Saturday, May 18, 2013
From the book Little Ways to Keep Calm and Carry On by Mark A. Reineke:
"Everyone has negative thoughts, and lots of them (Rachman and de Silva 1978). Such thoughts and images can be truly upsetting, even shocking. They keep coming back, and we just want them to stop. Most often, anxiety-laden thoughts center on work, grades or academic performance, health, or relationships. Some people can simply dismiss these thoughts, but for others, it's not that simple--such thoughts and images are graphic, persistent, and disturbing. The types of intrusive, negative thoughts that anxious, worried people experience differ little, however, from the thoughts of nonanxious people. The difference is in the meaning given to the thoughts (Calamari and Janeck 1998). Worried, anxious people often think: This thought is awful. I shouldn't be thinking this; I have to make it stop. Of course, the more you focus on the thought and try to make it stop, the faster and more furiously the thoughts will fly through your head (Abramowitz, Tolin, and Street 2001). The power to control your distress comes from the ability to disengage from the thought. It is, in a way, paradoxical: you gain control of your thoughts by relinquishing control. Accept them and they no longer upset you; they may even go away (Marcks and Woods 2005). You need only recognize: It's just a thought. It means nothing."