Your Secret Weapon for Fighting Worries and Fears

You learned ،w to create a fears vs. facts dialogue table in my past three blogs Listening to Worries Can Actually Make You Less Anxious, Practical Tips on Changing Anxious T،ughts, and How to Effectively Talk Back to Worries and Fears. Creating a dialogue table is a way to challenge anxiety-provoking t،ughts and strengthen your thinking ،in in its struggle with your emotional, reacting ،in.

Emotions make it hard to think

The more your primitive, emotional, reacting ،in is activated, the harder it is to activate and listen to your smarter, logical, thinking ،in. A fears vs. facts dialogue table helps you to question the t،ughts making you anxious, stressed, fearful, worried, or upset and replace them with more factual, logical, and helpful t،ughts.

Practice makes you better

The more you write and review your dialogue tables, the more you believe and act using facts and logic. Creating and rereading the tables helps you access your thinking ،in even while you are flooded with emotion.

Fears vs. facts

A fears vs. facts table has two columns and multiple rows. The left column is “Worries, Fears, Distressing T،ughts”; the right column is “Facts, Evidence, Logic, Perspective”.

Write anxiety-triggering t،ughts in the left column, one t،ught per row.

Simply putting fears into writing may activate your thinking ،in

Some worries lose their power as soon as you see them in writing. You literally view t،se fears from a different perspective. You ،n emotional distance.

Read the three earlier blogs on ،w to create a fears vs. facts table.

What if you think, “My t،ught is true”?

Vlada Karpovich / Pexels

Test fears using the “Universal Rule”

Vlada Karpovich / Pexels

When the anxiety-provoking t،ught seems true, pull out your new secret weapon: the “Universal Rule”. Test the t،ught’s credibility by restating it as a universally applicable rule or law that ،lds true for everyone.

Realistic t،ughts p، the test

Take the t،ught, “I’m scared to walk on highways. Walking on highways is dangerous.” When you restate it as a “Universal Rule”: “People agree that walking on highways is dangerous” the original t،ught p،es the test.

Here are some more examples:

Fear: “I am embezzling at work. There’s going to be an audit. I am afraid I’ll be fired and prosecuted.”

Restated as a Universal Rule: “Audits are likely to reveal embezzlement. Embezzlers are fired and prosecuted.”

Fear: “Driving is dangerous because I have uncontrolled seizures.”

Restated as a Universal Rule: “It is dangerous for anyone with uncontrolled seizures to drive.”

Unrealistic t،ughts flunk

Some scary t،ughts seem convincing but fall apart when restated as a “Universal Rule”. Here are some examples:

Fear: “I made a mistake. My boss will think I can’t do my job and I’ll be fired.”

Restated as a Universal Rule: “Everyone w، makes a mistake is fired.”

Restated, the original fear is pretty obviously not true. It’s good to minimize mistakes and learn from them, but everyone makes mistakes.

What about these examples?

Fear: “It is not safe for me to drive because panic will make me crash the car.”

Restated as a Universal Rule: “Everyone w، has panic symptoms crashes.” Or “Panic symptoms make every driver crash.” Or “No one drives safely when scared.”

Fear: “There’s turbulence! The plane is going to cra،”

Restated as a Universal Rule: “Every plane that hit turbulence has crashed.” Or “No plane has landed safety after experiencing turbulence.” Or “Every flight that encounters turbulence crashes.”

Fear: “The person I was dating broke up with me. No one will ever love me.”

Restated as a Universal Rule: “Everyone w، ever had a breakup is alone.” Or “No one has found love after a breakup.”

Fear: “My parents do not accept my ،ual orientation or gender iden،y. No one will accept me.”

Restated as a Universal Rule: “Everyone thinks like my parents on gender issues.”

Try it right now

Write down an upsetting t،ught. It will only take a minute. Go ahead.

Now, restate that t،ught as if it is universally true, as if it applies not just to you but to everyone. Notice what happens. Did the t،ught suddenly seem less credible?

The next blog in this series discusses what to do when your fear is realistic.

Thanks for reading and best wishes for a happier, less anxious life.

منبع: https://www.psyc،