Calming the Mind: Understanding and Treating Anxiety

Understanding combined with evidence based treatment strategies can loosen the grip of anxiety.

Anxiety attacks and symptoms can leave you wondering what is happening and why you are feeling uncomfortable. Symptoms might include sweating, shaking, restricted breathing, racing heart, feelings of terror or impending doom, or even fear you are suffering a heart attack, going to die or going crazy.

What is anxiety?

While fear helps protect you and keep you safe, it can sometimes take hold even when there is no threat present. The trouble is the mind cannot always tell the difference.

This can lead to a cycle of anxiety – even to the point where you start to develop a fear of fear. For example, sometimes a person might experience an anxiety or panic attack so frightening they become terrified of having another. So, in effect, they are now suffering from a fear of fear.

The way you respond to anxiety is important – because it can either feed it or help you move past it.

One way to identify if you’re in an anxiety cycle is to do a quick check in with yourself.

For example – you could ask yourself is there something to be afraid of right now, or is it your thoughts causing the anxiety?

Calming the Mind: Understanding and Treating Anxiety / Sydney City Psychology

Evidence-based strategies for calming the mind

There are many useful evidence-based strategies for managing anxiety and calming the mind. Here are several examples.

  • Mindfulness– a form of meditation where you learn to observe your thoughts and feelings rather than trying to make them go away. A powerful way to connect with the present rather than being pushed around by future oriented thoughts.
  • Changing your relationship to your thoughts – when we are feeling anxious or depressed, we can often be inclined towards catastrophic thinking.
  • Reducing resistance – it might sound counterintuitive but fighting your mental ‘anxiety monster’ can actually increase its power over you, while acknowledging it can reduce its power.

Would you like to learn more?

If you would like to learn more about understanding anxiety cycles and strategies for anxiety you might be interested in our 10-week program “Calming the Anxious Mind”. Get in touch with Cassandra on 02 9235 3127 to register or for more information.

Calming the Mind: Understanding and Treating Anxiety / Sydney City Psychology