The Two Big Beliefs Linked to Anxiety

Worries and fears and stress, oh my! This week, Savvy Psychologist Dr. Ellen Hendriksen reveals the two big beliefs that light up anxiety, plus how to pull the plug.

Ellen Hendriksen, PhD
Episode #106
anxious man

Belief #2: I can’t handle it. The second reason we get anxious is we think we can’t deal. It makes sense: if we don’t feel prepared, we get anxious.  

Anxiety makes us doubt our own abilities. And our fear feels like fact. We feel incapable, so we must be. We feel overwhelmed, so we must be in over our heads. How to fight back when the fear feels real?

How to challenge it:  Your magic question here is “What could I do?” Think of all the resources you could gather—your friends, your family, your inner strength, your health insurance, your chutzpah—to deal with your worry if it came true. How would you cope? What could you do?

You can cope with pretty much anything life throws at you, from curveballs to screwballs to oddballs to cornballs.

If you truly had a brain tumor (even if you know odds are it’s a tension headache) what could you do?  Seriously, what could you do? You’d find a good oncologist, take a leave from work, stick to your treatments, lean hard on friends and family. It wouldn’t be a cakewalk by any means. It would be really, really hard. But the point is that there are things you could do. It wouldn’t be hopeless. 

And thankfully, most of our worries aren’t as dire. Worried your vacation will get rained out? What could you do? Get to know every museum in the city, or buy a really big umbrella and say weather be damned. Worried you’ll never find the right partner? What could you do? Enjoy your life, invest time in getting to know people, and trust the right person will find you. And if they don’t? You’ll still have built a great life with a wide circle of friends. The point is that even if your worries seem overwhelming, you can cope with pretty much anything life throws at you, from curveballs to screwballs to oddballs to cornballs.

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For free, helpful downloads to fight social anxiety and be your authentic self, visit EllenHendriksen.com.



About the Author

Ellen Hendriksen, PhD
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