Turn Anxiety into Hope by Answering 7 Questions
Don’t Believe Everything Your Think
Anxiety focuses on what can go wrong and things outside of your control. It centers around bad things from the past happening again and the worst outcome coming true. Hope focuses on what can go right or the positive potential in every circumstance.
Here are some anxious thoughts clients have shared recently. Do any seem familiar?
~ “I don’t have what it takes.”
~ “I will mess things up.”
~ “The business is going to fall apart.”
~ “They are going to think I’m incompetent.”
~ “I’ll be trapped in a miserable job, and there are really no options for me.”
~ “It will be a horrible experience just like in the past.”
~ “Our relationship will eventually be ruined.”
How do you change your perspective from anxious to hopeful? Intrusive negative thoughts are a part of being human and they actually serve a purpose, which I don’t have time to address in this article. I don’t have the perfect solution to anxiety, but I know that intentionally and honestly answering the following 7 questions can help. They’re all listed on this fillable pdf called Don’t Believe Everything You Think.
7 Questions to Turn Anxiety into Hope
1.What evidence do I have that my worry will come true?
There is possibly legitimate evidence for your perspective, but you might be focusing on this evidence to the exclusion of other possibilities.
2.What evidence do I have that it might not come true?
Think about how things might have gone well for other people. Am I confusing a thought with a fact? Your mind can focus on and believe a lie as easily as something that is true.
These first 2 questions will help you see how you might suffer from confirmation bias. Confirmation bias (also called confirmatory bias, myside bias, or verification bias) is a tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses. History is filled with examples. It’s inconvenient, painful, and sometimes very costly to admit we are wrong.
3. Even if it happened, how could things be worse?
Prison, poverty, illness, death, dismemberment – there are real life circumstances that could be worse. This does not make my problems less significant, but it could give perspective. This question will help you have a more gratitude.
4. How does it benefit me to think this way?
Anxiety can give us a false sense of control. I can feel “safe” when worrying and “in danger” when not. Our worries, so we think, keep us from getting hurt. If I know I’m just going to get rejected, be criticized, etc. – why try!
5.What does it cost me to think this way?
Negative thinking costs you dearly. Stress, health problems, relationship difficulties, work conflicts, and much more are caused by anxious living. List the ways that having this anxiety is hurting you.
6.What can I learn from this situation?
Even dire circumstances present opportunities. Many great people have been through horrific circumstances that have made them stronger, more empathetic, and more relatable.
“Nothing is either good or bad. It’s thinking that makes it so.” – William Shakespeare
7. Who is someone you trust that might have a different perspective and how would they view it?
This might be a close friend, relative, or even someone you don’t know, yet respect. Imagine what their view might be on your situation and this can help you see things in a more positive light.
Taking into consideration all of your answers, what is a healthier perspective?
Download this fillable PDF called Don’t Believe Everything You Think with all 7 questions above. Feel free to share.
You will decrease your anxiety when you alter your perspective. Be intentional about what you focus on the most.
Question: What anxious thinking do you need to replace?