Anxiety can be triggered by thoughts concerning various fears.
Today’s post continues on the 3d step in therapy, which is about handling challenging thoughts using the worry hour.
The worry-hour can create less anxiety, more positive feelings, less intense negative feelings and more adaptive behavioural responses.
Worry and rumination create stress hormones as well as psychological pain.
It is important to assign worrying/rumination only one scheduled hour per day for non-urgent worrisome thoughts since these two behaviours paired together often can escalate into intense suffering.
Worry hour is a tool to handle anxiety and rumination, but also when stuck in unproductive problem solving, mourning a loss etc. by reducing the time spent on nonurgent, hurtful thoughts.
During the worry hour, try to divide the thoughts into whether they are productive/useful or unproductive/unhelpful.
Productive/useful thoughts are about things you have an impact on or are likely to happen so that it is beneficial for you to consider your alternatives.
Unproductive/unhelpful thought are about things/themes you have no control over or are unlikely.
An example would be worrying if a meteorite will crash into you from outer space as you read this, since this is both unlikely and nothing you will be able to act upon until it is too late.
However, shielding the planet from meteorites is important for among others NASA, hence the theme is productive for them and they have developed a strategy for what to do if this happens.
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