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Daniel

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Things Might Go Terribly, Horribly Wrong: A Guide to Life Liberated from Anxiety

"Self" as a Verb


The creation of your identity is an ongoing, dynamic process that continues to take place for as long as you are breathing...

Sometimes, though, we all fall into repetitive patterns of responding that, over time, make us progressively less sensitive to context. Anxiety can be part of such a repetitive pattern...

Consider the question, "Am I an anxious person?" ...The way you organize your activities around that answer can have a huge impact on your experience of life. This is especially true if you've had a long history of struggle with anxiety.
 

Daniel

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"We can tell ourselves that feelings of guilt, shame, or anxiety have nothing to do with our true identity or worth and should be replaced by reason and love in guiding our adult lives."

"Obeying negative legacy emotions is like feeding wild critters. They will take over and grow in power until we have unmanageable beasts trying to overwhelm us from inside our heads. We need to stop feeding the squirrels in our heads. We can start by refusing to listen or respond to them.”

― Peter R. Breggin, Guilt, Shame, and Anxiety: Understanding and Overcoming Negative Emotions
 

Daniel

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There’s no magical cure for excessive guilt. Overcoming it takes a lot of consistent emotional work, just as with any strong emotion. Frequent recognition and reflection are two touchstones for overcoming guilt. Ask yourself questions like, “What is making me feel guilty?” and “What actions or thoughts are occurring because of my guilt?”

Additionally, positive thinking and reinforcement can help overcome guilt. Changing the verbiage for your thoughts can alter your outlook on the source of your guilt. Change “I should” or “I could” to something more positive, like “I get to,” “I deserve,” or “I can” when applicable.
 

Daniel

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"Worry can be conceptualized as a cognitive form of avoidance, and this formulation has important clinical implications. Interestingly, the cognitive nature of this condition can lead therapists to presume that cognitive techniques are most suitable for these clients – however, several behavioral techniques have strong empirical support (as components of CBT for GAD protocols, or as standalone interventions)."
 

Daniel

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Hand Massage
I learned this one in both the MBSR program and in Brukner's book. What's great about it is that you can do it while attending a lecture, listening to your kids fight, or sitting at your desk working. No one will notice. Simply use the thumb of one hand and press around the palm of the other hand. It's very soothing.
 

Daniel

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“The problem of anxiety isn't that the organism responds to threats by near-instantly powering up. That's clearly a good thing, species-survival-wise. It's that sometimes the organism starts seeing threats too readily.”

~ Daniel Smith, Monkey Mind
 
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Daniel

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Presentations are, in fact, not about you. They are about your audience. When you divert your attention to thinking about what your audience needs most, and what you can give them, you can more easily turn nervous to service and position yourself mentally as a facilitator of their well being, rather than the person with the target on your back.
 

Daniel

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“I figured out once that if you decide to have fun when you give a public talk, then you relax...Moreover, the audience doesn’t get bored when it is fun.”

― Ajahn Brahm
 
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Daniel

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In the present study, we investigate how the core feature of GAD (i.e., worry) and its associated cognitive factors, such as meta-worry, intolerance of uncertainty, and attention bias towards threat, relate to each other in men at high risk for GAD...

Worry and meta-worry had the highest expected influence and predictability. In contrast, attention bias towards threat showed the lowest expected influence and predictability.

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metaworry

n.

1. persistent worry about one’s own thoughts and cognitive processes.

2. a negative metacognitive process in which one worries about one’s own worrying and about its potentially harmful effects on oneself. According to British psychologist Adrian Wells, who first described this process in 1994, it contributes to the development of generalized anxiety disorder.
 

Daniel

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Several decades of research has shown one of the main reasons GAD clients worry excessively about daily life situations is because of their intolerance to the inherent uncertainty present in daily life.

Clients with GAD tend to hold negative beliefs about the likelihood and severity of threat in uncertain situations, and underestimate their ability to cope with anticipated negative outcomes.

Worry can therefore be construed as an attempt to avoid or eliminate uncertainty by mentally planning and preparing for every eventuality.
 

Daniel

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Earnest Becker's normalizing appraisal of anxiety is that everyone is more anxious than necessary: "a hyper-anxious animal who constantly invents reasons for anxiety even where there are none."
 

Daniel

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"Basic anxiety can be roughly described as a feeling of being small, insignificant, helpless, deserted or endangered in a world that is out to abuse, cheat, humiliate, betray, envy...And special in this is the child's feeling that the parents' love, their Christian charity, honesty, generosity...may be only a pretense."

~ Karen Horney
 

Daniel

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I think it is interesting to ponder whether looking closely at examples of artistic specialization and expression is one way we can see coping strategies for anxiety and depression in the past. My blanket, ceramic fine wares, paintings, other specialized crafts, and the tools used to make them all could be reflections of more than just ritual significance.
 

Daniel

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Helping Clients Relieve Their Worry & Anxiety

"You can also encourage clients to practice progressive muscle relaxation, release-only relaxation, and cue-controlled relaxation. They might even find it useful to set aside time once or twice a day to relax for twenty minutes to bring down their general level of arousal and tension associated with anxiety and worry. You can offer clients the Record of General Tension form for them to keep a log of their level of relaxation at the beginning and end of each dedicated relaxation session, if they like."

Author's self-help workbook:
Amazon product

Source:
 

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