Booze doesn’t solve problems, and neither does abusing other substances, though that might get you invited to parties. Inactivity only leaves your muscles weaker, including the one called Will Power. Those behaviors are escape hatches, ways to avoid facing your anxiety. It can express itself as boredom or depression, leaving the sufferer confused and feeling hopeless. When a person is ready to get rid of their anxiety, though, therapy can help. It works only when clients do their homework, making efforts that exceed their previous accomplishments to feel, and to be, happy. The good news gets better: Competent online and in-office therapists can help their clients to reduce or to get rid of anxiety.
Anxiety is a case of worry on ‘roids. Anxious people want to “do something” about the problem bothering them. They feel unusually or increasingly uneasy about “what might – or might not – happen.” In some cases people feel anxious about their appearance or low self-esteem, even what other people might think of them. In any case of anxiety, some unknowns are not being addressed, only wondered about.
As mentioned in my past articles, and on others, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective treatments for anxiety. CBT addresses panic disorder, phobias, social anxiety disorder, food addiction, stressful eating, and something called generalized anxiety disorder (GBT). No matter the source of the anxiety, CBT therapists can help their clients to appreciate the importance of taking time to figure out why they feel stressed about a given issue, to spot patterns of counter-productive behavior, and to avoid the harmful habits they’ve indulged in previously. High-fat snacks and mind-numbing substances, even tactics such as shopping for things you don’t need or letting the housework go undone, lose their appeal as CBT clients learn to re-rank their priorities and to take command of their behaviors, even their thinking processes.
In the article WILLPOWER IS A MUSCLE — HERE’S HOW TO MAKE IT STRONGER, readers learn that “According to the American Psychological Association (APA), children who demonstrate stronger willpower in the lab end up having better school attendance and stronger academic performance while also being more likely to have “greater physical and mental health, fewer substance-abuse problems and criminal convictions, and better savings behavior and financial security” as adults.
Yet in the APA’s Annual Stress Survey, lack of self-control is the leading reason Americans fail to follow through with healthy lifestyle changes. We’d all like more willpower. Unfortunately, many of us lost whatever lottery would have given us more self-control.
Wrong. It turns out that willpower is a skill that can be practiced and strengthened.”
That message underscores the power of cognitive behavioral therapy. It alerts us to the reality that a person’s point of view affects her or his level of happiness. People need to assess what they know to be undeniably true versus the unknowns and uncontrollable factors of life. They must learn to set limits on themselves and to obey those limits. If they don’t, they remain immature and worse, volatile. Relationships become unrealistic as chronological adults behave with a two-year-old’s temperamental and unpredictable whims.
By practicing self-restraint and by focusing on the achievement of specific goals as taught with CBT, we shape and reshape our minds, our willpower, to levels of maturity. Think of the noun morphed into a verb, “Adulting.” A byword for knowing how to do adult tasks such as housework, keeping a job, maintaining friendships, replacing buttons or zippers, even making hems or other minor repairs to clothing, paying a mortgage or rent – even payments for a vehicle – consistently and on time, it signifies the difference between childishness and maturity. The concept is about self-control, the mastery of necessary and desired tasks. Anxieties lose their grip on formerly unhappy minds as CBT helps the owners of those minds access their improving levels of insight and can-do attitudes and their inevitably increasing senses of happiness and self-respect. The problems that used to bother them, the anxieties that brought them to their emotional knees, stop being problematic.
CBT is only one of several forms of talk therapy. Counseling, creative art therapy, drama, bereavement and even couples therapy are only some of many other options that can help clients to minimize or to end their anxiety. Competent, licensed therapists are available to help the public online and in offices. Access the one who resonates with you. When you feel comfortable trusting that person with your confidences, you’ll be on your way to leaving anxiety in the past.
Yocheved Golani is a popular writer whose byline has appeared worldwide in print and online. A certified Health Information Management professional, she is a member of Get Help Israel. Certified in Spiritual Chaplaincy (End of Life issues) and in counseling skills, her life coaching for ill people puts healthy perspective into a clients’ success plan for achieving desired goals.