Feeling all decisions are irreversible

"I feel trapped." It can feel overwhelming to think that all decisions are final with no way of changing. If you are unhappy with your job, you can look for another one. If you don't like where you live, you can explore alternatives.

Carefully consider the necessary information to make a good decision. While changing course can cost you and others, you can still reverse course if it becomes necessary.

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Thought Patterns That Increase Anxiety

psychologytoday.com

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Negative thought patterns

The function of the brain is not to keep us happy. The function is to protect us from possible threats.

Our brains create "what if" scenarios of what could go wrong. Achievers are familiar with the brain's stories it tells itself that may increase anxiety. Identifying these patterns is a vital step in reducing anxiety and reclaiming inner peace.

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The most common thought pattern that causes anxiety is when we ignore all the possible scenarios and settle on the worst possible outcome, even if it is improbable.

Many of our biggest worries never come to fruition. Take some time to think of the odds that your fear will become a reality. Also, focus on taking reasonable precautions to protect yourself against the worst possible outcome.

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Your inner critic may say, "It's your fault" for not meeting expectations. You blame yourself even if it's not your fault. For example, not earning a promotion, but then you fail to consider that many highly qualified candidates applied. The decision to promote a different applicant may have been based on external factors such as luck.

Refrain from adding undue self-criticism.

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Thinking in extremes simplifies decision-making but neglecting to consider more possibilities can give you excessive anxiety.

There is a place for all or nothing thinking, such as surgery or flying an aeroplane. However, many daily actions do not carry that level of responsibility. You can make a mistake on an exam and still have a successful outcome. You are a work in progress. Give yourself the grace to make and learn from your mistakes.

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Life often throws curveballs. And just before you regain some order, life adds more challenges. You may stack your problems in a pile instead of addressing each one. Anxiety increase as you become overwhelmed by it all.

Instead, list your concerns from the most to the least anxiety-causing. Then go over each one at a time.

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We wrongly connect our self-worth to our level of success. We chase success with the hope to build our self-worth, then anxiety increase when we think we may fail.

In truth, our self-worth is not determined by our success, degrees, education level, physical abilities, looks or earning power. Your self-worth is part of your humanity. You are worthy being you are human.

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All-or-nothing thinking
Seing people and situations in either/or categories, without allowing for complexity(e.g.: the best/the worst). In reality, our lives unfold in shades of gray.

Finding one alternative path between the 2 extremes can help break the pattern, and conceiving of a few more develops your skill in seeing the nuances in every situation.

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5 irrational thinking patterns that could be dragging you down - and how to start challenging them

ideas.ted.com

Social Anxiety Disorder And Overgeneralization

When a person is suffering from depression or other anxiety and stress-related disorders, the tendency is to apply one experience to all future experiences, due to an overly negative outlook. This is known as overgeneralization and can worsen one's mental condition.

Example: If a person fumbles during a public speech, he or she can think that they will never speak in public now without fumbling again, and create a self-impression that they are not good at public speaking.

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Reframe Overgeneralizations to Help Manage Your Anxiety

verywellmind.com

Narrative Habits

The way we talk to ourselves about the events in our lives is subject to the same laws of learning and habit formation that physical behaviors are.

That means we can learn to talk to ourselves in specific ways just like we can learn to tie our shoes or say please and thank you.

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10 Types of Negative Self-Talk (and How to Correct Them) | Nick Wignall

nickwignall.com