Dysfunctional Beliefs About Anxiety

Anxiety affects people’s thought system and causes distortion in their thought processes. This is most evident in the presence of cognitive distortions that manifest themselves in anxiety situations involving anxious thoughts that have been experienced before and that do not result in expected disasters.

While this type of threatening thinking profile gains importance in the presence of real dangers and threat elements, it may lose its reality to some extent when anxiety is in question. It is often quite challenging to be aware of this narrowed way of thinking when you are in an anxious state.

Cognitive distortions that emerge in anxious thoughts, which become evident when anxious situations are in question, make it difficult for us to consider more alternative and less worrying explanations for the situation. The emotional intensity created by anxious thoughts intensified by cognitive distortions often affects the continuation of the anxiety experience by causing an emotional reasoning process that prevents us from seeing the distortion of our thoughts.

It is challenging to evaluate the anxious reactions given to a worrying situation at a tolerable level, in the presence of less worrying alternative perspectives. Long-term repetitive experiences of intense anxiety cause people to be emotionally worn out and feel unhappy.

Over time, we develop certain ideas and beliefs about this long-lasting experience of anxiety. Due to the long-term repetition of anxiety, people often contemplate the worst consequences in this situation by setting up catastrophic scenarios, which causes a loss of tolerance for the experience of anxiety and causes a feeling of frustration in people. People’s intense emotional impact and cognitive load on anxiety also results in avoiding the anxiety experience anyway.

The basic beliefs that appear in intolerance of anxiety are as follows:

  • “I can’t stand feeling anxious.”

  • “If I can’t control my anxiety, it will cause something much worse.”

  • “Until I stop it, my anxiety will continue.”

  • “Anxiety is worse than physical pain or frustration.”

  • “Constant anxiety can harm my health.”

  • “Anxiety is a sign that I’m losing control.”

  • “It is important to remember to stay calm and not be physically tense and fussy.”

If you think that this and similar belief systems exist in your anxiety experience, it may be a guide for you to start a psychological support process that will create a change in this regard.

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