Mike Dexter is a Senior Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner with NHS Talking Therapies, Gloucestershire. Here he writes about anxiety and how to deal with it, for Mental Health Awareness Week 2023.
Anxiety is a common mental health condition that can have a significant impact on a person’s life. If you experience anxiety, it can be challenging to manage and cope with symptoms that include increased heart rate, trembling, dizziness, loss of concentration and muscle tension. Fortunately, there are various ways to manage anxiety and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), an evidenced-based approach is most effective for managing it.
CBT can help you understand what triggers your anxiety: Knowing this can help you anticipate and manage your symptoms more effectively. A big part of CBT is keeping track of your symptoms, thoughts, reactions and emotions. Anxiety is often triggered due to a specific situation or environment you find yourself in and this can lead to avoidance.
At Gloucestershire NHS Talking Therapies, we offer a range of options to help people manage and overcome their anxiety ranging from computerised CBT, group webinars and working one to one with a practitioner. Each option is designed to meet the needs and preferences of people by delivering the principles of CBT in different ways.
Anxiety often stems from worrying about things happening in the future. One of the main consequences of anxiety is being in a vicious cycle of avoidance that impacts our self-care and ability to manage day to day. CBT is very practical and you’ll be encouraged to consider ways of reintroducing healthy responses to dealing with your anxiety. This may include relaxation techniques, increasing activity and exercise and focusing on the present moment. Learning CBT skills aren’t just for the duration of your sessions if you seek psychological support, once you have those skills, you have them for life.
For further help you can contact: 0800 073 2200 or visit www.letstalkglos.nhs.uk