In this self-help course for anxiety, we’ll learn how to reduce anxiety with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness approaches. We’ll cover general topics such as how to manage behaviours, thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations associated to anxiety. And we’ll also look at specific topics such as how to worry less, and how to cope with and reduce panic and panic attacks, with more to come later. And there are also some breathing exercises, grounding techniques, and guided relaxation exercises and meditations that can help calm anxiety.
CBT for Anxiety
In CBT for anxiety we focus on how thoughts and behaviors contribute to anxiety, and learn strategies to modify our thoughts and behavior in ways that reduce anxiety. Cognitive restructuring is the primary CBT technique for changing thoughts related to anxiety. We either modify our anxious thoughts and worries, or replace them with new, less anxious thoughts.
The main behavioral intervention in CBT for anxiety is exposure. With exposure therapy we gradually allow ourselves to experience things that make us anxious in order to help us feel more comfortable with them. And as a result they make us less anxious, so we reduce our anxiety. We’ll also learn a CBT technique to help decrease worrying, by postponing worrying until a set “worry period” later in the day.
Mindfulness for Anxiety
Mindfulness approaches to treating anxiety emphasize accepting our anxious thoughts and feelings, rather than fighting against them. When we try to fight with our anxiety, our anxiety tends to fight back. But when we learn to accept these uncomfortable anxious thoughts and feelings, our anxiety loses some of its intensity. Acceptance can be a difficult concept to grasp, and we’ll look at how to and why we practice acceptance in some detail in later posts.
A common symptom of anxiety is a racing mind, filled with anxious thoughts and worries, that won’t slow down. With mindfulness approaches to treating anxiety, rather than changing our thoughts as we do in CBT, we simply observe our thoughts, without allowing ourselves to get caught up in them. Once we become aware of worries or anxious thoughts, we simply accept them, without trying to change them, and then let them go.
Mindfulness is also a great way to respond to the emotional component of anxiety. We’ll look at how to be mindful of our emotions and accept however we’re feeling. And since panic and anxiety are usually associated with physiological or physical symptoms and sensations, we’ll learn how mindfulness can help us accept, and as a result, calm the sensations of anxiety we feel in our bodies.
Anxiety Self-Help Course Contents
I’ll be adding new videos as well as revising some of the current ones on an ongoing basis, so subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow me on Twitter so you don’t miss my new content when it comes out. If you’d like to support my work, please Buy Me a Coffee or join my Patreon.
Below is a list of posts in this self-help for anxiety course. You’ll also find links to all the posts in the sidebar. There is some overlap with my CBT course, so feel free to skip those videos if you’ve seen them already, or watch them again to reinforce the concepts.
- CBT for Anxiety
- CBT, Anxiety and Exposure Therapy
- Systematic Desensitization
- Worries and Anxious Thoughts
- Anxiety and Automatic Negative Thoughts
- Unproductive Worry vs Productive Worry
- Worrying, Problem Solving and Action Plans
- Mindfulness, Anxiety and Letting Go Of Worries
- Anxious Thoughts, Worry and Cognitive Defusion
- Postponing Worry
- Cognitive Distortions and Anxiety
- All or Nothing Thinking
- Cognitive Restructuring Intro
- Cognitive Restructuring for Anxiety
- Worry Record Worksheet
- Worry Records Tips
- How to Make a Decision
- How to Manage Panic Attacks
- Best Breathing Technique for Panic and Anxiety
- Walking and Breathing Exercise
- 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique
- Managing Panic and Anxiety with Acceptance
- Anxiety and Physical Symptoms and Sensations
- Mindfulness and Acceptance
- Anxiety and Allowing and Letting Be
- Guided Relaxation Meditation for Anxiety
- Three Minute Breathing Space
- Breathing In I Feel Calm