Using Logic To Handle Stressful Thoughts
Here continues a summary of my posts on how to recover as quickly as possible from stress.
This post continues with how to handle stressful thoughts, such as anxiety and rumination, as it is crucial to learn to steer one’s thoughts in order to reduce the stress level and create conditions for recovery.
You can choose from several strategies presented in these posts.
Today’s post is about using logic to calm stressful thoughts.
A common technique is to assign probabilities, i.e. the likelihood, and other proofs that your worry or concern will be true or happen.
Also list probabilities and proofs that do not support your stressful thoughts.
Then, write down 2-3 different versions of more nuanced statements that includes thoughts covering both what supports and what does not support your worry.
An example – When technological problems or waiting for information from another person slows up your ability to do what you are expected to do at work or in school:
“Of course, it would be great if I had the time to finish all this today, but it is unrealistic and no one will be harmed. It’s ok to be upset when things do not get done as expected. People will react but then get over it. Next time, we have to make a more realistic plan and be willing to adjust deadlines when things like this happens.”
Another example – Stress over fear of flying:
“Even if it is scary to fly since I have no control over the situation, I will still do it since it is unlikely that something really bad will happen, and in either case I cannot control it. I will not let my fears make we avoid things I would like to be able to do in life.”
More about what to do to calm stressful thoughts next week.