In a previous post we talked about the 3-Component Model which explains how your thoughts-feelings-behaviors work together to increase anxiety.
The next few posts are about actively addressing the three components to help lessen anxiety.
That means going all in (no avoiding or distracting):
- Thoughts: Identify core beliefs and challenge unhelpful thinking.
- Feelings: Learn to tolerate uncomfortable feelings and physical sensations.
- Behaviors: Identify behavioral patterns and choose a different way of behaving.
To break the anxiety cycle, you need to become aware of the cycle. So instead of letting your anxious thoughts and feelings drive your behavior, you’ll learn to slow down your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
We often talk about becoming a research scientist when evaluating your own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. If you think about a typical scientist, their goal is to objectively study a phenomenon. They have hypotheses, but they are willing (if they’re ethical) to disprove or affirm their hypothesis based on the evidence. When it comes to your thoughts and feelings, you’re going to become a scientist. That means taking a step back and observing what is going on without judgment or preconceived notions.
As you learn to experience thoughts and feelings as an observer, you’re increasing your personal power and decreasing the power a thought or feeling has over you. That will then allow you to consciously choose your behaviors.
Next week we’ll cover how to break free from the thought component of the anxiety cycle.