According to the Mental Health Foundation, anxiety is one of the most prevalent mental health problems in the UK, with around 1 in 6 people in the UK experiencing a mental health problem, like anxiety, each year.
Anxiety is the body's way of dealing with something stressful. Feeling anxious in a stressful situation is a common and natural human reaction. There are a whole range of situations that can bring about stress and anxiety: from going on holiday or getting married to a job interview or preparing to perform on stage. Anything that may be stressful (no matter how much you are looking forward to it) can bring about anxiety too.
Anxiety affects different people in different ways, but some of the most common symptoms are: a dry mouth, pounding heart, feeling breathless, fatigue or difficulty sleeping, dizziness and headaches, lack of concentration, needing the toilet frequently, constant worrying, irritability, and nausea.
There is no one reason why people get anxious as anxiety is specific to each individual. Some of the most common reasons include: feeling out of control - general worries about routine events, often called generalised anxiety disorder and finding social situations difficult and stressful, referred to as social anxiety. Lastly, anxiety relating to past events and worrying that these may be repeated in the future, commonly known as post-traumatic stress disorder.
If you're wondering how to manage anxiety in yourself or someone you know, it can be quite a scary prospect. Often people worry they will make things worse. It is important to focus on the benefits of learning to manage anxiety. Think about all the things you would find more pleasant and enjoyable if you were able to manage them.
One approach that is commonly used for treating anxiety is cognitive behaviour therapy. Cognitive behaviour therapy, or CBT as it is more commonly known, focuses on how thinking patterns can create and maintain problems. By learning to identify and change our thinking patterns, we can learn to manage feelings of anxiety and stress.
Learning CBT techniques can be extremely helpful in managing anxiety and indeed CBT is the mainstream treatment for depression and anxiety in the NHS as it has been shown to be as effective as medication for these issues.
First Psychology's Tom Seath, experienced CBT psychotherapist, will facilitate two workshops this autumn. The workshops taking place in Edinburgh and Glasgow will look at anxiety and how it affects us and introduce participants to CBT techniques which can be used to effectively manage anxiety. To book a place and start managing your anxiety click here.