Anxiety is a feeling of fear or apprehension about something that might happen. It is a natural response to stressful situations, such as attending a job interview, starting the first day of school or making an important presentation. It is helpful to know that not all anxiety is bad. Anxiety is our body’s way of preparing for challenges; it increases our heart rate, alertness and sensitivity to our surroundings. Anxiety can motivate or stimulate action and creativity. Every one of us experiences anxiety at some point in our lives. It usually goes away when the stressful situation is over. However, if the anxiety is intense and frequent, it may affect our capacity for daily functioning. Our bodies will be on frequently high alert.
Intense anxiety has aversive effects on our development, well-being and relationship with others. People can constantly feel restless and irritable and have uncontrollable feelings of worry. They commonly have trouble sleeping (both falling asleep or staying asleep) and concentrating on school or work. Over time, if not attended to, the overwhelming feelings of anxiety can lead to the development of psychological conditions. The most common one is Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), the widespread excessive and long-lasting worry about nonspecific life events or situations. Other specific anxiety-related conditions include phobias, social anxiety and panic disorder.
Counselling and psychotherapy are the primary treatments for anxiety. Some people may need medication to manage the physiological symptoms caused by stress. Popular anxiety therapy in Singapore includes Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), a well-researched and evidence-based treatment many practitioners use. Other popular anxiety therapy in Singapore includes Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Choice Theory, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and expressive therapy.
Therapy for anxiety may include:
Relaxation and grounding skills to manage anxious thoughts
More people have been seeking anxiety counselling in Singapore in the past few years due to COVID-19. Common challenges are stress from financial strain, loneliness, fear of the unknown and a sense of losing control over their lives. Working or attending classes from home also increases social anxiety. As Singapore moved to endemic, some people are anxious about adjusting to interacting with more people after a long period spent in only small and close-knit groups. Thus, while most people welcome Singapore transitioning to the “endemic,” some people are anxious about the transition.
If you or a loved one is struggling with anxiety, please seek support for anxiety counselling with a professional counsellor or psychotherapist. A mental health professional can help you process and cope with the stressors.
At Restoring Peace Counselling & Consultancy, we provide anxiety counselling and psychotherapy services in our centre and online. For more information, please visit www.restoringpeace.com.sg or Whatsapp us at +65 8889 1848.
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