Psychological Techniques to Cope with Anxiety

A person smiling with coffee and journalling about how to overcome anxiety.

“How to overcome anxiety?” is a common question we may all have asked at some point in our lives.  

Feeling anxious or worried often can significantly affect how you function daily. You may end up overthinking and have difficulty finding joy.  

However, anxiety is widespread. Anxiety is a common condition and can affect both kids and adults. 

The symptoms of anxiety can manifest in completely different ways for everyone. While some people may have more common signs, such as increased heartbeat, others may have muscle pain or digestive issues.  

The good news is that anxiety can be managed. Psychologists in Singapore may provide scientific tools to help relax your mind and body.  

In this article, we share psychological techniques to overcome anxiety and explore some anxiety counselling options.  

How to Overcome Anxiety?

If your anxiety is sporadic and affecting your daily functioning and interpersonal relationships, some simple and quick coping methods can help you control the situation. 

In this section, we share 3 easy skills that you can learn to recognise and manage your anxiety.  

1. Identify Your Triggers

When you begin to identify what triggers negative emotions, you can easily manage them.  

Online psychologists in Singapore can help you with this step. However, we also share some tips you can adapt to identify triggers on your own.  

Anxiety triggers can occur due to factors such as the following: 

  • Pressure from work or academia 
  • Relationship issues such as narcissistic gaslighting 
  • Manifestation of trauma in physical health (eg chronic muscle pain) 
  • Smoking habits or disordered eating 
  • Post-traumatic stress 
  • Crowds or social settings  

Everyone can have different triggers. To identify yours, write down your thoughts after you have an anxiety attack.  

Reflect on what might have caused it. Write the location, people around you at that time, what you were doing, and any other aspects you can remember.  

Reflection can help you identify specific factors that may have triggered your anxiety.  

2. Learn Breathing Techniques

Learning how to breathe may seem simple, but it can play a huge role in overcoming anxiety disorders.  

When anxious, try breathing deeply from your stomach, not your chest. Deep breathing can help calm down your racing thoughts.  

To check if you are breathing deeply, place your palm on your stomach and the other on your chest.  

When you breathe in, your stomach should move more than your chest. This means you’re doing it right. 

Another easy method is the 4-7-8 technique. Breathe slowly through for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and slowly breathe through your mouth for 8 seconds.  

Try to make these breathing exercises a part of your daily routine. Focusing on your breath helps keep you grounded in the present moment.  

A person sitting on couch and deep breathing to overcome anxiety.

3. Journal

Journalling is the habit of tracking or reflecting on your moods, thoughts, and feelings. The frequency of journalling depends on the specific person.  

Some people may journal every single day, while others may journal only when they have an anxiety episode.  

The process of writing down your anxious thoughts and giving your thoughts a ‘physical form’ can help you detach yourself from your emotions. Emotional detachment can also help you calm down if you have generalised anxiety 

Moreover, if you track your mood swings or feelings, you may recognise your triggers and coping methods.  

Some prompts to journal include: 

  • How am I feeling today?  
  • What was the first thing I felt after waking up? 
  • What did I do today? 
  • What do I want to do today? 

Journalling also has several long-term benefits. Research shows that journalling can help reduce anxiety, depression, and emotional distress.  

Anxiety Counselling Options

Severe anxiety can be managed through online counselling in Singapore. Based on the type of your anxiety and the severity, your Therapist may use one or several types of approaches.  

For example, if you have social anxiety, your Therapist may use exposure therapy to help you overcome fear of social situations.  

The two most common types of therapeutic approaches used to treat anxiety include cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic therapy.  

1. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

CBT is a structured talk therapy that focuses on the connection between our thoughts, emotions, and actions.  

CBT Therapists believe that changing our negative thought patterns would also change our emotional and behavioural responses.  

Hence, you may learn practical tools to identify and reframe your irrational beliefs and negative thoughts.  

For example, cognitive restructuring is a CBT tool that can help you replace unhelpful, anxious thoughts with something productive.  

Studies consistently show that CBT significantly reduces symptoms of anxiety. Moreover, the benefits of CBT are long-lasting and can even help long after therapy ends.

A client talking to a CBT therapist to overcome anxiety.

2. Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic therapy works on the idea that our unconscious processes influence our thoughts and behaviours. 

By developing a strong therapeutic alliance (ie relationship with your Therapist), you may receive the support to manage anxiety effectively.  

Psychodynamic therapy, while often misconceived as a lengthy process, offers both short-term and long-term interventions. Your Therapist may use a specific tool in psychodynamic therapy based on your anxiety and severity.  

Research also shows that psychodynamic therapy shows positive results in treating and providing support for generalised anxiety disorder.  

You can visit our Singaporean psychologists to find someone who can help you with anxiety disorders.  

Visit each psychologist’s full profile to review what they can help you with! 

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