- by Dr Gowher Yusuf
- 2 Shares
- Jan 27 2017
Teens: How do you learn to cope up your anxiety? Activity 11 & 12
Using the word “should” is appropriate when there is something we need to do or a way we need to act in order to be responsible or courteous. But “should” can get out of control and raise your anxiety level when they are unrealistic or unimportant.
Make a list of your own “should” statements. After each one, write more detail about how realistic or important they are.
1.Tell where most of your “should” statements originated and why you think that is so.
2.Tell which “should” statement raises your anxiety level the most and why.
3.Go back to your list and cross out any “should” statements that are unrealistic or unimportant. Put a star next to the statements that are realistic or important. Choose one statement to work on changing, and make a conscious effort to do it in the coming week.
Thought stopping is a technique that can help you let go of thoughts that cause you to feel anxious and change them to thoughts that help you feel peaceful.
Five steps for thought stopping
1.Notice that you are having a thought that causes anxiety.
2.Choose way to immediately and forcefully tell yourself STOP this thought. Some ideas include saying “stop”! out loud in your mind; picturing a bright red stop sign; picturing yourself pushing your arm out in front of you with your hand in a “halt” position; keeping a light rubber band aloud your wrist and snapping it gently; giving your head a quick shake as if you were physically shaking of the thought.
3.Consciously exchange the anxious thought for peaceful thought. You can plan your peaceful thought ahead of time so it’s ready immediately.
4.Say your peaceful thought out loud or in your mind.
5.Keep your mind focused on your peaceful thought until the anxious one is completely gone.
Circle any of the things below that might bring up anxious thoughts for you:
A test in school, meeting new people, talking with your parents, what your future holds, talking with other kids, your parents marriage, what you look like, your report card, your family, your sexuality, class presentations, religion, performing in front of others, asking someone for a date, a particular class, your athletic skills violence or war, money, whether or not people like you, your siblings, your body, your safety, homework, illness.
1.Write a list of other anxious thoughts that you had or that you struggle with frequently.
2.Write any other ideas you have of ways to practice telling yourself to stop.
3.Circle any of the sentences or ideas below that you might use as a peaceful to exchange for an anxious thought:
4.“ I am confident”, “I am calm and relaxed”, “I am laughing with friends”, “I am laying on the beach”, “I am filled with peace”, petting my cat, listening to music, running, watching floating white clouds, working out, watching a movie, vacationing, playing music, fishing, seeing sunsets, napping, watching waves on a lake, reading, looking up on a starry night, hiking in the mountains, being with my best friend, sleeping late, camping, being with my boyfriend/girlfriend.
5.Write a list of any other thoughts that could make you feel peaceful. Your ideas of peace may be different from someone else’s, so think about what really makes you feel relaxed.
6.Try using the five-step thought-stopping technique over the next few days when you feel anxious. If one thought or picture doesn’t work well, try different ones until you find what works the best for you.
7.Sometimes it is hard to identify the thought that brings on an anxious feeling. Describe any situation in which you felt anxious and could not identify the thought that caused your anxiety.
8.To help discover your anxious thought, you can try the following:
- Ask yourself, “If I did know what my anxious thought was, what would it be?”
- Ask someone you trust to help you figure out your anxious thought.
9.Describe the thought stopping technique in 2 steps that works the best for you.
10.Write the peaceful thought that works the best for you.
11.Even of you have used the thought-stopping technique, anxious thoughts will often return. These thoughts are stubborn and may need to be stopped over and over again. When that happens, simply continue to replace you anxious thought with a peaceful one foe as many times to make it stop.
12.What is the stubborn anxious thought you have?
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