Anxiety and depression focus on what can go wrong. It zeroes in on the worst outcome coming true and bad things happening again. Hope focuses on what can go right, and the opportunity in every circumstance.
Here are some anxious thoughts I’ve had, and heard, recently. Any seem familiar?
- “I don’t have what it takes.”
- “I will mess things up.”
- “They will reject me.”
- “I’ll be embarrassed and humiliated.”
- “Things will all fall apart.”
- “They’re going to view me as incompetent.”
- “Our relationship will be ruined”
It’s hard work, but you CAN change your perspective. You can have victory over anxiety and depression. What you focus on the most, you amplify. Intentionally and honestly answering the following 7 questions can seriously help.
Pick something bothering you right now. Something you’re worried about and can’t get out of your head. Answer these 7 questions.
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 my fear is false?
How have things gone well in the past? Am I confusing a thought with a fact? Your mind can focus on and believe a lie as easily as something that’s true.
These first 2 questions help you recognize your confirmation bias. Confirmation bias is the tendency of people to favor information that confirms current beliefs.
3. How will I successfully handle it if my fear comes true?
Put 20% of your focus into handling the worst outcome, but no more. Who will you call and what will you do if things fall apart. Put the rest of your energy into the potential in your situation.
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4. How does it benefit me to think this way?
There’s a reason you fret, and acknowledgment helps. Anxiety keeps us from trying, and therefore from getting hurt, so we think. We subconsciously hold onto fears believing they keep us safe.
5.What does it cost me to think this way?
6.What can I learn from this situation?
Even dire circumstances present opportunities. Many great people have made it to the other side of horrific circumstances transformed and stronger.
7. How would someone with a positive perspective towards your situation view it with hope?
This might be a close friend or relative. Maybe someone you don’t know well but you know has an optimistic outlook on life. (i.e. author, influential person, etc.).
Taking into consideration all of your answers, what’s a healthier perspective? Put your focus on this new thought for the day and start to see anxiety and depression melt away.
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