Am I Trying Too Hard?

Do this technique to stop depression. Do that technique to stop your panic attacks. Try this approach to calm your mind. Not only does there seem to be exercises to address all issues known to humanity, but there are several experts who write self help books to tell you what you are doing wrong.

Think about this. Maybe you are trying too hard. Maybe you are actually sabotaging yourself because you are trying so hard to “beat” the problem. The more you focus on that problem, the more you will experience it.

I urge my clients to “roll” with the problem they may be experiencing. Maybe say, “I have this problem and I’m going to live with it---its not the end of the world. Its not life threatening. What’s the worst that can happen.” No, you are not giving in. You are allowing the problem to have less weight. Now, it is more likely it will fade to the background because you are focused on better things in your life.

Here are a few things you can say to yourself to address anxiety. They are taken from REBT:

  • My anxiety is bad, but I'm not bad.
  • I don't always have to feel comfortable, and it isn't awful when I don't.
  • I can bear—and bear with—anxiety: it won't kill me.
  • It is not necessary to be in perfect control of my anxious moments. To demand that I be in control only multiplies my symptoms.
  • Others are not required to treat me with kid gloves when I feel uncomfortable.

Research ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) for more ideas.

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