Anxiety can be a challenging and overwhelming experience, causing us to feel out of control and disconnected from ourselves. But what if we could approach anxiety from a place of compassion and self-acceptance, rather than fear and avoidance? That’s the essence of a person-centered approach to coping with anxiety, as developed by the renowned psychologist Carl Rogers.
According to Rogers, anxiety is a natural and normal response to the challenges and uncertainties of life. However, it becomes problematic when we deny, suppress, or avoid our feelings, rather than acknowledging and accepting them. In this post, we’ll explore some of the coping strategies for anxiety that align with the person-centered approach.
- Mindfulness: Mindfulness is a powerful tool for coping with anxiety, as it helps us stay present and grounded in the moment. By focusing on our breath, our body sensations, or our environment, we can cultivate a sense of calm and centeredness that can help us manage our anxiety more effectively.
- Self-compassion: Self-compassion is another essential component of the person-centered approach to anxiety. Rather than judging ourselves for our anxiety or trying to force ourselves to feel differently, we can practice self-compassion by acknowledging our feelings with kindness and understanding. This can help us feel more connected to ourselves and less alone in our experience.
- Expressive arts: Expressive arts, such as painting, drawing, or writing, can be a powerful way to express and process our anxiety. By engaging in the creative process, we can tap into our inner wisdom and explore our feelings in a safe and non-judgmental space.
- Cognitive reframing: Cognitive reframing is a technique that involves challenging and changing our negative thoughts and beliefs about ourselves and the world. By questioning the validity of our thoughts and looking for alternative perspectives, we can reduce our anxiety and feel more empowered to cope with challenging situations.
In summary, a person-centered approach to coping with anxiety emphasizes self-acceptance, compassion, and creativity, rather than avoidance or suppression. By cultivating mindfulness, self-compassion, expressive arts, and cognitive reframing, we can learn to manage our anxiety more effectively and live more fulfilling lives. If you’re struggling with anxiety, consider reaching out to a therapist who can help guide you on your journey towards greater self-awareness and personal growth, in the spirit of Carl Rogers’ person-centered approach.