If there’s one thing that anxious people need, it’s constant reminding. This isn’t because they don’t understand what’s happening to them, rather it’s because anxiety is distracting. Feelings of anxiety, physical symptoms, and worry take attention away from solutions and keep you focused on potential danger instead. Anxiety is good at that, but it’s not exactly helpful to stay problem focused, right? That’s why this week I want to review a topic that is near and dear to my heart: Anxious thinking.
I’ve discussed this issue several times since 2008. In fact, I had so much to say that I even wrote an entire eBook about it a few years ago. I wanted to highlight why understanding this issue is so critical to recovery. This time around though, I wanted to add some detail and explain two things: A) How pervasive anxious thoughts are and B) How to identify and change anxious thoughts. In my view, learning these two things well is as, or perhaps more, important than any other thing you do to feel better.
The reason for this is straightforward. Your thoughts act as a filter for your lived experience, so that what you think about any given situation will often dictate how that situation plays out. For example, let’s say that you frequently have panic attacks. If you believe that the symptoms generated by panic are dangerous then every time you have one you’ll assume the worst possible outcome. On the other hand, if you think that panic symptoms are uncomfortable rather than dangerous, then your experience will be decidedly less dramatic.
Ultimately, you would like to feel different than you do right now, but the truth is that you’ve got learn how to think differently first. You have to change the way you filter your anxious experience – learn how to appraise a situation for what it is and not what you imagine.
So, listen now.
In this episode of The Anxiety Guru Show you’ll hear about:
- The “Anxiety Triad”
- How stress impacts your thinking
- How to identify and change anxious thoughts
- Common examples of dysfunctional thinking
- Answers to listener email
To listen, you can click the play button below or visit the AG iTunes page.