Recognizing warning signs
The most dangerous emotions are the ones you don’t know are affecting you. When you know what happens when the worries start, you’ll be relieved and you'll also be able to do something constructive about them. So make a list with thoughts you have when you get worried, physical sensations and also actions you feel driven to take.
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It’s a technique where you deliberately expose yourself to the thing that is making you anxious.
It helps your brain to figure out which places or people are not actually dangerous and don’t need to be avoided. Once your brain makes that connection, your fear tends to diminish, you stop wanting to avoid things or people, and your life opens up so that you have more freedom to go where you want to go and do what you want to do.
Trying to push the worries out of your head is inherently problematic because to be vigilant about not thinking about something, your brain needs to keep it in mind.
Mindfulness does the opposite by making you aware of your state of anxiousness.
Whenever you have the urge to avoid, you need to realize that’s an opportunity to weaken your worries. It’s a chance to practice more mindfulness. Shift your focus away from your thoughts and back to the concrete world.
Most of the time we don’t second guess them, and even if we do, they often end up overwhelming us.
Negative feelings are very powerful and harder to question: we identify with them effortlessly. “I feel it, so it must be true” is often our default setting.
Listen to your thoughts — but don’t necessarily believe them.
They're suggestions, possibilities. But they’re not gospel. You can’t control what thoughts pop up, but you can decide what is helpful and choose not to give the unhelpful thoughts any more attention than they deserve.
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