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Handling Excessive Anxiety with Metacognition

 Feeling excessive and persistent anxiety is one of the symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Anxious usually think about the future only considering almost all the negative aspects. How to deal with this if it happens to us?

Handling Excessive Anxiety with Metacognition


Examples of thoughts of feeling excessively anxious such as: Will the person I love leave me? Will I get sick? Will I be fired? Is my savings sufficient if needed? Many of the sufferers who spend time feeling anxious have met the diagnostic criteria for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GD). This condition is still underestimated by many people so it is often not treated properly.


GD is characterized by intense worry that is almost daily and an inability to control it. Also experience psychosomatic symptoms such as anxiety, fatigue, restlessness and irritability, muscle tension and, often, insomnia. The various aspects in common with depression can make it difficult for doctors to diagnose generalized anxiety disorder.


Handling Excessive Anxiety


As already mentioned, the main symptom of generalized anxiety disorder is excessive and repetitive worrying. It's a matter of thinking, but it's certainly not the only thing. Sufferers always feel worried, experience feelings of vulnerability, anxiety, and sadness. In addition, they adopt behaviors that, although effective in obtaining temporary relief from anxiety, in the long run will only make it worse and can lead to chronic pain.


One method of dealing with excessive anxiety is the cognitive aspect approach. People who feel excessively anxious usually worry about things changing, like links in a chain. Each lasts a few days or weeks, then is replaced by another, then another and, finally, reappears. They will therefore suffer from more anxiety, more thoughts, and less ability to manage them.


Everyone has concerns about their job, health or concerns about the possible future. Then why do so few suffer? To understand this, it is necessary to introduce the concept of metacognition. Metacognition is the ability to see within yourself, so that what you do can be controlled optimally. Metacognition is a mental activity that allows people to organize, manage and monitor all the thought processes they take in order to solve a problem.


Metacognition is automatic beliefs about the mind. Each of us has it but some people just don't work. "If I think about what worries me, I can find a solution" is an example of metacognition consisting of the belief that worrying is useful for solving problems. The following are the most typical metacognitions of excessive anxiety:


• Worry helps predict and avoid future problems;

• Not worrying is an unconscious state;

• Not worrying is stupid;

• Not worrying is selfish;

• It is impossible to stop worrying;

• The mind cannot be controlled;

• Not thinking about anything is unnatural;

• Thinking nothing is impossible;

• If you start thinking about something, you can't stop;

• Thinking about something can prevent it from happening.


Metacognitive therapy in treating sufferers who feel excessively anxious concentrates on eliminating dysfunctional processing modes. Namely, changing people's inflexible ways of thinking that result in them being "stuck" in constant negative self-processing.


Simply put, metacognitive therapy in the problem of excessive anxiety will seek to change the way we respond to our thoughts. Sufferers not only change the content of our thoughts, but also the way we think about ourselves. The results of the study also prove that metacognitive therapy is effective in treating general anxiety, post-traumatic stress problems to major depression problems.

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