Top 5 Approaches
Although anxiety is classified as a mood disorder, there are physical and cognitive (thinking) patterns that maintain the condition. Effective anxiety treatment not only addresses the anxious mood but also the physical and cognitive aspects that support the anxiety.
At Authentic-Life Counseling, anxiety treatment utilizes traditional Western medicine and non-traditional Eastern healing techniques. The top five anxiety treatment approaches include:
5. The Physical Aspect
Body relaxation techniques such as progressive body scans are effective in anxiety treatment.
When our body relaxes our mind relaxes. Many techniques are effective in calming the body. Progressive body relaxation is an example of an anxiety treatment frequently used to relax the body. Many guided mediation apps and YouTube videos are available to teach and guide individuals in learning this technique. The important thing to remember is to practice. The goal is to train the Central Nervous System to calm down so that the fight/flight/freeze response in the body is not so easily triggered.
4. Life-Style Assessment and Changes
This may be a no-brainer, but anxiety treatment must include a thorough assessment of lifestyle patterns. Poor sleep hygiene, exercise habits, and diet contribute to the anxiety epidemic. Most people fail to honestly evaluate their lifestyle habits. Formulating a plan to make changes begins with setting small goals. Be mindful of realistic pacing to reach your goals. Ask for support from your family and friends. Be aware of your accomplishments and reinforce them in a meaningful way.
Life-style habits including diet, exercise, and sleep patterns are important considerations in anxiety treatment.
3. The Cognitive Aspect
Mindfulness. Many anxiety-producing thoughts project fear into the future. Mindfulness practice anchors us in the here and now. We are not in the future, we are in the present. The only place you can touch your life is in the present moment. In the present moment, you can begin to notice the coming and going of sensory input. Your eyes, ears, and body are perceiving sights, sounds, and physical sensations. Just let the sensations come and go. Something in you is witnessing the sensations. This is your consciousness or observer's mind. Try to be a mindful witness of the present moment. Do not add anything to the present moment.
Regular meditation practice reduces the symptoms associated with many mental health disorders.
I teach all clients how to meditate because I believe that meditation improves mental health. The intensity of racing thoughts determines how to begin your meditation practice. The easiest level of meditation is guided meditation. After learning to relax and concentrate during guided meditation, the practice evolves into sitting meditation with a mantra. The purpose of a mantra is to stabilize and concentrate the mind and relax the body. More difficult still, is releasing the mantra and sitting in observer’s mind. In this meditation practice we let mental processes arise, with acceptance and observance. We do not let the content of our thoughts hijack our emotional reaction. The thoughts are simply mental processes.
1 The Subtle Energy System and Energy Psychology
In the East, the subtle energy systems of the body are utilized to support healing. The subtle energy systems include the Chakra and Meridian Pathways. Energy Psychology is an evidenced-based treatment that combines Eastern subtle energy healing with Western psychological modalities such as exposure therapy or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. In the treatment of anxiety, the intensity of anxiety-producing thoughts is reduced by moving the subtle energy associated with and maintaining the anxiety-producing thought. Conversely, reinforcing belief systems to promote our strengths and capabilities are strengthened through the manipulation of the subtle energy systems.
be in peace - diane