Tackling Anxiety

My research topic will be on learning how to overcome anxiety, as well as including different strategies that can help individuals who struggle with this. I’m choosing this topic because anxiety is something I personally have to deal with daily and so I want to do more research on it. 

The first journal article I chose is titled Self-Help Interventions for Anxiety Disorders: An Overview by authors Pim Cuijpers and Josien Schuurmans. This article gives background information on how anxiety can be seen as an impairment to one’s quality of life. While many people do not seek help, others either cannot afford to or are put off by long waiting periods. However there are other methods to help yourself in this situation such as trying different self-help interventions. “A self-help intervention can be defined as a psychological treatment in which the patient takes home a standardized psychological treatment protocol and works through it more or less independently”. This treatment protocol can come in the form of a book, CD, audio recording, and other types of media. “Most self-help interventions for anxiety disorders are based on cognitive-behavioral techniques, such as exposure, cognitive restructuring, and applied relaxation”. Strategies such as psychoeducation, relaxation, graded exposure, cognitive restructuring, anxiety management, and other techniques have been proven to be beneficial.

The second article titled “The Role of Self-help in the Treatment of Mild Anxiety Disorders in Young People: An Evidence-based Review” by authors Debra Rickwood and Sally Bradford, introduces what anxiety is and how if left untreated, the anxiety can worsen and develop into other mental health problems. “The accepted evidence-based approach in the treatment of anxiety disorders is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which challenges and tries to change negative or irrational thinking and behavior patterns”. This article also discusses different types of self-help interventions (psychoeducation, somatic management skills training, cognitive restructuring, exposure, and relapse prevention) that would be helpful in reducing anxiety. This article also includes various case studies that back their findings. 

The third article titled “How Does Meditation Reduce Anxiety at a Neural Level?” by Christopher Bergland, discusses and examines how meditation affects your brain, specifically “which areas of the brain are activated and which are deactivated during meditation-related anxiety relief”. A study was also used to back their findings on this topic. In this article, mindfulness meditation and loving-kindness meditation are the two “types of meditation that have been proven to change brain structure and have dramatic physical and psychological benefits”.

My next source is a book I recently ordered, that will hopefully provide me with more information on this topic. Anxiety Happens: 52 Ways to Find Peace of Mind by John P. Forsyth and Georg H. Eifert, includes 52 strategies (1 for each week in the year) that help you deal with anxiety through acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). This book discusses “the underlying causes of your anxiety, why avoidance just doesn’t work, how to move past your negative inner voice, and how focusing on your values can help you move past anxiety and live a rich, meaningful life”. To me this book brings in the holistic approach I’ve been missing for this topic. What really drew me into this book was that it is listed as an Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Self-Help Book Recommendation, meaning it incorporates scientifically tested strategies that help one overcome mental health issues. 

Sources:

Bergland, Christopher. “How Does Meditation Reduce Anxiety at a Neural Level?” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 7 June 2013, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201306/how-does-meditation-reduce-anxiety-neural-level. 

Cuijpers, Pim, and Josien Schuurmans. Self-Help Interventions for Anxiety Disorders: An Overview, Current Psychiatry Reports, 2007, link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s11920-007-0034-6.pdf. 

Forsyth, John P., and Georg H. Eifert. Anxiety Happens: 52 Ways to Find Peace of Mind. New Harbinger Publications, Inc, 2018. 

Rickwood, Debra, and Sally Bradford. “The Role of Self-Help in the Treatment of Mild Anxiety Disorders in Young People: an Evidence-Based Review.” Psychology Research and Behavior Management, Dove Medical Press, 27 Feb. 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3304342/. 

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