There are often many facts that create anxiety in our daily life, Intense suffering that makes us take a phobia of certain words, facts or people, and we do not find the reason why this is generated.
This is why I bring you a practical exercise with which you can tackle these limiting and anxiety-related ideas.
The cognitive table
I don’t know if you know it, but our ideas have different aspects very marked by uncertainty (how much we believe in it) and on the other hand emotional intensity (how much we feel it). I would like classify ideas into three categories which I show you below and which will help us to do this exercise better. These are:
An opinion makes us feel relatively safe, but unfortunately it’s temporary, As it can be changed easily. For example, we may think that a t-shirt looks good on us, but if three friends tell us that it is not our style, we will surely forget that opinion. So if we look at that is the nature of most opinions, we will notice that they fade easily and are usually based on a few references that we look at at some point.
Second, we have beliefs, are formed when you start to develop a base on a much larger ideaThis is what we will later call the legs of the ideas table. In addition, we will have a strong emotion about this idea, which will make us totally confident about it. In some cases, this can be negative, as people with strong beliefs are locked into new information and to get them to change their minds they will have to interrupt their schema and get them to question it.
And finally we have the conviction; it is superior to belief, the eclipse, because he carries within him a great emotional intensity linked to an idea. If we watch, when we are sure of something (have a conviction) and are denied that idea, we will feel anger and worry and we will not be up to questioning our credentials, so many times, unfortunately, they become an obsession.
As we see, the problem arises when we lead convictions based on ideas that support it and make it a strong position. This is why I would like to give you a very simple exercise which will help you to be able to fight against this blindness that we have reached.
How to do the exercise?
The cognitive table is a very practical exercise, in the following drawing I show you:
As you see in the table above we will place the condemnation; for example, the idea that we are going to fail in delivering a college article, and below we are going to write the ideas that support this belief that generates us anxiety. In this example I have chosen four ideas, but your table could be very modern and have five leg ideas, or it could be smaller and have three. I would like you to personalize the exercise.
Then the ideas that arise are:
- Idea 1: I don’t know what’s going to happen.
- Idea 2: lack of confidence.
- Idea 3: If I don’t offer this job on time, I won’t graduate and lose a job opportunity.
- Idea 4: I chose the wrong topic.
Well, once put I would like you to do an individual analysis of each so that I can understand their implications. So I’m going to show you how to do it with the first idea, so that you can apply with each one.
You will take a notebook (I suggest you use it now for practical exercises of this type) and write five columns in it with a few headings in the order of the columns which will be: idea, thought, emotion, behavior and a alternative thinking.
As you can see the first four columns are very easy to identify, but the fifth is the most complex, because you have to put an alternative thought that is to say 1 re-explanation of the idea that supports this negative conviction. This is why we need to look for a thought (I like to say “lever”) that will relax you when you see it from that angle; in this last column, it is important that we try to make the explanation of the problem sane and that we do so understanding it.
Apply this exercise to the thoughts or ideas that are causing you discomfort, so that you can deal with them differently. Devote your time and learn to deal with these issues from a different perspective. Create an idea board and restructure your anxieties so you can resolve them.
Anxiety problems? I help you
If you want to decrease your anxiety and boost your emotional well-being with the professional support of a psychologist, do not hesitate to contact me. We can start the sessions without leaving the house and at a price adapted to the present day.
My name is Javier Ares, I am a general health psychologist and one of my specialties is the treatment of anxiety. With my help, you will be able to resolve the complications that arise from the beliefs you have generated that are causing you stress.
If you wish, we can start working on you, so please feel free to contact me through this page.