Validate your feelings instead of analyzing them. Many of us feel the discomfort or pain of an emotion and our gut reaction is to start talking to ourselves about those feelings and what they mean. Instead, try to simply observe and notice these feelings. When we instantly rush in to ?fix? or ?solve? our feelings with a bunch of self-talk, we train our brain to think of these feelings as problems. Mindfulness can help you get better at this.
For Josie, the only real solution was to unlearn this belief that all dogs were dangerous and replace it with a new one?sometimes dogs can be dangerous but usually not. And because the brain?s primary teacher is our behavior, the only way for Josie to truly unlearn her irrational belief in the dangerousness of all dogs was for her to begin acting as though not all dogs are dangerous.
She began to observe how her habit of worrying was an attempt to control and reduce her anxiety. And that obviously this strategy was not working out very well for her since worrying in response to anxiety only fans the flames and makes it worse. As she got better at making this distinction between worry and anxiety, she was able to start undoing her habit of worrying every time she got anxious. This lead to a quick and strong reduction in her overall anxiety levels throughout the day. Understanding the fairly simple concept that worry was an action that she did and anxiety was a feeling that happened made all the difference for her.
7. Emotions don?t last very long. Emotions aren?t meant to last very long on their own. Usually just a few seconds or minutes. But they can last longer if we keep thinking about them. Imagine you made a mistake in front of the class and one of your classmates said something mean to you. You would probably feel embarrassed for a little while. But what you think about afterward might change how you will feel: If you spend all day remembering your mistake and wishing you had known the answer, you might keep feeling embarrassed. But if you tell yourself ?It was just a mistake?everyone makes mistakes sometimes? and then go play and think about other things, you probably won?t feel embarrassed much longer.