Why relaxing is so much work.
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Stopping the Noise in Your Head
Reid Wilson Ph.D.
What is it that you want badly enough that you’re willing to step up to the challenge?
We need to employ this absurd approach with Anxiety: to tell it what it doesn’t expect to hear. Ask for more worries, more symptoms, more discomfort… and we want it now!
Speak directly to your obsessions with a simple, paradoxical message. Whenever you can engage the symptom without fearing it or fighting it, you have the best chance of beating it.
Cut yourself some slack. This isn’t easy. In fact, it can be downright scary. So if you experience some regression in your work to control worries, give yourself a pass. Tomorrow is a new day.
For any of us to grow, we must learn to tolerate more than we think we can tolerate.
Part 1: If you want to take your life back from anxiety, don’t wait until you are certain that everything is safe. Learn how to step toward the threat while a part of you feels insecure.
Anxiety needs you to feel intimidated and then back away. Your job is to feel intimidated and step forward into the action anyway.
You must courageously step toward what scares you. But you don’t do it in order to habituate. You do it as a means to practice this shift in your point of view.
Anxiety picks a topic that has significance to you because it's a powerful means of hooking you. Don’t be surprised if it relates to something you value.
I surrender that I’ll never get rid of the desire for certainty. I suggest that you do too. We’re forever going to want to feel safely secure and comfortably in control.
Trying to “curb” our parental worry is unfortunately a futile exercise. But we can adopt an effective, healthy approach to our worries.
If you want to be less anxious on a plane, you don’t have to change anything about the flight. You have to change your interpretation.
Like all components of our minds and bodies that play a part in our anxiety, the amygdala is doing precisely what it’s supposed to do. And for that alone we should be thankful.
Too often we resolve the issue of threat by relying on safety crutches. Our top-choice? Avoidance. We want to get rid of the threat—and to avoid seems like the safest bet.
OCD wants you to feel doubt and insecurity. You can take a power position over OCD by adopting a new point of view.
Worry motivates us to act on our plans, to stay on task, and to solve problems. It can trigger planning, preparation, and action—but worrying in itself is not acting.
We “act as though” all day long—that the coffee we purchased is uncontaminated, and that gravity will keep our feet planted to the ground. When stuck, let it help you take action.
Ali wasn’t victorious because he was stronger or more athletic. After all, Foreman was in his prime. He was a 3-to-1 favorite. Ali was victorious because he was cunning.
“Whatever it takes, I’m going to finish this.” When you face a daunting task, that message doesn’t instruct you; it encourages you to push through resistance and continue on.
What is a ready-for-anything competitive spirit? It’s when we step forward with a point of view that says, “I have the skills to take on this challenge. I have a chance here.”
Paul Hamm had been training for this specific competition for a decade; he was on the road to a gold medal. And after his fall, the way he gets back up is inspirational.
You can expect to end up on the mat repeatedly. But the less you worry about being thrown to the mat, the less likely you are to end up there.
In any distressing situation, we have only two choices: Accept or resist. You have to find a way to willingly welcome your uncertainty and distress.
Follow a young woman who struggles with anxiety & applies treatment principles to her everyday life. She engages Anxiety in a competition to win her life back.
Worries take two forms: signals and noise. Signals prompt you to take action because signals come with solutions. Noise comes with no solutions. Simply put, noise is static.
If we’re truly interested in living in the real world, we must train ourselves to cope with the insecurity of not knowing and the sensations that come with awkwardness.
What a poker champion can teach us about managing and overcoming anxiety
It’s 35 degrees this morning, and partway through a 3,000-meter race, I go into panic mode. I can’t breathe. Suddenly, the battle is not on the water but is inside my own mind.
Worry serves the essential function of helping us solve legitimate problems, but anxious worrying serves the opposite function.
What a no-ropes rock climber can teach us about tackling our Anxiety.
Reid Wilson, Ph.D., directs the Anxiety Disorders Treatment Center in Chapel Hill, NC. He is the author of Stopping the Noise in Your Head and five other books.