Categories
Mental Health

6 Ways We Worry (And How to Stop)

We all get worried about stuff in our lives. It’s normal. But sometimes, that worry can escalate into something bigger, and so trying to reframe this and see things from a different perspective can really help us to prevent worrying too much. 

There are these things called thinking traps, and these can make us get caught up in negative thinking patterns, make us worry and ultimately, can end up being how we think about every situation in our lives. 

The ‘6 Big Thinking Traps’ are:

  • Negative Bias: Only focusing on the negatives, and dismissing the positives.
  • Mind Reading: Assuming you know what someone is thinking about you.
  • Catastrophising: Assuming the worst-case scenario.
  • Over-generalising: Assuming all future experiences will be the same as a previous negative experience.
  • Black and white thinking – Thinking in extremes, that every situation is black and white. 
  • Personalising: Feeling responsible for a negative situation even when it’s not your fault. 

Thinking Traps can make things seem worse than they really are, and cause feelings of worry and anxiety.

purple, painting, splash, ink

So how do we challenge them? Use these five handy techniques to challenge any Thinking Traps you find yourself falling into:

  1. The Sunshine Filter: IF YOU HAVE NEGATIVE BIAS… Remind yourself that you’re focused on the negatives. Look for all of the positives in the situation instead, Try to smile every time you think of one.
  1. The Fact Check: IF YOU’RE MIND READING… Remind yourself that thoughts are not facts. Write down all the facts you can PROVE to be true about the situation.
  1. The New Viewpoint: IF YOU’RE CATASTROPHISING… Imagine your thought on a spectrum from ‘this is a catastrophe’ to ‘this is great’. Now imagine 3 new thoughts from different viewpoints on the spectrum. Remind yourself that the worst case scenario isn’t the only possibility. In fact – it’s probably one of the least likely possibilities.
  1. The Lawyer: IF YOU’RE OVER-GENERALISING… Take your thought to court. How many examples can you find that disprove the thought? How many examples can you find where your worries didn’t come true?
  1. The Invisibility Cloak: IF YOU’RE PERSONALISING… Imagine you had nothing to do with the situation – you’re totally out of the picture, and you’re just watching the events take place. If you weren’t the cause of the situation you’re worried about, what else could have caused it? How many other explanations can you think of? Realistically, which explanation is most likely?

We can’t control what happens to us, but we can control how we think about it.  We often fall into thinking traps which make us feel worried but we can overcome those thinking traps by challenging them and finding positive alternatives.


Got something on your mind? Reach out to our support community here for support and advice.

Need to talk?

Join the internet’s safe space

RSS FORUM CHATS

  • Am I bisexual??
    For two years ive been saying i was bisexual but im constantly questioning if im actually bi or just idk appriciate womens beauty. Ive always been more attracted to men but there has been some women too. Ive been told that my problem is probably being raised in a homophobiac family (minus one aunt) and […]
  • My introduction
    Hello my nickname is scooby (cousin gave it to me cause we was always watching scooby doo and it rhymes with my actual name). I'm from north america. My preferred pronouns are she/her but I have been questioning here lately. I am currently trying to learn a new language. I have a cat, snake, and […]
  • I want to be trans but my parents don't like the LBGTQ+ so what do I do
    I NEED HELP
  • Bisexual
    Hello everyone! I recently realized that I'm bisexual. I remember as a kid my mom would say how she thought bisexual people were gross and just horny.(only when discussions about lgbtq came up about my siblings friends, religion or general news.) Now I'm here thinking she'll have the worst reaction possible if I came out.(we […]
  • I'm slowly falling in love with a trans male who's one of my closest friends, but he's crushing on another girl... How do I move on, and not let this affect me negatively?
    He's known the other girl longer than he's known me, and he's been crushing on her for a while. I'm trying to befriend his crush, just to get to know her better, since she actually does seem like a good person. Yes, I am slightly jealous, but I won't jeopardize anything between my crush and […]
  • valuing myself and the world again
    i moved from my house of 15 years the only home ive ever known about seven months ago and i feel completely unimportant because so many of my old friends don't speak to me anymore and the new friends I've made at my new school treat me horribly because they are all extremely ill and […]