COUNSELLING BLOG

Posts tagged anxiety

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How to Become FEARLESS

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1. The first step is awareness – often we don’t even realize how much of our day is spent worrying or fearing things! So start out by noticing when you’re experiencing feelings of fear

2. Once you’ve noticed the fear inside you, remind yourself that it’s all in the mind and that 80% of fears…

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Coping Statements for Anxiety

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According to Dr T.A. Richards, we can stop thoughts that lead to anxiety by consciously replacing them by more rational thoughts like the following:

When Anxiety is Near:

1. I’m going to be all right. My feelings are not always rational. I’m just going to relax, calm down, and everything will…

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How to cope with panic attacks

1. Recognise that panic attacks are a mind state and not a physical risk. A panic attack can be a very frightening and uncomfortable experience. However, it doesn’t indicate a real physical risk – even although it feels that way.
2. Try to grasp that you are not alone. Panic attacks are relatively common. They’re an anxiety disorder that many other people share.
3. Understand what panic is. Panic is excess adrenaline running through your body when it is confronted with a possible life-threatening situation. It can also be triggered by something that reminds you of a threatening event in your past. Feelings of panic can be very scary, but the feelings are related to your past – not to a threat in the present. Even although you feel terrified, you are not in any real danger.
4. Go and see a doctor or counsellor. Sometimes people find anti-anxiety medication helps them cope with panic attacks. However, identifying the psychological root – and then getting help in dealing with that – is the most effective treatment approach.
5. Let others close to you know that you suffer from panic attacks. People who have never experienced a panic attack may find it hard to understand what you are going through. However, you can help them with this by sharing your difficult experiences with them. In fact, many people want to help those they love – but they don’t know what to say or do. Thus, if you can be more open with them, then they can reach out and offer you support.
6. Don’t avoid those situations which have led to a panic attack in the past. Avoidance will only ‘reinforce’ the disorder … So the more you avoid the dreaded situation the more panic the avoided situation generates. Should a panic attack occur, don’t attempt to fight the feelings. Instead, allow the feelings to wash over you … and then drain away. Focus on staying in the present moment.
7. Focus on slowing your breathing down. This help to ensure that your brain is receiving the appropriate amount of oxygen. That will help reduce your anxiety levels, and the panic attack will dissipate and end.

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Coping Statements for Anxiety

It is often possible to manage anxiety by actively replacing irrational thoughts with more balanced and reasonable thoughts like the following:

1. I’m going to be OK. Sometimes my feelings are irrational and false. I’m just going to relax and take things easy. Everything is going to be fine.
2. Anxiety may feel bad but it isn’t dangerous. There’s nothing wrong with me. Everything is going to be OK.
3. Feelings come and feelings go. Right now I feel bad but I know this is only temporary. I’ve done it before so I can do it again.
4. This image in my head isn’t reasonable or rational. I need to change my thinking and focus my attention on something that’s healthier, and generally helps me to feel good about myself. For example _____________.
5. I’ve managed to interrupt and change these thoughts before – so I know I can do it again. The more I practise this, the easier it will become. Anxiety is a habit – and it’s a habit that I can break!
6. So what if I anxious. It’s not the end of the world. It’s not going to kill me. I just need to take a few deep breaths and keep going.
7. Just take the next step. Just do the next thing.
8. Even if I have to put up with a period of anxiety, I’ll be glad that I did, and persevered, and succeeded.
9. I can feel anxious and still do a good job. The more I focus on the task at hand, the more my anxiety will ease, then disappear.
10. Anxiety doesn’t have a hold on me. It’s something I’m working on, and changing over time.

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Errors in Thinking that Create Anxiety

1. All-or-nothing thinking: Looking at things in black-or-white categories, with no middle ground (“If I fall short of perfection, I’m a total failure.”)

2. Overgeneralization: Generalizing from a single negative experience, expecting it to hold true forever (“I didn’t get hired for the job. I’ll never get any job.”)

3. The mental filter: Focusing on the negatives while filtering out all the positives. Noticing the one thing that went wrong, rather than all the things that went right.

4. Diminishing the positive: Coming up with reasons why positive events don’t count (“I did well on the presentation, but that was just dumb luck.”)

5. Jumping to conclusions: Making negative interpretations without actual evidence. You act like a mind reader (“I can tell she secretly hates me.”) or a fortune teller (“I just know something terrible is going to happen.”)

6. Catastrophizing: Expecting the worst-case scenario to happen (“The pilot said we’re in for some turbulence. The plane’s going to crash!”)

7. Emotional reasoning: Believing that the way you feel reflects reality (“I feel frightened right now. That must mean I’m in real physical danger.”)

8. ‘Shoulds’ and ‘should-nots’: Holding yourself to a strict list of what you should and shouldn’t do and beating yourself up if you break any of the rule

9. Labeling: Labeling yourself based on mistakes and perceived shortcomings (“I’m a failure; an idiot; a loser.”)

10. Personalization: Assuming responsibility for things that are outside your control (“It’s my fault my son got in an accident. I should have warned him to drive carefully in the rain.”)

Source: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/anxiety_self_help.htm

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Understanding Anxiety Attacks

Anxiety attacks, also known as panic attacks, are episodes of intense panic or fear. Anxiety attacks usually occur suddenly and without warning. Sometimes there’s an obvious trigger— getting stuck in an elevator, for example, or thinking about the big speech you have to give—but in other cases, the attacks come out of the blue.

Anxiety attacks usually peak within ten minutes, and they rarely last more than thirty minutes. But during that short time, the terror can be so severe that you feel as if you’re about to die or totally lose control. The physical symptoms of anxiety attacks are themselves so frightening that many people believe they’re having a heart attack.

Symptoms of anxiety attacks include:

· Surge of overwhelming panic

· Feeling of losing control or going crazy

· Heart palpitations or chest pain

· Feeling like you’re going to pass out

· Trouble breathing or choking sensation

· Hyperventilation

· Hot flashes or chills

· Trembling or shaking

· Nausea or stomach cramps

· Feeling detached or unreal

Self-help for anxiety attacks and anxiety disorders #1: Challenge negative thoughts

· Write down your worries. Keep a pad and pencil on you, or type on a laptop, smartphone, or tablet. When you experience anxiety, write down your worries. Writing down is harder work than simply thinking them, so your negative thoughts are likely to disappear sooner.

· Create an anxiety worry period. Choose one or two 10 minute “worry periods” each day, time you can devote to anxiety. During your worry period, focus only on negative, anxious thoughts without trying to correct them. The rest of the day, however, is to be designated free of anxiety. When anxious thoughts come into your head during the day, write them down and “postpone” them to your worry period.

· Accept uncertainty. Unfortunately, worrying about all the things that could go wrong doesn’t make life any more predictable—it only keeps you from enjoying the good things happening in the present. Learn to accept uncertainty and not require immediate solutions to life’s problems.

Self-help for anxiety attacks and anxiety disorders #2: Take care of yourself

· Practice relaxation techniques. When practiced regularly, relaxation techniques such as mindfulness meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and deep breathing can reduce anxiety symptoms and increase feelings of relaxation and emotional well-being.

· Adopt healthy eating habits. Start the day right with breakfast, and continue with frequent small meals throughout the day. Going too long without eating leads to low blood sugar, which can make you feel more anxious.

· Reduce alcohol and nicotine. They lead to more anxiety, not less.

· Exercise regularly. Exercise is a natural stress buster and anxiety reliever. To achieve the maximum benefit, aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on most days.

· Get enough sleep. A lack of sleep can exacerbate anxious thoughts and feelings, so try to get 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep a night.

Source: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/anxiety_types_symptoms_treatment.htm

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Tips for Overcoming Fear and Anxiety

1. Start small, and take the first step. You are on a journey. This is just the beginning. You only have to start.
2. Have faith in yourself. At least you’re brave enough “to try”. If you’re patient and keep trying you will get there in the end.
3. Make a list of all your fears so they’re not formless and vague. It is easier to fight them if you know what you are fighting!
4. Accept that life is often hard, and fear is natural and normal. Every person who succeeds will have to face and deal with fear.
5. Remind yourself of your successes and the ways in which you’ve changed. You have triumphed and succeeded over obstacles before.
6. Remind yourself of those who love you and believe in you. They know that you can do it – so derive some strength from them.
7. Imagine how you’ll look and how you’ll feel when you’ve succeed. It is WORTH making the effort. Don’t give up: you’ll reach your goal!

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How to have a more peaceful life

1. Recognise how much your thoughts affect your feelings – and work on changing your self-destructive thinking.
2. Stop trying to be someone you’re not meant to be.
3. Stop trying hard to please other people all the time.
4. Expect to meet hurdles and to experience disappointments.
5. Enjoy experimenting with your creativity.
6. See life as an adventure, full of possibilities.
7. Be grateful for the small things that brighten up your day.

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