Feeling Anxious?

Photography by: Ivar Teunissen

Rethink your thoughts
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which refers to any therapies that teach you how to think more realistically so that fearful thoughts don’t build into anxiety, is most commonly recommended for GAD. “What we think about an event affects our feelings more than the event itself,” says Bourne. As you examine the thoughts that underlie your feelings with CBT, you can determine whether or not they really make sense. If they don’t, you can replace them with more realistic thoughts. For instance, you might think, “I am in danger” while walking on a crowded street; the therapist would help you see the situation more clearly, so you instead think something like, “There are no real dangers here.” Therapy sessions are combined with “homework” such as keeping track of your moods and challenging your negative thoughts. The treatment can last from six weeks to several months, with “booster sessions” afterward. CBT helped Garcia learn effective methods of coping with her anxiety. “Whenever I start to worry, I think to myself, ‘Stop. How is worrying going to change anything?’ It has really helped me on many occasions.”