When we're worried about something, "What if?" is the enemy. What if we mess up at work? What if we can't complete our goals? What if everything falls apart?
Our default is to dwell on the potential of bad outcomes. As psychologist Rick Hanson explains in his book "Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm and Confidence," our brains have a natural negativity bias -- and before we know it, one troublesome thought can spiral out of control, leading to even more anxiety.
For those who deal with anxiety and anxiety disorders on a daily basis, it can be challenging to put an end to a fearful thought before it shifts into chronic stress. Fortunately, there are ways to train your brain to stop a worry-ridden thought in its tracks, says Peter Norton, a professor of psychology at the University of Houston. "The more you look for something or expect something to be there, the more likely you are to find evidence of it, so sometimes people can mislead themselves [when they're having an anxious thought]," Norton tells The Huffington Post. Our deep trust in our own thinking is what leads us astray -- but it's also what can help us get back on track, he explains. Continue reading.
Originally posted on Huffington Post.
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