As mentioned in the last weeks’ posts, there are several views of the cause of anxiety which have different implications for how to treat anxiety.
In Cognitive behavioural therapy, CBT, the common view is that anxiety is triggered by anxiety inducing thoughts concerning various fears.
Psychodynamic therapy views anxiety as symptoms of stress and strong mixed emotions.
Anxiety is thought to rise within us when we experience strong mixed emotions that we in some way during childhood have learnt can challenge our close relationships, and hence we have learnt to push these feelings away leading to psychological suffering.
Here is a useful technique for reducing stronger anxiety (and other emotions as well):
1. Notice that you have anxiety by naming it
2. Identify where you notice the anxiety in the body and how strong it is on a scale 1 – barely noticeable to 10 – panic
If anxiety is 8 or above – breathe slowly with your stomach – try to prolong breathing out and maintain focus on calmly naming the symptoms in the body since this will most likely reduce the intensity of the symptoms.
More about the next steps when calmer in coming posts.