How To Get To The Root Cause Of Your Anxiety

Tuesday 9 September 2014 0 comments

Anxiety affects close to 40 million Americans and one in 13 people worldwide, yet we still don't seem to know how to effectively manage it.


People turn to a myriad of methods to cope with anxiety. Some take medication, while others might try exercise or a hot bath to blow off steam and relax. And then there are those who use less productive means like substance abuse or binge eating. These methods — even the healthy ones — might help alleviate many of the symptoms of anxiety, yet they do little to correct the actual root cause of the problem.
Here are four types of faulty-thinking that might be the root cause of your anxiety and dragging you down:

1. Negative self-talk.

Leading behavioral researchers have found that up to 77% of everything you think and say to yourself is negative and counterproductive. This undoubtedly has consequences.

Take Dr. Masaru Emoto’s water crystal experiment as an example. Dr. Emoto studied the effects of different words on crystalline structures of water. Water exposed to the positive phrase “love and gratitude” produced beautiful snowflake-like crystalline structures, whereas the phrase “you fool” created jagged, asymmetrical structures. This is nothing to sneeze at when you consider that over 60% of your body is made of water.
2. Unrealistic expectations.

Do you expect everyone to remember your name or your birthday? Do you expect your spouse to say the right thing at the right time, all the time? Your expectations about life and the world around you may be too high.

The truth is that not everyone is going to remember your birthday and your spouse isn’t always going to say exactly what you want him or her to say. Expecting that your spouse will always be perfect is an unreasonable expectation and only sets you up for disappointment.

3. Thinking you "should."
Do you find yourself thinking you should do this and you should do that? Have you ever stopped to wonder who actually said you should? Does your mom think you should? Does society think you should? Do you think you should?

Saying “I should” is equivalent to saying that you aren’t enough. “I should lose weight,” is much like saying, “I am fat” or, “I am not OK the way I am.” It's negative self-talk and implies a need for perfection.

4. Taking things too personally.

Have you ever gone to work to find your boss disgruntled and irritated? Maybe you felt like he or she glared at you or walked right past you without saying hello? Did you slink away from the office fretting over what you did wrong for the rest of the day?

The truth is that it probably isn’t actually anything you did. Your boss might have gotten a traffic ticket on the way to work, or maybe got into a spat with his or her spouse that morning.
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