Banking is a fast-paced and highly competitive industry, with constant pressure to meet deadlines, meet targets and provide excellent customer service. It’s no wonder that those who work in banking can experience high levels of stress and anxiety.
Anxiety can manifest in many ways, including worry, fear, and physical symptoms such as heart palpitations and sweating. These symptoms can be overwhelming and interfere with daily life, making it difficult to focus on work or even carry out simple tasks.
Fortunately, talking therapy can be a highly effective way to overcome and manage anxiety and help those in the banking industry overcome their worries and fears.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a natural response to stress, and in some situations, it can even be helpful. For example, if you’re about to give a presentation, a little bit of anxiety can help you to perform better.
However, when anxiety becomes excessive or persistent, it can be a sign of an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are a group of mental health conditions that are characterised by excessive and irrational fear or worry. There are several different types of anxiety disorders, including Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, and Social Anxiety Disorder.
Anxiety disorders can be highly disruptive to daily life, making it difficult to concentrate, sleep or engage in social activities. They can also cause physical symptoms such as sweating, shaking, and heart palpitations.
Why is anxiety common in banking?
The banking industry is highly competitive and fast-paced, with a high degree of pressure to perform. Employees in the industry are often required to meet tight deadlines, manage large amounts of data and provide excellent customer service.
These demands can be highly stressful, and if not managed properly, can lead to anxiety and other mental health problems. In addition, the banking industry has undergone significant changes in recent years, with increased regulation and new technology disrupting traditional banking models. This can create uncertainty and change, which can exacerbate anxiety and stress.
How can Hypnotherapy in Blackheath and Chislehurst help?
I am a former City Analyst, having worked at the Coal Face for more than 2 decades. I now work with banking professionals in my Therapy Practice. Talking therapy can help you manage work stress and lead a healthier, happier life. By providing a safe and confidential space to talk, helping you identify the sources of stress and areas of building core resilience. If this is something that could be of help to you, please reach out using the contacts on this page.
Talking therapy, also known as psychotherapy or counselling, is a form of treatment that involves talking to a trained mental health professional. There are several different types of talking therapy I practice, including Hypnotherapy, Cognitive and Behavioural Therapy, mindfulness, and problem-solving.
These therapies can be highly effective for managing anxiety, as it help individuals to identify and understand the underlying causes of their anxiety. It also provides them with tools and strategies for managing their symptoms, so they can feel more in control of their thoughts and emotions.
The combination of therapies provided is the most commonly used form of talking therapy for anxiety. It is a short-term, goal-oriented therapy that focuses on changing negative thought patterns and behaviours that contribute to anxiety. Therapy can help individuals identify their negative thoughts and beliefs and replace them with more positive and realistic ones.
Humanistic Therapy is client-centred therapy that focuses on the individual’s strengths and abilities. It encourages individuals to take an active role in their therapy and helps them to develop self-awareness and self-acceptance. Humanistic Therapy can be highly effective for those with anxiety, as it helps them to develop a sense of control over their thoughts and feelings.
In addition to these specific therapies, talking therapy in general can provide a safe and confidential space for individuals to explore their anxiety and develop coping strategies. The therapist can act as a sounding board, providing support and guidance as the individual navigates their anxiety.
Benefits of talking therapy for those in banking
Talking therapy can be highly beneficial for those in the banking industry who are struggling. I am someone who has been there, as a former City Analyst, having worked at the coal face for more than 2 decades. I now work with banking professionals in my Therapy Practice. If this is something that could be of help to you, please reach out using the contacts on this page.
Prevention and Self-help Tips:
Managing anxiety is a continuous process, and while professional intervention like therapy is invaluable, there are proactive steps individuals can take daily to keep anxiety at bay. Integrating these self-help tips can make a significant difference:
- Mindfulness and Meditation: Practicing mindfulness means staying present and fully engaging with the here and now. Meditation, especially guided meditation or focused breathing exercises, can help reduce anxiety by pulling the mind away from concerns about the past or future.Tip: Start with just 5 minutes a day using apps like Headspace or Calm. Over time, as you get comfortable, you can increase the duration.
- Exercise: Regular physical activity is a proven way to reduce anxiety. Exercise releases endorphins, natural painkillers that can help improve mood.Tip: Find an activity you love, whether it’s walking, cycling, dancing, or yoga. Aim for at least 30 minutes most days of the week.
- Stay Connected: Talk to someone you trust about your anxiety, whether it’s a friend, family member, or colleague. Sometimes, just talking can be therapeutic and provide a fresh perspective.Tip: Schedule regular check-ins or meet-ups with loved ones. It can be a simple phone call or a coffee chat.
- Limit Caffeine and Sugar: Both can cause mood swings or anxiety. Monitor your consumption and notice if reducing intake makes you feel better. Tip: Swap out coffee for herbal teas like chamomile or peppermint, known for their calming properties.
- Establish a Routine: Keeping a regular routine, even on weekends, can provide a feeling of normality. Tip: Prioritise sleep, aiming for 7-9 hours each night. A consistent sleep schedule can significantly impact your mood and energy levels.
- Journaling: Writing down your feelings can be a way to process emotions and reflect on worries.Tip: At the end of each day, jot down three things you’re grateful for. This practice can shift your focus from anxiety-inducing thoughts to positive reflections.
- Limit Exposure to News and Social Media: Continuous exposure can be overwhelming and increase feelings of anxiety. Be selective about what you read and how often you check updates.Tip: Designate specific times in the day when you’ll check the news or social media and stick to those windows.
- Deep Breathing: When feeling anxious, deep breathing can help activate the body’s relaxation response.Tip: Try the 4-4-7 technique: Inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds. Repeat a few times.
- Engage in Hobbies: Doing something you love can act as a distraction and elevate your mood. Whether it’s reading, painting, or gardening, find something that brings you joy.Tip: Dedicate some time each week, even if it’s just an hour, to engage in your hobby uninterrupted.
- Educate Yourself: Understanding what’s happening in your body when you’re anxious can sometimes reduce the fear of unknown symptoms.
Limiting Exposure to News and Social Media for Mental Well-being:
In today’s digital age, news and social media are an integral part of our daily lives, offering us instant access to global happenings. However, the sheer volume and nature of information can sometimes be more of a bane than a boon. Constant exposure to distressing news or the perpetual cycle of social media updates can intensify feelings of anxiety and stress.
- Information Overload: With the ability to check news and updates at any moment, it’s easy to fall into the trap of consuming more information than our minds can process. This continuous influx can lead to feelings of being overwhelmed and can accentuate anxiety.
- Echo Chambers: Social media platforms, with their algorithms, often expose us to information that aligns with our pre-existing beliefs, creating echo chambers. This lack of diverse perspectives can distort our understanding of events and heighten feelings of fear or concern.
- Comparison Culture: Social media, while offering connectivity, often pushes individuals into a cycle of comparison, leading to feelings of inadequacy or missing out. This can further contribute to anxiety and decreased self-worth.
- Being Selective: Not all news sources are created equal. Choose reputable sources that offer balanced perspectives rather than those that sensationalize events. Similarly, curate your social media feeds to include positive, uplifting content that genuinely adds value to your day.
- Digital Detox: Consider taking regular breaks from digital devices. A digital detox, even if for a weekend, can help reset your mind and reduce dependency on constant updates.
- Stay Informed, Not Immersed: While it’s essential to stay informed, especially in a rapidly changing world, immersion in every detail of every event is unnecessary and can be harmful. Learn to differentiate between essential information and noise.
- Engage in Real-world Activities: Balance out your digital consumption by engaging in offline activities. Reading a book, taking a walk, or engaging in hobbies can offer a refreshing break.
- Mindful Consumption: Practice mindfulness when consuming news or social media. Ask yourself if what you’re reading or viewing is beneficial. Being conscious of your consumption habits can lead to more intentional and positive engagement.
- Tip Implementation: As mentioned, designating specific times for checking news or social media can be beneficial. For instance, allocate a 20-minute window in the morning and evening. Avoid checking updates first thing upon waking or right before sleeping, as it can disrupt your mental peace. Setting app timers or using digital well-being tools can also assist in adhering to these designated windows.
The Science Behind Talking Therapy:
Talking therapy, commonly known as psychotherapy, is more than just a conversation. It’s a structured interaction between a trained therapist and a client, designed to address specific psychological challenges. To understand its effectiveness, it’s essential to delve into the underlying neuroscience and psychology.
- Neuroplasticity: One of the foundational concepts behind the efficacy of talking therapy is neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections. When individuals engage in therapy, they’re essentially rewiring their brains to think, react, and behave differently. Over time and with consistent therapy, these new pathways become stronger, leading to lasting change. Reference: The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge.
- Stress Reduction: Chronic stress can result in elevated cortisol levels, which can impede neural growth and connectivity. Talking therapy can help reduce stress, thereby promoting a healthier brain environment conducive to positive change.Reference: Sapolsky, R. M. (2004). Why zebras don’t get ulcers: The acclaimed guide to stress, stress-related diseases, and coping.
- Emotion Regulation: Through techniques like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), individuals learn to identify and challenge negative thought patterns. This cognitive restructuring can help in regulating emotions by altering the way the amygdala (the brain’s emotional centre) responds to stimuli. Reference: Siegel, D. J. (2007). The mindful brain: Reflection and attunement in the cultivation of well-being.
- Enhanced Self-awareness: Talking therapy encourages introspection, helping individuals become more aware of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. This heightened self-awareness activates the prefrontal cortex, the brain’s centre for reasoning, which can help in making more informed and rational decisions. Reference: Farb, N. A., Segal, Z. V., & Anderson, A. K. (2013). Mindfulness meditation training alters cortical representations of interoceptive attention. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 8(1), 15-26.
- Strengthening the Therapeutic Alliance: The bond between the therapist and client, known as the therapeutic alliance, is crucial. A strong alliance can lead to increased oxytocin levels, a hormone associated with bonding and trust, facilitating a safe environment for change. Reference: Zilcha-Mano, S., Dinger, U., McCarthy, K. S., & Barber, J. P. (2014). Does alliance predict symptoms throughout treatment, or is it the other way around? Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 82(6), 931-935.
In summary, the science behind talking therapy offers a compelling argument for its effectiveness. By understanding how the brain works and responds to therapy, individuals can feel more confident in its potential to bring about positive change in their lives.