Often in situation that is causing us anxiety, it’s hard to disengage and stop thinking about what is causing us to worry. It is like a pink elephant: The more we try not to think about a pink elephant, we end up thinking about it!
Here are 3 research based ways to avoid the pink elephant.
1. Flip it
If you have to give a presentation and keep thinking, “I’m going to fail, I’m going to forget, I’m gonna mess it up”- flip the conversation.
Do this : Tell yourself what you will do. Example “be confident, speak slowly”
Recognize the difference between a thought, and a fact. Research has shown that is helpful to be an observer and acknowledge the anxious thought you were having.
Do this: Say:, " I see that I’m thinking I may fail this presentation. This is a thought and not a fact. "
When we fear the worst will happen, we often don’t think about what’s next
Do this: Think of what will happen after that. Will you do something different? Maybe even laugh about it with a friend? Visualize how you will recover and bounce back.