I will never meet someone like him again! I will never get into college! I will always be miserable. This is horrible! I am fat.
What do all the above statements have in common? They are all unhelpful thinking patterns! ? ? Check out Prudence and me live below for instant ways to bust through those thinking patterns that are making you unhappy! Or if you would rather, read about it below!
Last Friday, my Blog and Vlog on tips to reduce anxiety received the most feedback of any of my videos. I was so happy to hear it helped a lot of people. It seems anxiety is a very common thing these days. Thank God I’m not alone! Lets say it together! Anxiety sucks!
I’m so glad we are stronger than our anxiety.
Since it was such a common topic, and since helping people with anxiety is something I am so passionate about, I want to talk about it again. I would like to give you even more easy tips to help with the anxiety beast (or maybe we should make it our little pet).
The next time you feel your anxiety rising up, I want you to take a step back and start to notice your thoughts. What are you thinking? Chances are, you are taking part in one of the famous “unhelpful thinking habits”. An unhelpful thinking habit is just that, it’s unhelpful! It is not serving you or your situation, and more often than not, it is inaccurate.
An example of an unhealthy thinking habit is something called “all-or-nothing thinking”. Are you thinking something such as, “I’ll never meet anyone like him again!” or “I always screw up!” Notice the words “always” and “never” in those statements. A statement that includes “always” or “never” is usually inaccurate and unhelpful.
Think about when you used to take multiple choice tests (or if you still are at a point in your life when you are taking multiple choice tests). Usually the first thing you learn is to eliminate the answers that you know are inaccurate. The answers that contain “always” or “never” were usually the wrong answers. The same goes for True/False questions. The “always” and “never” statements were usually the false ones.
The same goes for everyday statements that we might tell ourselves. Start to pay attention to the “always” and “never” statements you tell yourself! See if you can capture other people making these statements! Notice if they are inaccurate.
Once you have identified that you are thinking something unhelpful, it is hard to convince yourself it is not true, even if you deep down know it is not true. That is because the anxiety has taken over and convinced you the untrue is true (anxiety is an insidious beast).
Here is where I love to use one of Gabby Bernstein’s techniques. She talks about thinking of a general statement that applies to your situation that you really believe.
Say you have gained a couple pounds. You start thinking, “This is horrible! I am so fat! I’ll never lose weight again!”
Not only are the above statements black-and-white thinking, but they are also “catastrophizing” Catastrophizing is another unhelpful thinking pattern. “This is horrible” is catastrophizing. (Which is only a word in the field of psychology, apparently).
Think of a general statement that you might say to someone else in this situation that you really believe is true. Some examples are “A couple pounds isn’t that big of a deal. It’s actually totally possible to lose weight. Five extra pounds doesn’t make someone fat.” Sometimes it is easier to think of it as a general statement (that you totally believe) that you would tell a friend or someone else in that situation.
Lets review! The next time your anxiety is rising up, notice your thoughts. Are you looking at something in all-or-nothing terms? Are you catastrophizing? If you are, then think of a general statement you would tell someone else that you totally believe.
Ahhh, relief. All is well.
I would love for someone to comment below and give me an example of a unhelpful thinking statement that they were able to turn around and generalize into a more helpful statement! It could be a game, and everyone can help! Remember the new general statement has to be something you totally believe!
Now for our weekend angel tarot card reading!
The four of earth (Friday’s card) ? asks us to look at how we are spending our money, time, efforts. Are you giving too much or too little? Only you can answer that, but this is definitely a card of extremes. So Friday we’re are asked to notice if we are giving too much or too little, and then take steps to balance that out. Saturday we will encounter great prosperity with the King Of Earth if we do what Friday’s card asks of us! And Sunday is all about inner strength to forgive and release harsh judgements! It looks like Friday and Saturday will be a time of balancing our material/external world while Sunday will give us some time to go inward and explore our spiritual world! Sounds like the perfect weekend! Peace and Love from Elizabeth and Prudence! (Card deck Angel Tarot Cards by Radleigh Valentine pub by Hay House)
Peace, Love, and Beautiful Thoughts,
Elizabeth and Prudence
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