Anxiety disorders may be caused by neurochemistry. Some people are genetically prone to anxiety. Anxiety disorders can negatively impact your everyday life. People with a generalized anxiety disorder may feel a disproportionate amount of fear when faced with daily activities. Social anxiety can have a detrimental effect on your relationships. Fortunately, mental health care can alleviate the symptoms of anxiety disorders. Here are four ways a counselor can help you manage your anxiety disorder:
Mindfulness is a mainstay of many philosophies. Mindfulness is the practice of living in the moment by paying attention to your surroundings. It can help people who struggle with anxiety by redirecting their attention away from the source of their anxiety. Your counselor can help you develop a mindfulness practice. Maintaining awareness of your surroundings during a panic attack can be as easy as consciously thinking of things you can smell, taste, hear, see, or feel. Mindfulness is a powerful tool in the fight against anxiety.
2. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a therapeutic tool that's often utilized to help people who struggle with anxiety disorders. Like all types of therapy, CBT requires a patient's cooperation and willingness to put in the work. This type of therapy can be used to help people who experience intrusive thoughts, which are a common manifestation of anxiety. If you fear things that are irrational or untrue, CBT can help you overcome those fears. CBT can be used to change your thoughts and actions over time, so you can find greater peace while living with an anxiety disorder.
3. Exposure Therapy
Exposure therapy can be beneficial when administered by a trained professional. Exposure therapy can reduce the severity of fears over time. During this type of therapy, you will be exposed to things you fear in a controlled environment. While exposure to this type of negative stimuli can be unpleasant, you may find that it reduces the anxiety symptoms you face day-to-day. Exposure therapy should only be attempted by a psychiatric professional. People who are more or less stable are better candidates for this type of therapy than those who are unstable.
4. Anxiolytic Medication
Medication may be used as part of your anxiety disorder treatment. Anxiolytic medication can be used to reduce the severity of your symptoms. Some anxiety medications, like benzodiazepines, are fast-acting. These medications can stop a panic attack right away. Other drugs, such as SSRIs, are taken on a daily basis to reduce your overall symptoms of anxiety.
For more information on anxiety disorder treatment, reach out to a local counselor.