Cognitive psychologists have found that the process of identifying and disputing irrational thoughts is a very effective way to short-circuit the anxiety cycle so we can regain our equilibrium, think more clearly, and feel a lot better.
So the next time you’re feeling anxious, walk yourself through these three steps.
- Remind yourself that anxiety naturally fuels irrational thoughts that then reinforce the anxiety. Ask yourself if that’s happening to you.
- Identify the anxiety-driven thoughts. “I’m telling myself that I know the doctor is going to give me bad news. That sounds like my anxiety talking.”
- Challenge the faulty reasoning. “Do I really have enough evidence to be so sure? What are some of the other possibilities?”