Gain the Upper Hand Over Your Anxiety With These 7 CBT Techniques

Jan 01, 2023
Gain the Upper Hand Over Your Anxiety With These 7 CBT Techniques
Cognitive behavioral therapy uses a variety of techniques to help people with anxiety disorders take control of their symptoms and lives. Here are seven easy techniques that could help you.

About 20% of American adults — nearly 50 million people — have anxiety disorders, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. It’s not just adults, either. The CDC says nearly 10% of kids have been diagnosed with anxiety disorders, too.

With offices in Glendale and Phoenix, Arizona, The Marcann Group helps people manage anxiety disorders with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) — an effective treatment for anxiety and other mental health issues. CBT focuses on “unlearning” negative patterns that lead to anxious thoughts or behaviors.

Your therapist will work with you to implement new strategies, so you can begin to experience benefits that can last a lifetime. Here are seven techniques that could help you tame your anxiety symptoms.

1. Cognitive restructuring

Cognitive restructuring involves examining your negative thought patterns driving your anxiety — patterns like expecting the worst outcome or obsessing over inconsequential details. Once these thought patterns are identified, the next step is learning techniques that help you replace those negative patterns with positive processes that are more productive and less destructive.

2. Journaling

Writing down your thoughts is a great way to understand what triggers negative ideas, and it can also help strategize ways to exchange them with more positive thinking. Journaling also helps monitor your progress and serves as a review tool during appointments with your therapist.

3. Guided discovery

Guided discovery focuses on challenging negative beliefs you hold about yourself and life. By exposing yourself to other perspectives, you can begin to identify ways to live more positively (and be kinder to yourself).

4. Breathing and progressive relaxation

“Unlearning” stressful behaviors is a significant part of CBT, but it’s also essential to learn ways to manage stress when it does occur. Techniques, like deep breathing, positive imagery, and progressive muscle relaxation, can be practiced anywhere to help you defuse anxiety at home or on the go.

5. Worry history outcome

In this activity, you keep a written record or log of your worries, along with the actual outcomes. By tracking both, you can begin to see that your anxiety is out of proportion to your actual life. This technique can be used alongside a technique called positive imagery where you imagine positive outcomes for situations that have you worried.

6. Activity scheduling

Sometimes, anxiety can prevent you from taking on tasks or responsibilities that you’re worried about. During activity scheduling, you put those activities on a calendar or timetable so you’re motivated to take steps to overcome those anxious feelings and put the worrisome event behind you. This technique helps you establish better habits moving forward, too.

7. Worry timetabling

When you have an anxiety disorder, the feelings of anxiety are pervasive, consuming a significant part of your daily routines and thoughts. Instead of allowing your worries and anxieties to control you, worry timetabling sets aside a brief time every day when it’s okay to worry. By postponing anxious thinking until that time, you can focus on positive thoughts and behaviors during the rest of the day.

Get help for your anxiety

While cognitive behavioral therapy can be very effective in helping many people manage their anxiety, some people benefit from a combination of therapies, including CBT, psychotherapy, and medication, to get the relief they need. Our team will work with you to find the solution.

To learn how we can help you manage your anxiety symptoms, book an appointment online or over the phone with the team at The Marcann Group today.