Get to the Heart of your Stress

Adapted from The End of Stress by Don Joseph Goewey

Stress often doesn’t stem from just one situation, but rather from your lower brain’s catastrophizing the event and jumping to unrealistic worst-case scenarios. This process will help you get to the bottom of what’s truly stressing you out.

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Try: Start with a simple question: “What am I afraid of?” Write your answer on the top of a sheet of paper. (For instance: “I’m afraid I won’t have enough money for our vacation.”) Then follow up with, “If the fear I just wrote were true, what would I be afraid of?” (For instance: “I’m afraid my family will hate me if I can’t afford vacation.”) Continue writing the answers until you feel you’ve found the root of your stress. Now, revisit each statement, framing them as facts instead of fears. (For instance: “I won’t have enough money for a vacation.”) Ask yourself whether each one is true. Will you really be unable to pay for your trip? Will your family truly hate you if you don’t go?