Resolving stress, anxiety and depression is dependent upon our capacity or power to choose.
Negative or limiting emotions or feelings, cognitions or thoughts, behaviors or actions result in limited choices and interfere with the quality of our life. We are emotional, cognitive and behavioral beings.
What brings about these limiting emotions, cognitions and behaviors is an out-dated APPRAISAL or interpretation of a particular stress stimulus or stressor. We can make the appraisal of stress in the following ways.
- Conscious and Rational- we may logically gather the evidence for and against to solve a problem or just go along intuitively.
- Conscious and Irrational-we may believe the gerbil is safe but still be terrified to touch it.
- Unconscious and Rational-our body at times make the decision that it is not safe and removes our hand from a hot surface before we are even aware.
- Unconscious and Irrational-we may not trust our spouse even though there is absolutely no reason to do so.
How do we change our outdated and limiting appraisals or interpretations to increase our capacity to make non-limiting choices?
- We must identify our consistent style of thinking, feeling, doing, coping and defending ourselves.
- We must be consciously aware of the content of what we are thinking.
- We must be consciously aware of the why or the function or our behaviors.
- We must have the TOOLS to increase our emotional, cognitive and behavioral competence.