This century is characterized by high levels of anxiety (the normal automatic emotional response to perceived threat) and worry (a mental strategy to avoid danger). While anxiety and worry is normal, many people experience these in excess. Here follows a variety of common thought traps that prevent you from having a corrective learning experience about anxiety. Continue reading Worry theory: Overcoming common thought traps
While engaging in therapy for anxiety, you will be invited to face your fears. The trouble is, you may have various additional fears that make this process challenging. Here is a quick look at some common “what if” thoughts that maintain your experience of anxiety and a few suggestions on how to overcome them. Continue reading Is “What if” maintaining your panic?
Many (if not most) people are challenged by uncertainty and find that it causes anxiety. Persons affected by the Fees Must Fall movement could be experiencing periods of uncertainty (e.g. when will we go back to class, what if I get arrested during a peaceful protest). Here is what you should know about anxiety Continue reading Fees must fall: Anxious, so now what?
1 in 10 persons develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after exposure to a traumatic incident. Persons affected by the Fees Must Fall movement could be exposed to traumatic incidents (i.e. witnessing or experiencing violence that threaten a human life or human dignity e.g. seeing a friend being beaten by the police, being threatened and intimidated to leave class). It is important to be on the lookout for signs and symptoms that indicate that additional support could be beneficial to you. Part one of this Fees Must Fall mini-series describes how to deal with traumatic incidents. Continue reading Fees Must Fall: Traumatic, now what?
I am sure every household has it: The cupboard where things get shoved into while you hold the rest of the contents back with another arm before you close the door with your foot. At any moment this cupboard could swing open and spill it contents on the floor – or worse, fall all over you. Avoidance of the linen or Tupperware cupboard, perhaps?
Sometimes our memories can be like this. Uncontrollable, they spill out whenever they feel like it. Painful. Perhaps even shameful. It’s easy to succumb to the temptation to avoid these feared memories, but is it helpful?
Perhaps you can relate to Tim Urban, the master procrastinator.
ABC of procrastination
A: Thesis is due in two years
C: Procrastinate until the last minute
Remember, it is not A that causes C, but B. So what might a master procrastinator be telling himself?
- I must feel like doing it
- It should be easier
- I can’t stand the discomfort
- I am an incompetent person unless there is pressure
Perhaps it is not so much about the pleasure or ease, but more about the anxiety pertaining to perfection. This person could be saying things like
- I must get it perfectly right
- Failure is awful
- I can’t bear failure
- I am an absolute failure so what is the use in trying
- I would really prefer to feel like doing it, but I don’t have to feel like it to actually do it
- I would really like this to be easy and pleasant, but it’s okay if it is not
- This task is uncomfortable, but I can stand it
- I am human and allowed to make mistakes. I am also allowed to change and choose to NOT procrastinate. Just because I don’t feel like it doesn’t mean that I am incompetent.
- I would like to get it right, but it doens’t have to be perfect
- Making mistakes are bad, but realistically it is not the end of the world
- Although it would be hard, I can handle it if I made a mistake
- Making a mistake does not make me a complete failure
Should you be reading this article in the midst of one of your procrastination breaks, consider the important-urgent principle to guide your time management:
I dare you to try something new and actually DO something that you don’t FEEL like. Do feel free to contact me and arrange a session if you find it difficult to manage the crazy monkey! Do it now – don’t procrastinate.
Avoidance and unhelpful beliefs are the two primary factors that maintain fear. Thus the effective treatment for anxiety requires that a) you confront those beliefs and b) face those fears. Exposure therapy is a technique which challenges both aspects.