Love Life Again!

Taking control over your anxiety

WEEK 3

This week we will cover

  • Adaptive Basis of the Components of Anxiety
  • The Importance of Thoughts
  • Touch on Cognitive Restructuring

NOTE: Calls are added 24-48 hours after the live call.

PREVIOUS PROGRAM CALLS WEEK 3

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Homework
Notice your thoughts this week when your anxiety is kicking in. What is going through your mind?

Adaptive Basis of the Components of Anxiety
Fear and anxiety are systems that our bodies use to try and protect us from current or future, like an alarm system. For example, in case of fire, the fire alarm detects danger. It lets us know that we need to get out. It works automatically, we don’t push a button or tell it that there’s a fire. It simply knows.

The body works the same way. The things we experience when feeling anxious plays a role in warning us or protecting us from current or future danger. Our anxiety alarm system doesn’t do anything different when there are different kinds of threats. It’s the same system, same response. So whether there is a threat to our lives, like a wild tiger, serious illness, threat to our self-esteem or our status, threat to our loved ones, or some other type of threat, it’s all the same.

It’s the importance of attentional shifts toward possible sources of threat, danger, and negative consequences. The shifts in thinking occur to help us identify, avoid or escape from the threat if it were actually occurring.

Although thoughts can be distressing and concentration difficulties can cause problems in other areas of your life, your mind is doing exactly what it should be doing if there were an actual danger. If I heard that there were several muggings in a neighbourhood recently, I would want my mind to be more vigilant, if I was walking my dog around the block, so that I can protect myself or getaway. Another thing I would want my mind to focus on is the dangers in the neighbourhood instead of things that are not important, right now.

Cognitive Restructuring
One of the components of treatment involves looking at your thoughts and learning ways to analyze and evaluate your own thoughts. This process is what we call cognitive restructuring. Cognitive restructuring involves paying attention to your thoughts and interpretations, learning to identify which of your thoughts and interpretations of the situation you are in, and finally, logically challenging the negative or incorrect assumption in these thoughts.

It’s as simple as simply replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts, nor is it changing thoughts of danger into thoughts of safety. The goal is to help you learn to see things and the situations that provoke your fears in an unbiased way.