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Dr Trevor’s anxiety algorithm

Anxiety is the most commonly reported mental health issue and the one most presented by clients attending my counselling. It can be debilitating and awful for people suffering chronic anxiety and I am not about to tell you one simple device will solve everyone's problems. This one device, however, might help people cope and feel a little better.

An algorithm is a device/structure you work through to come up with an answer and this one is specifically for anxiety. First what I want you to do is address the issue that is making you anxious, it may be serious, or it may be trivial. For example, I may be thinking about a loved relative suffering with an illness, and I am both hoping for the best but fearing the worst or else I am just anxious about things which annoy me e.g., whether I have put the bins out ready for emptying on time before I left the house this morning. The algorithm does not ignore your anxiety and simply telling yourself: ‘just don’t think about it’ is not such a great strategy! thoughts come un-invited, and we cannot always simply push them away. You might, of course, distract yourself but the thought/concern will inevitably return. So try this instead:

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