Anxiety is one of the most common complaints we visit with our clients about. In fact, 40 million Americans over the age of 18 report being affected by Anxiety. Presently, Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States. (Anxiety and Depression Association of America.)
Many of our clients are looking for skills or tactics to employ to assist in dealing with Anxiety. One of the tools we share most often is the act of Thought Challenging.
Thought challenging is a process in which you challenge the negative thoughts that often lead to anxiety or depression.
With strong motivation, discipline and the right support from a licensed professional, negative thought pattern recognition can be re-structured and replaced with positive thought patterns.
This process involves three steps: Identify, Challenge & Replace
1. IDENTIFY NEGATIVE THOUGHT PATTERNS
Oftentimes, negative thoughts patterns that create anxious feelings are seen as more dangerous than they really are. To someone with a spider phobia, for example, burning down the house when a spider is in the sink seems like the best scenario. Although the thought seems silly, it may still create anxious feelings. So first you should ask yourself: “What was I thinking when I started feeling anxious?”
2. CHALLENGE NEGATIVE THOUGHT PATTERNS
Second, a therapist can teach you how to evaluate “triggers” or anxiety provoking thoughts. This involves questioning the evidence for your frightening thoughts. As well as analyzing unhelpful beliefs and testing out the reality of your negative predictions.
3. REPLACE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS WITH REALISTIC THOUGHTS
Once you’ve identified the irrational predictions (negative thoughts) – you can replace them with new thoughts that are more accurate and positive. A skilled therapist can assist and teach you strategies during this step and even re-create anxiety provoking situations to test your new skill.
This process is simple to understand and even easier to execute if you have strong motivation for change and employ a skilled professional to assist you.
For those of you seeking resources and information on how to help your adolescent deal with anxiety, please see our post on Teenage Anxiety Symptoms.
Pace Counseling Group is a professional counseling firm located in San Antonio, Texas. We are focused on continuously improving the quality of life for our clients and their families. We are currently accepting new clients with no wait list. Insurances accepted. Make your first appointment online by clicking here.
To learn more, visit us at Pace Counseling Group or call (210) 481-3727.