unsure whether therapy is for you.
Sounds familiar? Luckily, we’re here to sway you. Here are the top benefits of going to therapy if you suffer from anxiety.
What Is Anxiety?
You may feel a rush of anxiety when you’re stepping into an interview or meeting your first date, and that’s natural. But when you’re constantly experiencing this, then you likely have an anxiety disorder.
This is a medical condition that impacts your daily life, like your job performance and relationships. Note there are different forms of anxiety such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Because each is unique, they may require specialized treatment. Symptoms also differ, but in general, patients over-think, feel panic, and have heightened alertness. If this is a common reoccurrence, then you must seek therapy for anxiety so you learn more about the condition and how to deal with it.
Different Types of Therapy
When you consult a center for mental wellness, a professional will evaluate your situation and symptoms. Using this data, they’ll create a plan to alleviate your anxiety. Here are the main types of therapy you can go through.
Psychotherapy is fantastic for managing mental health, as it lets patients unpack their anxiety. Through this discussion, the therapist will help their client identify their fears, define goals, and strengthen their interpersonal relationships. This can either be in a one-on-one or group environment, depending on the patient’s preference.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Patients seeking help for their anxiety are often recommended cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
The theory is our thoughts affect the way we feel and not our external world. So the goal is to challenge the individual’s thinking patterns that lead to negative emotions and change how they react. Eventually, patients will replace their irrational thoughts with realistic, calming statements to alleviate anxiety.
CBT also includes exposure therapy where patients face their feared object or situation. But before throwing the individual in the deep end, therapists use a step-by-step approach called systematic desensitization. For example, if you’re afraid of flying, then you’ll be shown photos of planes and watch planes take off before taking a flight.
Eventually, you’ll break down the anxiety-inducing situation and use relaxation techniques (e.g. breathing exercises) so it’s no longer a threat.
Another way patients can enjoy mental health wellness is by taking prescribed medication. This depends on the severity of your anxiety and the therapist’s diagnosis. But medication is usually accompanied by regular therapy sessions.
The Benefits of Going to Therapy
Anxiety has wreaked havoc on your daily life and you’re ready for a change. But does therapy always guarantee good mental health and wellness?
We believe so. This is because therapists can help you achieve many things. Find out what they are below.
A major part of therapy is unearthing the root of your problem. Once you’ve unpacked your anxiety, you’ll gain insight into why it has become an obstacle. This will give you back control so you can figure out how to eliminate your anxiety.
Develop Healthy Habits
Many patients rely on unhealthy habits to ease anxiety symptoms. For example, someone with social anxiety may binge drink alcohol before attending a party because they’re afraid to meet new people.
But therapy helps you transform these negative thought patterns into positive ones so you can enjoy a healthy lifestyle.
Learn Coping Skills
An important part of therapy is knowing the signs of an anxiety attack. In your sessions, your therapist will teach you relaxation techniques so you can take control of the situation. For example, when a negative feeling arises, inhale for eight seconds and out for 12 so you focus on the present and not your racing thoughts.
You will also learn to use guided meditation and progressive muscle relaxation to calm your body and mind.
Many of us avoid sharing our true feelings because we’re worried about being judged. We’re also afraid of being considered a bad person if we share our true thoughts and emotions.
But therapy is a safe and confidential place where you can voice any thoughts that arise. In fact, it’s encouraged!
You Feel Great Afterwards
Anyone who visits a therapist knows how fantastic the post-therapy high is. You feel lighter, understood, and less alone because you now know how to confront your anxiety.
Plus, when a stressful situation happens, you’re comforted knowing your therapist will help you analyze it later on.
You’re More Engaged With Life
We often rely on defense mechanisms to deal with anxiety, like avoiding certain situations. Although these are short-term solutions, you end up missing out on important experiences and social events.
But therapy helps you work through these issues so you can live a full and healthy life. As a result, you’ll have better relationships with friends and family, coworkers, and yourself.
That’s How to Achieve Mental Wellness With Anxiety Therapy
Hopefully, after reading this article, you now know mental wellness is possible when you commit to therapy.
During each session, you’ll identify the cause of your anxiety and how to deal with it in a healthy way. When you take the plunge, you’ll become more self-aware, fulfilled, and learn how to tackle your anxieties head-on. Good luck!
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