Ever notice how you think about things has a lot to do with how you feel?
Like, if you think “I’m going to fail my math test.” Then how would you feel? But what if you thought about all the other things that are true like:
“This is going to be a really hard math test because I’m learning a new thing but it will get easier the more times I do it.”
“Mistakes are OK – everyone makes mistakes, it’s how we learn.”
“OK, I’m not going to fail, but if I don't do as well as Id like, I’ll feel bad for a few minutes. Then I’ll probably try to figure out the things I didn't understand so I’ll feel more prepared for the next one.”
Anxiety can make us think that something bad is about to happen, and then make us believe that we can’t handle it if it does happen. It’s really like a bully – threatening something bad all the time.
But what really happens? The thing we worried about is usually doesn't happen and even if things don’t go perfectly, you usually handle it and move on.
Challenge anxiety every time it says something bad is about to happen by not letting it threaten or scare you. As you’ve seen yourself, most of the time, even when things don't turn out well, they do turn out OK and we are able to deal with it and move on.
Next time anxiety is telling you something bad is about to happen, like you might fail, or you might say something stupid, or you’re not going to be able to handle it if you’re not with your mom or dad, try to challenge it. Try to think about all the facts, not just the worst possible outcomes. Remember, you’ve been in similar situations before and you’ve been able to handle it.