29 Oct Tools for Helping Your Clients Cope with Anxiety
Everyone experiences anxiety every now and then. It could happen because of an exam or at the sound of something scary. Anxiety responds to threats and has aided the survival of humans. This article contains anxiety tools for helping your clients cope with anxiety as a professional therapist.
What Is Anxiety?
According to the American Psychological Association, anxiety is a normal and adaptive emotional response, characterised by a feeling of worry, distress, and psychological symptoms apprehensively anticipating future danger or misfortune.
Even though anxiety is a typical experience, when it goes beyond the reality of potential danger, it becomes a problem.
Coping with Anxiety and Worries
Below are four steps to help your clients cope with anxiety.
One important thing to do is normalize anxiety from the start by providing a response to the brain’s threat, when you make your client understand that anxiety is normal, it will reduce the idea of shame from the client, and the feeling that something is wrong with them will go away.
To deal with anxiety, there has to be a track record of previous experiences. Keeping these records will help the client identify thoughts, behaviours and feelings. They can keep journals and diaries where they write what triggers them as a way to understand the patterns more.
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Understanding Maintenance Cycles
The client can understand the anxiety maintenance cycles with the aid of psychological formulation (i.e., how their anxious thoughts, feelings, and behaviours interlink to keep the anxiety going). Psychoeducational techniques can include, for instance, the situational formulation cycle from Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.
Building a Toolkit of Strategies
A lot of different types of tools target different zones of the anxiety process.
Relaxation techniques calm bodily feelings, mental skills aim to shift anxious thinking; and behavioural techniques help to reduce protective behaviours.
For different users in various circumstances, different tools are effective. Creating a documented list or toolkit of effective tactics for clients might be beneficial.
Slow, Even Breathing
By controlling breathing, controlled breathing attempts to lessen the physiological signs of worry. In order to breathe deliberately, you must inhale deeply into your lower belly for four counts, then exhale slowly for six counts.
Progressively Relaxing the Muscles
To reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as muscular tension, progressive muscle relaxation seeks to relax the muscles. You gradually work your way around the body, tensing and relaxing each muscle group.
The concept of visualisation entails creating a mental picture of a serene, secure environment (e.g., beach, forest, familiar place). This calms the anxiety reaction and diverts the mind from worrying.
By switching your attention to something else, you can divert your brain from worrying thoughts. This tactic can also provide clients with the confidence they need to harness their innate talents and passions as effective anti-anxiety techniques, like engaging in a pleasurable pastime.
Identifying arguments in favour of and against anxious thoughts is very challenging. The goal is to evaluate this data and then recast the idea as a more impartial examination of the circumstances, shifting away from fearful predictions.
Kind Words to Oneself
Self-criticism, such as thinking you lack the coping mechanisms, can contribute to anxiety
Anxiety and self-criticism can be decreased with compassionate self-talk. For instance, “I’ve been through this before, therefore I can handle this.”
This entails setting out special concern time. If anxieties arise, they might be recorded and stored for later anxiety. As a result, there are fewer worries and ruminations.
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Behavioural Tests and Escalating Exposure
To overcome your worries, reduce your safety habits. Writing down the original nervous prediction, going through the dreaded scenario, and then commenting on what really transpired are all steps in behavioural research.
Anxiety levels can be effectively reduced by physical activity. It serves as a diversion and aids in burning off the adrenaline produced by the fight, flight, or freeze reaction, and it also promotes sleep.
A decreased threshold for feeling nervous can result from sleep deprivation as well as from feeling apprehensive. It is crucial to make an effort to have a good night’s sleep through the use of various sleep hygiene techniques, a soothing bedtime ritual, and a consistent sleep pattern.
I hope these tools for helping your clients cope have been worth your time, do share and leave a response in the comments.