1 Technique to Help You Overcome Anxiety

Does it ever feel like your mind is constantly running, thinking about what might, could, would, or should happen? Do you ever feel like people will judge everything you do so you avoid doing those things? Does your palm get sweaty, breathing speeds up, and maybe you feel a little dizzy? Do you feel like you are always on edge? If any of these sound like you, you may have anxiety.

There are various kinds of anxiety. According to the DSM-5, the big book full of mental health diagnosis and information that all mental health professionals must refer to before giving anyone a diagnosis, key features of generalized anxiety are persistent and excessive worry about various domains, including work and school performance, that the individual finds difficult to control (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Anxiety can range from mild to severe and can change over time. Although, people can experience similar or the same symptoms, each persons experience may differ.

It is never any fun to have anxiety, as it can get in the way of you enjoying your day. Anxiety is one of those issues that you wish you never had that could go away with the wave of a magic wand (Bippity Boppity…yeah we all do). It is a journey to find the techniques that are right for you to cope with and decrease the anxiety that you experience. Below I share one technique that you can add to your toolbox to help you overcome anxiety.

Technique: Put your anxious thoughts in check by making them face the FACTS!!!!

Have you ever watched a detective show before where they bring the person in for questioning? There may be one or two detectives, they sit them at the table, and put the light on them. They set up the scene to let them know they mean business and question them until they get to the truth. This concept can work with anxious thoughts as well. The technique is called Challenge Your Anxious Thoughts.

Challenging your anxious thoughts requires you to:

  1. Identify the thought.
  2. Ask yourself some questions.
    1. Is there evidence for my thought?
    2. Am I making an assumption?
    3. Has this happened before? If, so how did it turn out?
    4. What’s the worse that could happen?
    5. What’s the best that could happen?
    6. What is the likeliness of this happening?
    7. What do I already know to be true?
    8. Can I predict the future? What would be more helpful?
    9. What advice would a friend or loved one give me?
  3. Replace your old thought with a new realistic thought.

Example:

  1. “ I’m not going to the party because, I don’t know anyone there and they probably don’t want me to come anyway”
  2. “Last time I went no one talked to me for a while, but eventually one person said hello”. “The girl who threw the party was happy that I came”. “I could go and meet a new friend”. “My classmate told me he is going so I might not be alone if I go”.
  3. “I’m going to go to the party. If no one talks to me, I know I can talk to my classmate. I will go and have a good time”.

This technique takes practice, helps increase self-awareness, and is often used in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), an evidence-based form of therapy whose goal is to change your pattern of negative thinking or behavior into positive thinking and behavior. Be realistic when replacing your old thoughts with new ones.

Instead of jumping from:

“I am going to freeze when I present to the class and fail my final”

-Think-

“ I have presented before, I survived, I did my best”

-Versus-

“I am going to go up there with zero anxiety and the presentation will be a breeze”.

Set yourself up with realistic expectations to succeed and build upon.

A lot of times we worry so much that our mind begins to convince us that these thoughts are true. Often times they are not and what you were worried would happen, doesn’t! Let your thoughts know that you’re on to them. Locate the truth. Don’t let them steal your joy. You deserve to live in the moment!

If you felt like the information shared in this post was relatable and you have further questions, refer to the resource page here to find a therapist in your area.

Always Live Lovely,

Chetina

Helpful Resources:

If you are looking for resources to support your mental health click here.

Written: March 19, 2018

Reference

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of

Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

***DISCLAIMER***

Although I am a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) and registered associate professional clinical counselor, the contents on this blog are provided for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace the specialized training and judgment of a health care or mental health professional. There is no Therapist-Client relationship created by accessing the information on this blog. Always seek the help of a physician or qualified mental health professional if you have any questions regarding a medical or mental health condition. Always Live Lovely is not held responsible for the use of the information provided. Reliance on any of the information provided by this blog only is solely at your own risk. Please see Health Disclaimer for further information alwayslivelovely.com/health-disclaimer/ .

5 Reasons Why Going to see a Therapist is Different than Talking to a Friend

Have you ever wondered why someone would want to go and share their business with a stranger? If you have never been to therapy or gone at least once before, but felt it wasn’t helpful, this post is for you. In this post I will share 5 reasons why going to see a therapist is different than talking to a friend.

Going to therapy can be a difficult, yet rewarding experience. You don’t know what to expect if it is your first time. Your only example may have been what you seen on TV. You may have possibly gone, but didn’t get out of it what you were hoping for. Therefore, when you do go you think you’re going to sit in silence, possibly lay on a couch, maybe they will ask a lot of questions, you may ask them for advice, they may read your mind, and then you’re “fixed” or have all the answers after 45 minutes. Yeahhhh, that’s not going to happen!

Therapy is a unique experience that is based on a relationship, a collaborative relationship. It provides you with time and space for you to gain self-awareness to help yourself become a better you. This relationship differs from other relationships in various ways, but here are 5 ways it differs from friendships:

  1. It is all about you, yes you!

Often time’s people decide to not share with others because, they do not want to be seen as a burden. Is this you? Sometimes we want to share something with our friend, but can’t get a word in. Is this true? In therapy you don’t have to worry about someone not making space for you to share. You don’t have to be concerned about if you are a burden. Therapists are there to listen. You may feel the urge to want to know more about your therapist. Depending on the therapist they may or may not share because, this time is not about them either and it depends on if the information will be helpful or not. They are there to support you. So for once you have dedicated time that is all your own.

  1. Judgment Free Zone- There will be no shade thrown here!

It may be very well true that friendships are built on love and trust, but because of that trust friends will operate out of what they feel is best for you. Now, granted there is nothing wrong with that, unless it leaves no room for you to express how you truly feel. When talking to friends they are coming from a place of having a close connection with you, which causes them to form a personal opinion. It is unrealistic to think people don’t have some form of judgment in general. Therapists are trained to not let their opinions, biases, prejudices, etc. hinder their work with you. They are there to support you just they way you are to help you get to where you want to be. Of course, if you are doing something that may be a danger to your health they may share their feelings, but otherwise they support you with whatever you are experiencing. No issue is too big or too small.

  1. Confidentiality- What’s said there stays there!

Yes, we all know that friendships come with one key component: the person has to be your ride or die. Sometimes people cannot hold water and have to spill the tea to someone else. By law your therapist has to keep what you share confidential. Of course, there are some pieces of information that would cause them to have to break that confidentiality (if you were going to harm yourself or someone else, etc.), otherwise their lips are sealed. Since this law is set in place, therapists are able to create a safe space for you to feel comfortable to share what you need for healing and growth; without you having to worry about if they are going to spread your business to everyone behind your back.

  1. Information Proven to Help- They can show you the receipts!

Therapists don’t operate out of advice. From time to time they may share a piece of advice if it is helpful, otherwise they use techniques that are proven to be helpful by research. Different things work for different people, but they are able collaborate with you and find what works best. Therapist have gone to school to receive master degrees or higher and are usually licensed or gaining hours towards licensure (like myself 😊). Yes, we all have life experience that comes in handy. Therapist can combine those life experiences with the facts!

  1. They Help You Express Your Feelings In A Healthy Way!

Ok, let’s be honest. Sometimes we want the friend that is our better half and gets us into shape. Other times we want that friend to tell us what we want to hear and hype us up to go and run up on somebody. Therapists will give you the space to explore both reactions and the feelings underneath. They will help you find healthy alternatives to express yourself and feel empowered with out busting the windows out of someone’s car or resulting to other violent acts. Facing these emotions won’t be easy, but they will be worth it.

There you have it, 5 reasons going to see a therapist is different than talking to a friend. This post was not created to talk down upon friendships, but to show that going to therapy can be a great addition of support. There is no guarantee that all therapist sessions will have all of these components due to everyone being different. Hopefully this helps make you aware of what the experience could be.

Always Live Lovely,

Chetina

For more information about finding a therapist in your area refer to the resource page https://alwayslivelovely.com/resources/ .

Written: March 18, 2018

***DISCLAIMER***

Although I am a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) and registered associate professional clinical counselor, the contents on this blog are provided for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace the specialized training and judgment of a health care or mental health professional. There is no Therapist-Client relationship created by accessing the information on this blog. Always seek the help of a physician or qualified mental health professional if you have any questions regarding a medical or mental health condition. Always Live Lovely is not held responsible for the use of the information provided. Reliance on any of the information provided by this blog only is solely at your own risk. Please see Health Disclaimer for further information alwayslivelovely.com/health-disclaimer/ .