Teens: How do you learn to cope up your anxiety? Activity 9 & 10
Dr Gowher Yusuf
Hal 3rd stage, Bengaluru Feb 9, 2017
Source: The Anxiety Workbook for Teens by Lisa M, SCHAB, LCSW
All – or – nothing thinking is the tendency to judge things in extreme or “black – and - white” categories, because in reality things are never completely one way or the other. Judging yourself in this way raises your anxiety level. You are always afraid that if you don’t achieve perfection (one extreme) you will be a complete failure (the other extreme)
Nothing in life is completely one extreme (black) or the other extreme (white). Real people and situation have different mixes of negative and positive. Reality exists in the gray area between black and white.
1.Describe what it felt like to rate your gray areas in these categories.
2.In which categories was it hardest to rate yourself in the gray area rather than the black or white extremes? Why did you choose those categories?
3.What do you think might be hard about giving up all-or-nothing thinking and seeing things more realistically?
4.Write 3 examples of all-or-nothing statements you have made about yourself. Then rewrite them with realistic gray-area statements.
5.Tell which of the above statements makes you feel the most anxious, and why.
When people over generalize , they assume that because they had one negative experience in the past, they will always have the same negative experience in the future – even though there is no evidence for that. This assumption raises their anxiety level whenever they encounter a situation that has been negative, even just once, in the past. People who over generalize often use the words “always”, “never”, “no one”, everyone”, “all”, and “none”.
1.For the next few days, keep a record here of any statements you make that use the words “always”, “never”, “no one”, everyone”, “all”, and “none”. Describe the situation you were in when you made each statement.
2.Look back at what you have written. Describe any patterns you notice in the subject areas or situations that you over generalize about.
3.Now rewrite the statements, replacing the over generalizing words with more accurate words.
Read both groups of sentences aloud to yourself, paying attention to your anxiety level as you read them. Notices which statements make you feel more anxious.