Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapeutic treatment that teaches people how to recognize and change destructive or disturbing thought patterns that harm their behavior and emotions.
Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on modifying the automatic negative thoughts that can contribute to and worsen emotional problems, depression, and anxiety. These impulsive negative thoughts have a negative impact on mood.
CBT identifies, challenges, and replaces these thoughts with more objective and realistic views. Before we dive deeper into the effectiveness of CBT for anxiety, you need to know what anxiety is and how to identify if you are suffering from it.
What Is Anxiety?
Do you feel jittery right before giving a speech? Does your first day of school or work make you think about ditching?
All these feelings are normal, and almost everybody feels the same way. Anxiety is your body’s natural response to stress.
Whenever you find yourself in a nerve-racking situation, your body activates its fight-or-flight mechanism to initiate the optimum response. However, if you feel anxious almost all the time when no specific threat is around, you may have an anxiety disorder.
Fear of the unknown and dreading uncertainty are two critical factors of inducing anxiety. People having anxiety tend to over plan and overthink scenarios they might never get in.
These pessimistic assumptions start a chain of intrusive thoughts that trigger anxiety. Many people feel out of control and powerless over this premonition.
It is vital to identify anxiety. Anxious feeling comprises of
- rapid breathing
- increased heart rate
- the feeling of imminent doom
According to a study, people can not distinguish between feelings of anxiety and worry. Worrying leads to anxiety which is a more intense state. And feeling anxious all the time is a sign of anxiety disorder.
Treatment Through CBT
Psychologists use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as the first line of management for anxiety, depression, panic attacks, eating disorders, phobias, addictions and anger.
It helps the individuals focus on their present rather than living in the past or future. The underlying concept of CBT is that thoughts and feelings have a significant impact on behavior.
People who spend a great deal of their time thinking about plane crashes, runway accidents, and other air disasters, for example, may avoid flying consequently.
The ultimate goal of cognitive behavior therapy is to teach people that they cannot control every aspect of their environment, but they can control how they interpret and deal with it.
Techniques Used In CBT
CBT is about more than just identifying thought patterns; it is about using various strategies to assist people in overcoming these thoughts.
Journaling, role-playing, relaxation techniques, and mental distractions are examples of techniques. Other techniques are:
- practising new and exciting skills
- identifying and replacing negative thoughts with positive ones
- writing down your feelings in a journal
- setting small and achievable goals
- self-management and monitoring
One of the most significant advantages of cognitive behavioral therapy is that it assists clients in developing coping skills that will be useful both now and in the future.
Effectiveness Of CBT For Anxiety
Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most well-researched forms of treatment today, and it is effective in the treatment of many mental conditions.
CBT is one of the most important types of therapy, in part because treatment focuses on concrete goals and results are relatively easy to measure.
Previous behavior therapies focused almost entirely on associations, reinforcements, and punishments to change behavior, but the cognitive approach examines how thoughts and feelings influence behavior.
CBT for anxiety is found to be very effective, according to many people who took it. It provides a clear perspective of analyzing your thoughts and pinpointing the negative ones to deal with them.
A single negative thought that lingers in your mind may multiply into many, thereby starting a vicious cycle of cynical thoughts. This savage cycle leads to fear and anxiety. People who suffer from anxiety overthink a lot.
CBT is frequently less expensive than other types of therapy, and results can be seen in as few as five to twenty sessions. Following are the various benefits of CBT in anxiety:
- It makes the person hopeful
- It helps to achieve a more positive outlook
- It helps to improve self-esteem
- It helps to rationalize situations
- It prevents a person from daydreaming about intense situations
- It assists in developing a solution-focused attitude
How To Get Started?
The most important part is to acknowledge the fact that you have anxiety and need help. If you feel the need to talk to someone, contact a healthcare professional and seek guidance.
It is better to get help instead of feeling ashamed and bottling up your feelings. We all need support at times.
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