Evidence suggests that working can be good for our health. Despite this fact many of our customers report that it's actually their health issues which prevent them from being employed.
Here at Links to Work we work with you to break this cycle. By teaming you up with a qualified health professional we can help you to develop coping strategies to overcome your barriers to work and make sure you find suitable employment.
As well as working one-to-one with you we may encourage you to attend our group health & wellbeing workshops. Below we shine the spotlight on our 'Managing Anxiety' workshop.
Anxiety Management – Session 1
Anxiety – what is it?
Everyone experiences anxiety differently. In the first session of our anxiety management workshops you'll explore exactly what anxiety is, what it means to you and discuss its advantages and disadvantages.
It's important to recognise when you're beginning to feel anxious so that you can adopt appropriate coping mechanisms. This workshop will teach you to recognise symptoms of anxiety both physical and psychological. We’ll also uncover some of the science behind these symptoms helping you to understand that your body is reacting in a normal way.
Fight or flight
Anxiety causes our brain to send a message to the body and prepare it for action. This called the 'fight or flight' response. This response can be triggered from anything at any time; what one person may find anxiety-provoking, another may not. It’s important to begin to know what your individual triggers are. We'll help you to understand more about this reaction, when it can be detrimental but also when harnessing this energy can be helpful.
We’ll discuss some of the most common environmental and lifestyle causes of anxiety discovering what makes you anxious and why. By tackling lifestyle factors head on you may begin to see a decrease in levels of anxiety.
Relaxation techniques for managing anxiety
We’ll use the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy model to justify and explore a number of relaxation techniques that can be employed to help manage anxiety. Therapies discussed include deep breathing, visualisation and progressive muscle relaxation. If applied correctly and regularly CBTs are scientifically proven to be effective treatments for anxiety and other mental health conditions.
Anxiety Management – Session 2
Anxiety, unhelpful thinking and active problem solving
Anxiety is a common issue but our brains lead us to believe we can’t cope with it. In the second session we discuss the idea of worrying and negative thinking, how we all experience it and how unhelpful it can be. We’ll introduce a couple of practical exercises to help you realise what is and what isn’t out of our control.
By identifying what is under our control you can then adopt active problem solving techniques. Active problem solving techniques are discussed.
We’ll break down the types of unhelpful thinking e.g. over-generalising and disqualifying the positive – helping you to further understand your anxiety and the combative techniques you could be implementing.
Challenging unhelpful thinking
The workshop explores a number of techniques that can help you to challenge your anxiety and unhelpful thoughts – including assessing the evidence, thought stopping and positive affirmation.
Anxiety Management – Session 3
Anxiety, fear and avoidance
In the third session we start by reviewing the CBT model and move on to discussing the fear and avoidance cycle. Our anxiety over a certain situation or event can often lead to us avoiding it altogether. We discuss how this can lead to reinforcing our fears and us entering a vicious cycle. Avoidance can have a poor impact on our lifestyle not least because it can mean we are reluctant to re-join the workplace.
By understanding the negative impact of avoidance you will begin to understand why implementing coping strategies and overcoming your anxiety will have a positive impact on your life and ultimately make you happier.
Unhelpful coping strategies for managing anxiety
We'll uncover the unhelpful ways people deal with anxiety, for example:
- Bottling up feelings
- Self-medicating with alcohol or drugs
- Comfort eating
- Looking after others’ needs before you own.
And reiterate the positive coping strategies discussed in previous workshops while introducing and practising more, for example:
- shifting focus.
Graded exposure to anxiety
It’s all too easy to discuss the above and feel that we understand anxiety and how to manage it. Ultimately we will face situations that make us anxious so in the workshop we discuss the concept of graded exposure. By gently exposing ourselves to anxiety triggers on a regular basis, overcoming them and repeating we will find the anxiety response begin to reduce.
Is anxiety or other health issues preventing you from working? One of our health advisers can help, signup for our services today!