Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT): Effective Healing for Anxiety

It’s normal to feel anxious when facing stressful situations such as preparing for public speaking, taking an exam, or going on a blind date. However, if your worries and fears seem overwhelming and interfere with daily life,  you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. There are many different types of anxiety disorders—and many effective treatments and self-help strategies.  I will help you understand your anxiety and steps you can take to reduce symptoms and regain control of your life.  Everyone feels anxious from time to time. Anxiety is the body’s natural response to danger, an automatic alarm that goes off when it feels threatened, under pressure, or are  facing a stressful situation.  In moderation, anxiety is not problematic, it can help you stay aware and focused, spur you into action, and motivate you to solve problems and  accomplish goals.  There are several types of anxiety disorders including panic disorder, social anxiety disorder , specific phobias , and generalized anxiety disorder .

Physical symptoms of Anxiety
Anxiety is felt in the body, mind and emotions. As a product of the body’s fight-or-flight response, anxiety involves a wide range of physiological symptoms. Common physical symptoms of anxiety include:


  • Pounding heart
  • Sweating
  • Stomach upset or dizziness
  • Frequent urination or diarrhea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tremors and twitches
  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia

Anxiety attacks and their symptoms

Anxiety attacks, also known as panic attacks, are episodes of intense emotional arousal of panic or fear. Anxiety attacks usually occur quickly without warning signals. Sometimes there’s an obvious trigger—walking into a crowded  room, starting a new job, getting stuck in an elevator, for example, or thinking about the big speech you have to give—but in other cases, the attacks come out of the blue.

Anxiety attacks usually peak within ten minutes, and rarely last more than forty-five minutes. But during that time period, the terror can be so scary and severe you feel as if you’re about to die or totally lose control. The  physical symptoms of anxiety attacks are themselves so frightening that many people believe they’re having a heart attack. After an anxiety attack is over, you may be worried about having another one, particularly in a public  place where help isn’t available or you can’t easily escape. Medication and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive therapy is an effective treatment for anxiety challenges.

Symptoms of anxiety attacks include:

  • Surge of overwhelming panic
  • Feeling of losing control or going crazy
  • Heart palpitations or chest pain
  • Feeling like you’re going to pass out
  • Trouble breathing or choking sensation
  • Hyperventilation
  • Hot flashes or chills
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Nausea or stomach cramps
  • Feeling detached or unreal


Individuals who experience extreme stress,fear and worry and it does not subside after a several weeks may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. The frequency and intensity of anxiety can be overwhelming and interferes with daily functioning. Fortunately, the majority of people with an anxiety disorder improve considerably when they work with a trained professional who specializes in treating mood disorders.

Mindfulness practices hold great promise for our own personal development, relationship fulfilment, career ambitions, inner calmness, happiness and joy. Mindfulness is not a one-size-fits-all remedy. Practices are tailored to fit the needs of each individual.

Do you know what Russell Simmons, Kourtney Kardashian, and Arianna Huffington and few CEOs of fortune 500 companies have in common? They are all practicing mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness has taken modern Western culture by storm, and it's not just for celebrities it is available and accesible to all.

Kansas City Therapist, Olufemi Sharp, MA, LPC

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