How Does Psychotherapy Help Manage Anxiety?

Having a good mental health is important and essential. The World Health Organization (WHO) says, “health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not just the absence of diseases or illnesses.” However, in the face of the daily life that we live today, diseases and problems associated with mental health have made a gap in how we relate to the world and our interiority. A common emotional state is anxiety, which undoubtedly can be reduced with the help of good psychotherapy.

Anxiety is present in everyone’s life. In fact, almost 100% of human beings will have experienced some of its symptoms throughout life. Beyond this figure, for a large number of people anxiety becomes a problem that affects well-being, and some of these people (between 10% and 15%) have an anxiety disorder.

Some other data from the WHO show that more than 260 million people in the world, in 2017, had anxiety disorders; a figure that is going to increase. Anxiety disorders are estimated to be the sixth factor in health loss, without mortality consequences, globally; and it is among the ten causes that contribute to disability in years lived in the WHO regions.

Faced with these data, it is worth asking how psychotherapy helps to manage anxiety effectively. However, before continuing, let’s define what anxiety is.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety, as has been said, is a normal human emotion. It is a way in which our brain informs us and alerts us to the possible presence of danger. We all feel anxiety from time to time. However, anxiety can exceed the levels of an adaptive response and affect emotional well-being and interfere with our daily functioning; in that case, the help of a psychotherapist is crucial to learning effective management.

Let’s observe some symptoms or warning signs that will help us have some clarification about when we should seek psychotherapy.

Symptoms and warning signs 

It is important to identify the  forms  and intensity that anxiety is manifested to know when a person should seek psychotherapeutic help:

  1. Anxiety manifests itself in a mental-emotional way. We identify that we need the help of a psychotherapist when what we think and feel affect our daily life. We do not enjoy the present by thinking about the future, there are constant worries, there are insecurity, ideas and feelings that negatively affect our emotional well-being.
  2. Anxiety manifests itself physiologically. Our body communicates to us what is happening inside. If you have sweating, irritability, stomach problems, physical fatigue, headaches, shortness of breath, tachycardia, among others, could indicate that there is excessive anxiety and signs to seek help from a mental health professional.
  3. Anxiety manifests itself through behavior. They are the behaviors that we have in the face of an event or situation. Some people have difficulty maintaining healthy eating habits, have inadequate use of substances, bite their nails, have problems with social interaction, among others.

Other signs of anxiety – related disorders includes feeling inadequate or feeling useless, inadequate management of thoughts, irrational fear in situations or things, difficulty in carrying out activities, insomnia and even panic attacks. Excessive and constant anxiety is difficult to manage on its own. Psychotherapeutic help is necessary to be able to mediate these feelings.

How does one help you psychotherapy to manage anxiety?

A psychotherapeutic process helps to manage emotions because it allows us to clearly recognize the symptoms and precipitating signs of anxiety, as well as to identify and acquire effective mechanisms to reduce and control symptoms. Many people are not aware of their need to seek help because they evade the situation, but they may have, time, consequences and behaviors that negatively affect their work, the family and other everyday situations.

Let’s see some benefits that to psychotherapy provides for the management of anxiety at whatever level you are.

  1. Psychotherapy helps manage anxiety by developing awareness. It often happens that people with anxiety find it difficult to recognize their emotions clearly. For them, having a psychotherapy helps the thoughts to be managed and taken to a safe place.
  2. Psychotherapy helps to manage anxiety because it looks for the cause that originates it. The relationship that occurs in therapy will promote reflection processes to identify the situations, thoughts and feelings that precipitate anxiety. This is important because it is a first step towards mental health.
  3. Psychotherapy helps manage anxiety because it provides tools against it. The psychotherapist helps develop different ways of thinking, behaving and to react in situations of anxiety. Among these are those that can be applied in daily life, changes in habits, strategies for specific anxious crises, techniques for the reflection of thoughts, among others.
  4. Psychotherapy helps to manage anxiety because it allows unlearning, learning and relearning. A mental health professional helps establish in the patient the identification of all those habits, thoughts and beliefs that are harmful and that can be transformed into others that promote better emotional well-being. In the same way, it will help in learning new strategies to manage emotions in particular situations. Psychotherapy helps control and reduce anxiety because it will stimulate new behaviors when you better understand what is happening around you.

Psychotherapy is a useful process that helps manage and decrease anxiety and acquire techniques that translate into thoughts and behaviors that increase emotional well-being. If you think that you present any of these symptoms or signs, or that you feel that there are situations that are beyond your control, or if everyday situations already cause you excessive concern, it is advisable to seek a psychotherapeutic process that, surely, will help the management of your anxiety.

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