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Anxiety: Name and Frame

by Jason Collins

Anxiety Blog Post #2

In the last post we explored the first anxiety hack: Capture the Anxious Thought. Go back and read it if you need to. But once you visualize the thought, picture yourself grabbing it, and holding it out in front of you, then what?

Anxiety Hack #2: Name It and Frame It

Ask yourself the question: What exactly is this thought? Take power and perspective over the thought. Put it into context. Because there are lots of categories our anxious thoughts fall into. And they’re mostly just distorted ways of thinking. For example…

  • All or Nothing. 

“If I’m not the best, I’m no good. If I can’t do everything, I shouldn’t even try.”

  • Over-generalizing. 

Any time you catch yourself thinking or saying the words “always” and “never.” “I always screw it up. I’ll never find someone.”

  • Putting a negative filter on everything.

You pick out the worst in everything and you only talk or deal with what’s wrong.

  • Discounting the positive. 

When something does go right, you ignore it. You write it off like it didn’t even happen.

  • Mind reading.

“I just know she’s mad at me. He was offended by what I said. They intentionally didn’t invite me because they don’t like me.” Whenever you catch yourself trying to read other people’s minds and motives.

  • Catastrophizing.

When you exaggerate something to make it worse than it is. Everything’s always a tragedy that I’ll never recover from.

  • Self Labeling.

“I’m a loser. I’m a failure. I’m unlovable. I’m an embarrassment.”

Whatever the thought is, you capture it and when you’ve captured it, call it what it is. And then you speak the truth to it. Speak truth to yourself.

This thought right here? I’m over-generalizing. This doesn’t always happen to me. Or I’m only looking at the negative. I’m ignoring what’s good. Or I’m reading minds. I have no idea what he or she thinks. I’m predicting the future and I can’t do that. I’m labeling myself.

When you do this step, you’re aligning your thoughts with the truth. You’re planting your mind in reality. 

So, that’s step 2. Next, we’ll move on to #3...

Anxiety Hack #4

Anxiety Hack #3

Anxiety Hack #2

Anxiety Hack #1

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