In Cognitive behavioural therapy, CBT, the common view is that anxiety is triggered by anxiety inducing thoughts concerning various fears.
Today’s post continues on the 3d step in traditional CBT, which is about creating an alternative response to your thoughts in previous exercises, which in turn likely can create less anxiety and other, more positive and/or less intense feelings as well as other more adaptive behavioural responses.
Today’s post continues with how to use the worry hour.
Worry and rumination create stress hormones as well as psychological pain.
It is important to assign worrying and rumination only one scheduled hour per day for non-urgent worrisome thoughts since these two behaviours paired together often can escalate into intense suffering.
During the other hours of the day you postpone your worrying and ruminating thoughts. It is important to acknowledge the thought as it shows up, which is the brain’s effort to protect you by trying to foresee and evaluate threats.
Remember – you cannot control the first thought, only the second. Hence, kindly and gently steer the thoughts to this hour, e.g. by responding to it:
“Thank you for reminding me – I will listen at 10 AM… tomorrow at 10 AM …later at 10 Am… …10 AM.”
If you have had problems with worry or rumination, it can take you thousands of responses until the brain gives up its effort to trying to alarm you since it really thinks you are in danger. But it will work!
It is important that this hour is not too late in the evening, preferably no later than 6 pm, to ensure it will not disrupt your sleep with the stress hormones that will be produced.
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