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Don't believe what you think!

Once people understand they have an anxiety disorder, the most difficult thing to accept is that, essentially, their thoughts are lying to them. As a society, we are often taught to "trust our gut" and "do what we feel," and while that's a wonderful sentiment in a non-anxious person, it can reek havoc on an anxious person's life. After all, if we have relationship anxiety, we will run from every relationship because "something feels off." If we have health anxiety (formerly known as hypochondriasis), we will get every test possible because we think something is wrong. Or those with a fear of flying won't get on a plane to go on that business trip because they have a hunch it will go down. Oddly enough then, part of recovering from anxiety is learning to ignore, or perhaps better yet, discern the lies your brain tells you. In other words, just because you feel something doesn't mean it's true. In other other words, don't believe what you think! That's a tall order and requires some real work to overcome, and includes reprogramming your brain's amygdala which governs your fight-flight-freeze response (more on that another day). However, it is very doable with the right anxiety therapist, and soon, you'll be able to work with your thoughts in a healthy way and trust your brain again.

For an in depth look at how our thoughts work, check out the incredible podcast Invisibilia on NPR, and then make an appointment to eliminate anxiety:

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