An anxious mind processes things differently. When anxious the brain becomes hypervigilent and begins operating out of the fight or flight mode in the brain. In this fight or flight state the brain is more likely to make critical thinking errors. These thinking errors can be broken into four different categories.
1.Biased. Biased thoughts are one-sided. For example, if someone you have had an issues with before walks by and does not say hello you automatically assume that they don’t like you. However, there could be multiple explanations for their behavior.
2. Dysfunctional. Dysfunctional thoughts do not serve you well. For example, ” I shouldn’t even try.” Dysfunctional thoughts only set you up to fail.
3.Irrational thoughts fundamentally do not make sense when you thoroughly examine them. For example thinking, “everyone is talking about me” when you see people whispering.
4. Distorted. Distorted thoughts don’t accurately reflect reality. Using extreme terms such as, “always,” “never,” and “nobody” are inaccurate. For example, You may assume that, “I am never going to have friends” after one friend treats you in an unkind manner.
You can train your brain to challenge your thinking errors. Begin to change your perspective and find alternatives to your thoughts. Look at evidence for and against your thoughts. Become more mindful, and use coping skills such as deep breathinh to get your brain to move from the fight or flight to more rational processing.