CHAPTER 4

More ways to tackle anxious thoughts

You have probably noticed that the title of this chapter is rather similar to that of the previous one. But it really is worth spending more time learning how to combat anxious thoughts. Because thoughts play an absolutely central part in anxiety.

As we saw in Chapter 2, one of the fundamental insights of recent psychological research is that troublesome anxiety is a response to an imagined future threat, and not actual current danger. How we interpret events can be much more important than those events themselves. In other words, it’s what goes on in our head that matters.

Imagine that you’re lying in bed at night, fast asleep. Suddenly you’re woken by a noise downstairs. What could it be? If ...

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