CBT and Mindfulness for Worrying and Anxious Thoughts

In the next series of posts we’ll look at how CBT and mindfulness can help us reduce and manage anxious thoughts and worries. We’ll learn to:

  • Tell the difference between productive and unproductive worry
  • Transition from productive worrying to problem solving
  • Respond effectively to unproductive worry with CBT and mindfulness strategies

In CBT, we focus on how to modify worrying and anxious thoughts so that they cause less anxiety. With mindfulness, we simply observe our thoughts, aiming to not allow ourselves to get caught up in them. And then we just let them go. And when we’re able to go of our anxious thoughts and worries, we reduce our anxiety. But before we get to these strategies, in this post and the next, we’ll learn a little about the nature of our thoughts.

You might be wondering, aren’t our thoughts important? Don’t we need to listen to them? How can we simply change them or let them go just because they’re making us anxious? Well, we do need to be aware of what we’re thinking, and what our thoughts are telling us. However, we also need to recognize that, most of the time, our thoughts are not facts. They are just subjective interpretations of events and situations. This is especially true of worries.

So since our thoughts are not facts, there’s no reason not to dispute or modify them when they’re causing anxiety. This doesn’t mean we’re trying to alter the facts or deny reality. We’re simply reframing our interpretations of our experiencing in ways that reduce our anxiety. Or we don’t even need to try to change our anxious thoughts and worries. We can simply acknowledge our thoughts and then just let them go, which is what we do when we relate to our thoughts mindfully.

Thoughts Are Not Facts

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them on the YouTube video page.