How Anxiety Works in your Mind

At the core of anxiety is the belief that we lack control of future events that could be negative.


is how the progress of an anxiety-filled event

1. TRIGGER (evoking stimulus and arousal such as a phone call)

2. SHIFT THINKING TO SELF (goes from external to internal) (i.e. what if it is the person with whom I had a fight!)

3. EVALUATION (i.e. Ugh, I don’t want to talk to him; we will fight more)

4. conclusion: I AM INADEQUATE TO DEAL WITH THE SITUATION (i.e. I don’t know what to say to make things better)

5. MORE AROUSAL (thinking about self, negative thoughts) (i.e. stomach ache, I feel scared, awful, angry, etc.)

6. ATTENTION NARROWS (this occupies too much thought)

7. leads to distortions and/or biases (i.e. we will never be okay,

I will lose my job and friends)

8. if it continues CONCENTRATION IS DISRUPTED and you feel uneasy, anxious, even panicked.

See if this sequence of events helps explain your anxious reactions.


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