Analyze It: Challenging Anxiety’s Conclusions

When you’re in the throes of anxiety, it can feel distressing, confusing and overwhelming. On top of the event or situation directly causing anxiety, the mind often adds layers of self-doubt, guilt, shame and other emotions that are stressful in their own right.  To relieve the overall anxiety you’re feeling, sometimes you have to peel the onion, pulling back these emotional layers, all the way down to the stressful core, carefully labeling each thing you find. Then you can systematically deal with each piece, by refuting the inaccuracies, calling out the faulty reasoning, reframing the negatives into positives.

It can be immensely calming to look at the small pieces that make up your entire experience of anxiety and to counter each part, one at a time. It directly builds your skills of dealing with stress in the moment, by slowing it down to a pace where you can manage it and plan out your new responses to old stressful situations.

Each time you fill out this form, you’ll be rewiring your brain with new, calm ways to deal with stressful situations. If you fill it out repeatedly, you’ll notice your automatic thoughts being changing in the moment – you’ll catch yourself in anxiety-producing thoughts and gently correct yourself, staying calm when you would have been stressed. It will also help you feel that you have a plan, and show you that the plan is working over time.

You can use this form sporadically and still get great benefits from it. You don’t need to do it every time you feel anxious, just when you have time to devote to cleaning house in the deeper parts of your mind that are producing the anxiety that you feel. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by anxiety, try using it several times a day for a while. If you’re trying to reduce and manage your anxiety better, try using it several times a week for a few weeks. Notice what areas seem to trip you up the most, then do more training to build eHabit skills in those areas – this is an area ripe with easy learning that can dramatically reduce anxiety.

The science around the tracking, refuting and reframing of anxious thoughts is very solid and produces such phenomenal results that people who’ve been through the training often can’t imagine how they lived their lives without it or how society seems to have lost these skills, in favor of judgmental, irritated, stressful lives. You’ll find yourself noticing (and silently correcting) other people who don’t have the eHabit skills you’ve taken the time to build.