Did you know that anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental disorders that affect Americans? In fact, 18% of Americans have been diagnosed with anxiety disorders. If you are constantly anxious and feeling worried to the point where these feelings disrupt and interfere with your life, anxiety therapy might help you get your life back on track. To make the most out of whichever type of anxiety therapy you choose, you must first be able to recognize signs of anxiety and how it affects your body. Here are 3 techniques that are commonly taught in therapy.
Learning to Recognize Thoughts that Trigger Anxiety
When struggling with an anxiety disorder, you tend to feel more flustered and anxious about things happening around you than normal. Your negative thoughts can easily interfere with and disrupt your day, and it's the negative thoughts that trigger the physical and mental symptoms. One of the most important things you must learn is how to recognize the thoughts that trigger anxiety in you. Your therapist will want to go over situations when you felt particularly anxious to determine what your train of thought prior to the anxiety attack was. After scrutinizing several episodes, you and your therapist should determine whether there are any similarities.
For example, are you more likely to feel anxious when exposed to unfamiliar events or people? Or, are you anxious only when certain events happen? For example, you might be unusually anxious about meeting new strangers and might go out of your way to avoid talking to other people due to your belief that you are not well liked. Recognizing when these negative thoughts contaminate your mind can help you prepare for anxiety attacks. You should mentally relive different events and moments to determine which thoughts first began to trigger your anxiety. This is vital for determining what the underlying cause of your anxiety might be.
Familiarizing with How Anxiety Feels
Once you've determined what triggers anxiety, you should then familiarize yourself with how anxiety feels. Anxiety feels different to each person. While some people might find their minds starting to wander, others might feel their heart starting to race. It's important to relive events that made you feel anxious in order to determine the timeline of when you started to feel different emotions or physical symptoms. This way, you'll know when to start practicing relaxation techniques.
For example, you might start to feel anxious when your heart begins to race. Every single time that you start to feel this happening, your therapist may recommend that you practice certain relaxation techniques like deep breathing.
Biofeedback Through Specialized Sensors
Anxiety is more than just a feeling. Your body actually responds by acting in a certain way, and you can easily determine when you start feeling anxious via biofeedback through specialized sensors. These sensors might monitor your heart rate or your muscle tension to give you an indication of what your anxiety levels are in different situations.
You can use biofeedback to determine whether the relaxation techniques or different types of therapies are working. If you're responding positively to a type of therapy, you should see a positive response via the biofeedback. For example, if your heart tends to race when you're anxious, you should use a heart rate monitor to measure how anxious you truly are. If a certain therapy or technique is effective, the monitor will let you know when your heart rate starts to slow down.
Recognizing when you begin to feel anxious is a crucial part of anxiety therapy. It's a constant that needs to be practiced and explored in each type of therapy that you try. Once you find something that's effective, you'll begin to learn how to manage your symptoms to prevent them from interfering with your day and ultimately your life. For more information on anxiety therapy, contact a counseling center like Trauma Counseling.Share