Treating OCD with CBT: What is an intrusive thought?

Treating OCD with CBT:
What is an intrusive thought?


Understanding intrusive thoughts

The best way I can think to explain intrusive thoughts, is through a personal example. As a child, my family would regularly attend church on a Sunday morning. Whilst sat in the pews, listening to the service, I would often have the most distressing and peculiar thought pop into my mind! I’d think, what if I stood up, made a loud noise to get everyone’s attention and pulled my trousers down, exposing my manhood to everyone in attendance! This thought would be accompanied by a racing heart, sweating, and a feeling of heat rising up through my body, coming out through my throat! I’d start to panic inside; What did this thought mean? Why was I having this thought? This was the last thing I wanted to do, so why was I thinking it?

Intrusive thoughts are images and ideas that come into our mind uninvited. We have little control over them and everyone experiences them. They can be distressing and come in a variety of forms. So what is the difference between someone who has intrusive thoughts with OCD vs without? The answer is; people with OCD think their intrusive thoughts mean something. They question whether they are having the thought because they want to act on it and/or it represents something about them that is unacceptable. As a result, they get anxious and try to get rid of them. However, opposite from their intentions, this actually means they have more of these thoughts and so the problem gets worse.

How to overcome problems with intrusive thoughts

Intrusive thoughts can be extremely uncomfortable and when problems develop, it is not uncommon for people to feel hopeless. Fortunately, Cognitive Behvaioural Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based treatment, which is very effective in helping people to overcome OCD. Here are some concepts and techniques, which will help you understand how it works:

1. Accepting that a thought is just a thought: a study by Purdon and Clark (1993), took a pool of 293 individuals, none of which had OCD, and asked them what intrusive thoughts they experienced. The results were very interesting! For example; 48% of females and 60% of males had thoughts of ‘having sex with an unacceptable person’. The headline is that intrusive thoughts are normal. We need to accept that they are just thoughts. You can find the full results here:

2. Don’t try to push the thoughts away: If I tell you not to think of a pink elephant, what happens? That’s right, you think of a pink elephant. This is an example of how thought suppression doesn’t actually work. The more we try not to think of something, the more we think of it. Another strategy is to accept that we will have these thoughts, observe them and wait for them to go away on their own accord.

3. Anxiety will decrease over time: accepting your intrusive thoughts will probably also mean feeling anxious, distressed and/or uncomfortable. Have faith: the more you experience these feelings, the less intense they will become. It is a scientific rule that if nothing bad happens and you sit with your anxiety for a prolonged period of time, it will decrease over time. You need to face your fears and tell yourself ‘I can cope’!

Intrusive thoughts can be distressing and worrying. However, they do not hold meaning; thoughts are just thoughts! If you find yourself struggling with problems related to the topics discussed in today’s blog, consider contacting us at NOSA to get an assessment. We can make treatment recommendations and help you overcome these problems. CBT is an effective therapy for OCD and help is out there if you need it!


4 Ways to Deal With Social Anxiety

4 Ways to Deal With Social Anxiety


Social anxiety, or social phobia, is one of the most common forms of anxiety problem in today’s world. Getting professional help can often be the best way to overcome your problems but you can also take steps to improve this aspect of your life for yourself. Let’s look at some of the best ways to ease your social anxiety in daily life.

What is social anxiety?

Social anxiety is characterised as a fear of social situations. Those with social anxiety often feel stressed and anxious about looming social events or meeting new people and will struggle to make eye contact when talking to the people they meet.

As mentioned at the start of this article, seeking professional help is the best way to overcome an issue like social anxiety. Here at NOSA CBT, we offer specialised talking therapy services for issues like social anxiety, and we encourage you to get in contact with our friendly team if you want to improve this aspect of your life.

What are the symptoms of social anxiety?

Social anxiety comes with a range of symptoms. If you think that you are experiencing one, a few, or all of these symptoms, it’s well worth speaking to a professional so that they can evaluate you and assess your treatment needs.

The following symptoms are common among those living with social anxiety.

  • The perception that you leave a bad impression during social interactions.
  • Beliefs that other people are watching you closely and judging you negatively.
  • A preoccupation with a physical symptom during social interactions, including blushing, stammering, freezing or shaking.
  • Mentally reviewing past social interactions and beating yourself up for behaviours and/or symptoms you displayed.
  • Avoidance of social situations due to an intense fear or anxiety.

NOSA CBT offers a two-hour assessment session for £90. This gives us the chance to assess your symptoms and discuss a treatment plan that works for you.

Helping Yourself To Better manage Social Anxiety

There are many steps that you can take in your own life to improve social anxiety. Following these steps is just the start, and there are plenty of methods that a therapist can teach you to give you even more control.

1. Challenge your social anxiety

Social situations are daunting for those with social anxiety, but this will only get worse if you don’t challenge yourself. Meeting new friends, going to social events, and even taking the time to have a conversation with a local shopkeeper can all help to boost your confidence. The more you socialise and challenge your social anxiety, the easier it will be.

2. Challenge negative thoughts about your social abilities

The way you view yourself and the way that others see you are very different. This leads to many people having thoughts about the way that their friends and colleagues view them that don’t reflect reality.

Breaking down these false perceptions takes time, but you have to challenge the thoughts that drive your social anxiety to achieve this. For example, if you worry about your relationships when someone doesn’t have time to spend with you, it’s worth thinking about the busy aspects of their life. In most cases, they will just have their own things going on.

It’s important to focus on other people when you find yourself struggling with social anxiety. As time goes by, you will find it easier and easier to look at social situations from other people’s perspectives, and it’s rarely as bad as you think.

3. Improve your lifestyle

There are many aspects of a normal lifestyle that can contribute to social anxiety. Those who are self-conscious and don’t feel comfortable in their own skin can develop social anxiety as a result of their personal image.

Improving your lifestyle by being more active will help boost your body image and make you feel more confident around others, but this is just one example of a lifestyle change that can help with anxiety. Changing your diet, quitting smoking, and getting better sleep can also make it easier to overcome social anxiety.

4. Develop grounding methods

As with any kind of anxiety, developing grounding methods is a great way to maintain control during challenging situations. Remember to stay grounded in your environment by practising grounding techniques.

Practising your grounding methods when you don’t need them will help to prepare you for when you do. This makes it well worth taking the time to get comfortable with the methods you have available to you.

How to get help for social anxiety

NOSA CBT is an anxiety treatment specialist, ensuring that our team of professionals are best equipped to help you with problems. You can get in contact with our team using the contact form at the bottom of this page or by calling our phone number.

We can provide talking therapy for anxiety over video chat or in person in our comfortable and welcoming Bristol clinic.


Understanding Anxiety and How to Improve It

Understanding Anxiety and
How to Improve It


Anxiety is a normal and essential human emotion that helps us navigate life’s challenges and dangers. It is a response to stress and can motivate us to take action, prepare for an important event, or stay alert in threatening situations. However, when anxiety becomes excessive, unmanageable, and interferes with daily life, it may be indicative of an anxiety disorder.

There are plenty of ways to help with anxiety and its related disorders, and the team at NOSA is always here to help you out, but you need a solid understanding of anxiety to get the best results. Let’s take a look at the different anxiety disorders found in the modern world, as well as symptoms, causes, and potential treatments to help you get back on your feet.

Understanding Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are a group of mental health conditions characterised by persistent, excessive worry, fear, or apprehension. These disorders go beyond the typical experiences of stress or anxiety and can significantly impact a person’s quality of life, relationships, and overall well-being.

Common Types of Anxiety Disorders

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): People with GAD experience excessive worry and anxiety about various aspects of life, such as work, family, health, and daily responsibilities. ‘Chronic worrying’ is often irrational and difficult to control.
  • Panic Disorder: Panic disorder involves recurrent and unexpected panic attacks, which are intense episodes of fear and physical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, sweating, trembling, and a sense of impending doom. Individuals may develop a fear of having more panic attacks, leading to avoidance behaviors.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder: Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, involves an intense fear of social situations and a fear of being negatively evaluated by others. This can lead to avoidance of social interactions and significant distress.
  • Specific Phobias: Specific phobias are intense and irrational fears of particular objects, situations, or activities. Common examples include fear of flying, heights, spiders, or needles.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): OCD is characterized by recurring, distressing, and intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive behaviors or mental acts (compulsions) performed to reduce anxiety. These rituals can become time-consuming and interfere with daily life.

Common Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders

The symptoms of anxiety disorders can vary depending on the specific type, but common symptoms include:

  • Excessive worry or fear
  • Restlessness or feeling on edge
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Avoidance of anxiety-inducing situations
  • Causes of Anxiety Disorders

Everyone has a unique experience with anxiety, and this means that you may not recognise any of these symptoms in yourself even if you are living with anxiety. Talking to the anxiety experts at NOSA is a great way to get the correct diagnosis.

The exact causes of anxiety disorders are not fully understood and likely involve a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors. Potential contributing factors include:

  • Genetics: A family history of anxiety disorders may increase an individual’s risk of developing one.
  • Brain Chemistry: Imbalances in brain chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine may play a role in anxiety disorders.
  • Trauma or Stress: Experiencing traumatic events or chronic stress can trigger or exacerbate anxiety disorders.
  • Personality Factors: Certain personality traits, such as perfectionism or a tendency to be shy, may contribute to the development of anxiety disorders.
  • Medical Conditions: Some medical conditions or medications can cause or exacerbate symptoms of anxiety.

How to Get Help for Anxiety

No matter the symptoms you experience or the cause of your anxiety, getting professional help is a great way to solve this sort of issue. Anxiety disorders are common mental health conditions that affect millions of people worldwide. They can have a profound impact on one’s daily life and well-being. However, with early recognition, appropriate treatment, and support, individuals with anxiety disorders can learn to manage their symptoms and lead fulfilling lives.

Here at NOSA, we encourage anyone who is living with anxiety to give us a call or an email. We can help you determine the best treatment path for you, while also providing time-tested techniques and methods that will help you to take control of your life once again.


How to Recognise and Improve a Hoarding Problem

How to Recognise and Improve
a Hoarding Problem


Hoarding is a complex psychological disorder characterised by the excessive accumulation of items and an inability to discard them, even when they have little or no value. Hoarding can lead to serious health and safety risks, strained relationships, and a diminished quality of life. However, with the right strategies and support, individuals who struggle with hoarding can find ways to manage their condition and regain control of their lives.

Are You Living With Hoarding Tendencies?

The first step in addressing hoarding is acknowledging that it is a problem. Often, individuals with hoarding tendencies may not see their behaviour as abnormal or harmful, making it very difficult to solve the problem.

In fact, in many cases, it will be those close to you who first notice hoarding tendencies emerging. It might be hard to convince you to part with unused possessions, or they may even notice that your home is becoming very cluttered, but it’s worth listening to the people you care about if they bring up the topic of hoarding. 

Alongside this, it’s also important to encourage self-awareness and self-acceptance in yourself, but also emphasise the need for change. This will make it much easier for you to take steps to improve your life once you have established that you have a hoarding problem.

Get Help With Hoarding

You can read about the symptoms of hoarding on our dedicated service page, but a professional may be able to help you better understand your problems. It only takes a few minutes to call the team at NOSA, and we can help you determine the likelihood that you are living with a hoarding problem.

Hoarding is a mental health problem. Therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), can help individuals understand the root causes of their hoarding behavior and develop healthy coping strategies.

Here at NOSA, we specialise in providing CBT to those living with hoarding, PTSD, and other issues related to anxiety. If you are looking for help, we encourage you to get in touch with our friendly team.

How to Improve a Hoarding Problem

Getting professional help from a talking therapy provider like NOSA can be an effective way to work towards improving a hoarding problem, but you can also take steps to improve the situation for yourself. It’s crucial that you take the time to reflect as you make changes like this to ensure that they are having a positive effect.

  • Develop a Support System: Building a strong support network is crucial for individuals dealing with hoarding. This may include family members, friends, or support groups. Loved ones can provide emotional support, offer assistance in decluttering, and help maintain progress.
  • Set Realistic Goals: Recovery from hoarding is a gradual process. Consider setting small, achievable goals for decluttering and organisation. Celebrate each milestone to maintain motivation and momentum.
  • Educate Yourself: Learning about hoarding disorder can help both individuals with hoarding tendencies and their loved ones. Understanding the underlying causes, common triggers, and available treatments can lead to more effective support and communication.
  • Practice Self-Compassion: Individuals struggling with hoarding often feel shame and guilt about their behaviour. Encourage self-compassion and remind them that hoarding is a mental health issue, not a character flaw. Self-forgiveness is an essential step in recovery.
  • Develop Decision-Making Skills: One of the challenges of hoarding is difficulty in making decisions about what to keep and what to discard. Work with a therapist or access self help materials to develop decision-making strategies.
  • Limit Buying New Things: To prevent further clutter, individuals with hoarding tendencies should work on reducing the amount of new items they acquire. Establish a shopping plan, avoid impulsive purchases, and practice mindfulness when considering new acquisitions.

How to Recover From a Hoarding Problem

Dealing with hoarding is a challenging journey that requires self-patience and understanding. You may also benefit from professional guidance. It’s essential to remember that recovery is possible, and individuals with hoarding disorder can lead healthier, more fulfilling lives. By recognising the problem, seeking professional help, and implementing these strategies, individuals and their loved ones can take significant steps toward managing hoarding and regaining control of their living spaces and their lives.

You don’t have to go through this process on your own. Here at NOSA, we always work hard to provide compassionate and caring support for those living with issues like hoarding. We understand how much hoarding can impact your life, and we want to make a difference.


6 Ways to Deal With PTSD

6 Ways to Deal With PTSD


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can affect individuals who have experienced a traumatic event. This condition can manifest in various ways, including intrusive memories, flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, and emotional numbness. 

Coping with PTSD can be challenging, but several strategies and treatments are available to help individuals manage their symptoms and improve their overall well-being. Here at NOSA, we can provide excellent professional support to help with PTSD, but there are also some steps that you can take for yourself to make the process easier.

1. Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques

Practicing mindfulness and relaxation techniques, such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and progressive muscle relaxation, can help manage the stress and anxiety associated with PTSD. 

These practices can help individuals stay grounded in the present moment and reduce the frequency and intensity of intrusive thoughts. They can also help you to develop a better understanding of your own thoughts and feelings, which is ideal for those struggling with their mental health. There are loads of resources around the web that can help with these techniques.

2. Exercise and Physical Health

Engaging in regular physical activity has been shown to have a positive impact on mental health. Exercise can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, improve sleep quality, and boost overall well-being. Additionally, maintaining a balanced diet and getting adequate sleep are essential for managing PTSD symptoms.

3. Establish a Routine

Creating a structured daily routine can provide stability and predictability, which can be especially helpful for individuals with PTSD. A routine can include designated times for self-care, work or school commitments, exercise, and relaxation. This structure can help individuals regain a sense of control over their lives.

4. Learn About PTSD

Learning about PTSD and its symptoms can be empowering. Understanding the nature of the condition and the treatment options available can help individuals make informed decisions about their care. It can also reduce feelings of shame or self-blame that sometimes accompany PTSD.

5. Seek Professional Help

The first step in truly managing PTSD is to seek professional help. A mental health specialist, such as the talking therapists at NOSA, can provide you with the necessary tools and therapies to address your symptoms. Evidence-based treatments like Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and exposure therapy have been proven effective in helping individuals manage PTSD.

Here at NOSA, we specialise in providing CBT treatments to those living with anxiety, stress, PTSD, and other anxiety-related issues. We strongly encourage anyone who is living with PTSD to get in touch with our friendly team to see how we can help you.

6: The Final Step: Medication

In some cases, once other methods have been tried, medication may be prescribed to alleviate specific symptoms of PTSD, such as anxiety or depression. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications can help regulate mood and reduce the intensity of symptoms. However, medication is typically used in conjunction with psychotherapy for the most comprehensive treatment and only when it is considered necessary. 

For more information on medication, consult your GP. 

It’s important to remember that recovery from PTSD is a process that takes time. What works best may vary from person to person, and you must be patient with yourself as you navigate the healing journey. Additionally, if you or someone you know is struggling with PTSD, it’s essential to seek help from a qualified mental health professional who can provide personalised guidance and support. 

PTSD is treatable, and with the right interventions, individuals can regain control over their lives and experience improved mental well-being. NOSA is here to support you with your PTSD journey and to help you improve your life.


Peter Garrison’s health anxiety journey

Peter Garrison's
health anxiety journey


About twenty years ago, after a few bereavements and health scares involving family members, I experienced anxiety attacks and panic attacks. I developed health anxiety and convinced myself I was dying. Every day was a struggle; I wasn’t sleeping and wasn’t eating. I went to the doctor’s repeatedly and, eventually, I was prescribed citalopram. Over a few months the symptoms diminished and slowly I returned to my normal anxious self.

Twenty years later, there was Covid and lockdown. Prior to this, I had retired and was having a good social life with my friends and participating in voluntary work etc. Lockdown stopped all this. I was under a little pressure to help my elderly sisters who were suffering from dementia and heart disease. It was a struggle, but we got through that.

Lockdown wasn’t too hard as I enjoyed staying at home and doing various crafty hobbies. The lockdown eased and I fully expected to just slip into my old life. To my surprise, the release from lock down was the start of a period of huge anxiety, panic attacks and depression.

The anxiety was a starting point, I found that I was very nervous going shopping and meeting friends. I couldn’t concentrate on conversations and found walking around the supermarket induced panic attacks. I was convinced that everyone was looking at me as my legs trembled. I lost all confidence and started staying in, to the point where I couldn’t walk to the front door let alone outside.

Panic attacks were happening all day and I was convinced I’d lost my mind! The doctors were seeing me all the time and I was so depressed. I couldn’t envisage going on like this but thought I was stuck forever.

The doctors gave me a few different types of medication, some of which made my symptoms worse. Gradually one medication had a positive effect, and I was able to leave the house for short periods of time and walk a bit outside.

I tried hypnotherapy to reduce the anxiety and it helped me to try and remain calmer when I had panic attacks but really underneath, I was still terrified and fighting all day with these attacks.

At this point my sister made me aware of CBT offered privately and I sought help through NOSA. Within a week or so I had my initial assessment consultation. I climbed the stairs to the room with very reluctant legs. The initial consultation was about two hours and the therapist put me at ease. I didn’t feel embarrassed discussing my feelings and symptoms as the consultation was more relaxed and the therapist was reassuring. He produced a detailed individualised therapy plan and I started the actual CBT treatment.

My perception of CBT therapy is that it’s not something that the therapist does that makes you better. You are not a passive part of the process. From my experience, the therapist acts as a sounding board for good sense. He challenges your ideas by putting alternative ones to think about. You yourself, have to put effort into the process and be strong enough to challenge your beliefs and thoughts. I found that the therapy journey was not smooth. I had many days where any progress I gained was swept away by panic and anxiety. The therapy can leave you feeling uncomfortable as you are coxed out of your comfort zones and safe places.

Eventually, I reached a place where I began to understand that to fight panic attacks and anxiety attacks is totally the wrong thing to do. It just increases adrenaline, which makes the attacks worse. It is better to just accept that you are panicking and ride the storm.

After a while, the panics diminished, and I was able to do things that I wanted to do.

I am still anxious and occasionally have panic attacks. My walking is a bit wobbly and I shake with nerves at times. I am more philosophical about these symptoms though and feel more able to understand that is just anxiety and panic. I’m not going to die from it, though it can be unpleasant for a short time. My learned behaviours over a life-time are difficult to change but they certainly needed to change. This is still a work in progress.

I am taking medication still but am in so much a better place in my head. The CBT has made me understand that my approach to panic, anxiety and challenges in life was wrong. It has helped me by giving me tools and strategies to cope. I am now able to participate fully in all the things that I want to do. I never thought that I would be able to do this and feel so much happier and confident that I can cope better with life’s challenges.

This client’s information has been anonymised to protect confidentiality.


Jenny Hill’s anxiety and OCD journey

Jenny Hill's
anxiety and OCD journey


I had suffered with anxiety for many years but it became unmanageable during the first part of the covid 19 pandemic and was seriously affecting my daily life and relationships. I sought professional help through my GP who prescribed medications and a referral for speaking therapies. I didn’t take the medications but knew waiting any longer could have resulted in a further decline in my mental health. I was warned the wait for NHS help was 6 months, so I decided to seek professional help though private speaking therapies; it actually was a year before I was contacted with NHS help.

Through an assessment, I was diagnosed with anxiety and OCD and therefore CBT was the suggested treatment option. The diagnosis of OCD was a huge shock to me as I had always thought OCD was to do with being tidy and clean and lining things up in order. However, the behaviours I had which developed before the pandemic, became much worse during the pandemic and had resulted in multiple checks of electronic sockets, taking pictures to prove I had turned things off, double/triple checking everything I did that caused feelings of anxiety. During the pandemic I had to follow a strict shower and hand washing routine in the same order and certain number of times.

I started the CBT journey with a different therapist and service, which unfortunately closed down after around 5/6 sessions. However, I had started to make some progress with the OCD behaviours but not really tackled the anxiety or the root cause of it.

The service closed down but my therapist referred me on to a NOSA therapist who I then continued the rest of my journey with. I found the change difficult as it felt I was starting again and had to explore all aspects of my life to understand where my thought processes had come from and to find my belief system. However, after the first few sessions we had created a really good therapeutic working relationship and I trusted him in the process and the prescribed behavioural activities.

Over the course of the next 9 months or so I worked hard to trust the process and undertake the behavioural experiments, which exposed me to things that caused me anxiety to prove that my anticipated theory A outcome didn’t happen and that theory B was the more likely outcome, I undertook various written activities and even to created my own anxiety monster to recognise what it was doing to me.

The journey was not always straight forward and there were bumps in the road. One was work related (front line NHS work) where my job showed to be a trigger for my anxiety and heightened sense of responsibility. However, my therapist recognised this straight away and we worked through some strategies to overcome this, which I put to the test and have worked since.

I honestly feel whilst the journey was longer than most the outcome has been life changing. I am now living with anxiety but not allowing it to control my life, I fell lighter and free of the burden it was having on my life and had been for over 10 years.

Whilst the pandemic has not gone away, the way in which I am able to live with it is now manageable. The OCD behaviours are massively reduced, and I am able to recognise when anxiety is spiking and deal with the OCD behaviours knowing this is the anxiety monster trying to take back control and I don’t allow it too. I am now able to socialise again and live in the moment to fully enjoy life.

I would highly recommend CBT treatment to anyone who is suffering from anxiety and OCD; the effort you put in will pay off in the results you get at the end.

This client’s information has been anonymised to protect confidentiality.


NOSA CBT: What Do We Do and Who Can We Help?

NOSA CBT: What Do We
Do and Who Can We Help?

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It’s estimated that more than 8 million people in the UK live with anxiety. Many of them will never get the treatment they need to overcome their anxiety problems, even though they have access to more support than ever before.

Here at NOSA CBT, we understand that starting any mental health journey is a challenge. We work hard to provide accessible and friendly talking therapy services to support people with a wide variety of different anxiety-based issues and offer support either online or in person. 

But what exactly does NOSA CBT do and who can we help?

What does NOSA CBT do?

NOSA stands for National Outreach Service for Anxiety, and NOSA CBT specialises in providing cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to support those living with anxiety problems anywhere in the country. Our team of talking therapy experts work with you to identify your unique problems and symptoms. We will create a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. 

You can chat with our team by calling or emailing us using the details found at the bottom of this page. Once you have made contact, we will book you in for an assessment session to determine the best plan for you.

What is CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)?

CBT is a common form of talking therapy that aims to help a person to change the way they think and behave. It is based on the idea that the way we think also influences our feelings, giving us the power to take control of our feelings using the correct thought processes. People suffering from anxiety problems can sometimes become stuck in ‘maintenance cycles’. This can be represented by a simple diagram: 

Your therapist will work with you to identify your specific symptoms and cycles, with a view to challenging and changing them. 

This type of therapy is intended to be short-term, with the recipient taking an active approach to using the techniques their therapist teaches them. This means that you will have to do some of the work to ensure that your cognitive behavioural therapy works for you, but this helps to build habits and ideas that you will use in the future to keep your anxiety under control.

Who can NOSA CBT help?

Therapy is something that everyone should be able to benefit from, and this is why NOSA CBT doesn’t restrict its talking therapy service to anyone in particular. To access our services you just need to live in the UK and be over the age of 16, but we can also help you to find a therapist that is suitable for you if you don’t meet these requirements.

Use the contact form below to get in contact and discuss your anxiety with one of our experts. We always do our best to ensure that you receive the best therapy for your personal circumstances.


7 Ways to Deal With Anxiety

7 ways to deal with anxiety


Anxiety is one of the most common mental health conditions in the UK. In fact, according to Mind, 6 in 100 people are diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder each and every week, and this barely scratches the surface of the challenges people face.

Overcoming anxiety is something that people may require professional help with, but you can still start working towards improvements without speaking to a professional. So, how do you deal with anxiety and what are the best self-care methods to try? Let’s find out.

How to deal with anxiety

Contacting a therapy provider, like NOSA CBT, is one of the single best ways to start improving the anxiety you experience, but there are steps that you can take to improve the situation for yourself.

Like with any mental health recovery process, it’s likely that you will need to use more than one of these techniques to improve your situation. Thankfully, though, they don’t take much effort and will quickly become part of your regular routine.

1. Talk about your anxiety

While it can be hard, talking is an excellent way to improve mental health issues like anxiety. Talking gives you the chance to articulate the things that make you anxious, enabling you to examine the way you think and learn about the thoughts of others.

Even if the person you talk to can’t provide all of the answers, simply having someone show that they care can go a long way towards improving anxiety. This is especially true for issues like social anxiety.

It’s worth looking for someone you can trust when you want to talk about anxiety, as this will make it much easier to open up. If you don’t have someone you feel you can talk to about anxiety in your personal life, you can contact organisations like the Samaritans to talk to someone friendly and caring.

2. Work on your physical health

Your physical health and mental health share a strong bond, with the state of your body having a strong influence on the way you feel. For example, it can be almost impossible to control your thoughts and overcome feelings of anxiety when you are very tired, but a night or two of good sleep will make it much easier.

Alongside sleep, the diet you enjoy and the exercise you do also impact your mental health. Eating regular meals will keep your blood sugar levels up, making it far easier to keep your mood positive. Likewise, exercise makes you feel good because it releases endorphins in your body that create positive feelings.

In short, looking after your physical health is a very good way to improve your mental health and work on issues like anxiety.

3. Manage your worries and stresses

Keeping on top of the things that make you worry or feel stress and anxiety is essential for many people. The feelings of anxiety you experience will only improve if you take the time to solve the problems that cause them, and this can start with small life changes that won’t push you beyond your comfort zone.

Start by setting aside some time each week to deal with the things that cause your anxiety. If you live with social anxiety, for example, you could spend time learning about the methods that other people use to overcome their anxiety in social settings.

4. Learn progressive muscle relaxation

It’s all too easy to feel like your emotions take control during moments of anxiety. Strong feelings like this are incredibly difficult to influence once you begin to feel them. Although not necessarily a long term solution, progressive muscle relaxation is a technique that offers a way to de escalate anxiety symptoms.

The NHS provides great advice to help you to learn progressive muscle relaxation techniques that help with anxiety and stress. It’s a good idea to practice this sort of method when you feel good and at ease, as this will prepare you to use it when you feel anxiety building.

5. Learn to practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is a simple idea; focus on the present moment and what you are doing with it. Rather than rushing to get things done, you take them slowly, keeping your mind focused on the task you are performing at any given moment.

For some, working to be mindful can reduce their day-to-day stress and anxiety, while also giving them the chance to enjoy living in the moment. Of course, though, this method doesn’t work for everyone, and it’s worth taking a different approach if mindfulness makes it harder to cope with your anxiety.

6. Peer support and alternative therapies

Yoga, meditation, and herbal treatments are just a few examples of the alternative therapy options you have for anxiety. Options like this are unlikely to solve your anxiety problems on their own, but they can ease your anxiety and make it easier to apply the methods you learn with your therapist.

Peer support is another good tool that falls well in line with alternative therapies. Working with other people who are experiencing anxiety enables you to share ideas and methods, while also supporting one another on your mental health journeys. Most cities are home to support groups filled with people who have a similar struggle to you.

7. Contact an anxiety therapy provider

Contacting a professional anxiety therapy provider comes with all of the benefits outlined in this article. You will have someone to talk to who can provide you with methods to help with your anxiety, while also giving you access to alternative therapies that might help with the anxiety problems you face.

Here at NOSA CBT, we specialise in providing therapy to those with anxiety and can work with a wide variety of anxiety-related issues. This includes OCD, Hoarding, Specific Phobias, Health Anxiety, Social Anxiety, PTSD/C-PTSD, Panic/Agoraphobia, and GAD/Worry.

If you have tried the methods in this article and are still struggling with anxiety or simply want to get professional help, please give our friendly team a call or email and we will be happy to help you to find the right therapy path for you.

How to deal with anxiety on your own

Thanks to how common anxiety is in the UK, there are a lot of resources available around the web to help you to deal with anxiety on your own. This also means that there are a lot of services and people who are also willing to help you, though.

While you can improve your anxiety and make your life better without any help, you may feel you require the help of a professional therapist to give you advice and tips along the way.