– [Ryan] Welcome to Redeem the Commute, Stress and Anxiety Course. I’m Ryan, your host. I hope that you enjoy the course today, and get a chance to think about or discuss the question at the end with others. Just as a general reminder, the course includes general tips, and you should absolutely see a medical health professional to understand your specific situation. This course is offered by Dr. Kate Witheridge, and here she is now.

– [Dr. Witheridge] But we have to unlearn our thinking so if you want to think of it kind of like if your toothbrush is on the right hand side of your sink, this applies for everything we’re about to talk about as well. And it’s sort of learned process, right? I walk up to my sink, and my toothbrush is on the right hand side. I don’t really think about brushing my teeth. I just reach. And then one day, it moved to the left hand side. I came in, I was like, I’m moving it to the left hand side. For a while I’d walk up, same situation, I would have the same thought process, but I’d have to learn a new thought process, a new behavior. And for a while I’d still reach for the right, why? ‘Cause it’s learned, but as I learn a new way of approaching it, a new way of thinking, a new way of behaving, I learn that new way to respond to a situation. So I like to say this about thoughts as well, when I start talking about behaviors, that we’re trying to unlearn things, learn new adaptive ways so that we can actually turn those into habits. Clear his mind. Uh, well, this is what I always say to my students, the more you practice the faster you’ll do it, right? So if you go to the gym once a week you’re not gonna get as fit as if you go three times a week. So the more you practice it, the more you bring awareness to it, even if it’s just like, oop, I can tell I’m in my catastrophic bunny trail, or my negative thinking, the more you cut yourself, the more you remind yourself of it, putting balanced thoughts you know, in your phone or reminding yourself of this stuff. Once again, helpful reasons why you write it down. Because none of us will remember what we said three weeks ago, but if I have a piece of paper that’s like, this is what I said last time I was worried about someone not texting me back, or when I had a presentation, or when I had a job interview. Oh, I can remind myself of that. It makes sense to people. If you want more information on this stuff, so this is a great book. I would say ignore the cheesy picture on the cover, it reminds me of a Zoloft commercial, but Mind Over Mood is actually a really great workbook that talks about challenging thoughts and changing behaviors, so it’s good for anxiety, depression, there’s some anger in there, and some other, I think perfectionism as well. So it’s designed to be a workbook. You can find it at Chapters. You can find it on Amazon. There’s an older version too, so if that happens to show up in used book stores, it’s just green and white. But Greenberger and Padesky are the authors, and it’s on the reference list that’s on the table. If you want more information, feel free to look that up. You can also Google it, ’cause there’s lots on thought records on the internet. One other thing I’m just gonna quickly talk about is those what if thoughts, like what do I do with them? So this is an overly simplified version of how to challenge what if thoughts, but I like these questions. So, often what happens with worry is there’s sort of the current worry, which is I need to make sure this presentation is done to send to Mike today, versus what if people don’t like me? And the idea is to say, current worries are things I can problem solve. Like, I need to make sure I get these PowerPoint slides done, so Mike has them ready for my presentation. Unproductive or future worries are the what ifs that I can’t do anything about this, because it’s out of my control. What if I get fired from my job? It’s like well, I can’t do anything about that because right now I think my boss likes me. So a few of these questions are just helpful to figure out, do I need to problem solve or do I need to use maybe a thought record? So, is it possible or is it reasonable? Could it happen, right? Could I actually maybe be late to this presentation? Yeah, what am I going to problem solve and do? I’m going to make sure I leave work on time. Can I take action immediately? Can I do something? Yes or no? You know, if my rent’s due on Friday and I don’t have enough money, that’s probably something I need to problem solve, ’cause I can figure out how to get enough money. Can I carry out any actions to lead to a solution? Where is my worry set? So is it current or kind of distant future? Have I gotten ahead of myself? So, commonly what happens is, I’ve already predicted something bad’s going to happen, and I’m preparing for that, and it’s like, but you know it’s 4:15 at work, and I’m already predicting what am I going to do if I’m late to this presentation? But it’s not something I can actually do anything about and I’m not actually in that situation yet, and like I said, does it exist now? Can I describe it in concrete terms? So, like I need to speak at seven o’clock, I need to be at church by 6:15, and it’s currently 4:15, alright, let me problem solve. How late can I stay at work and still get to this presentation on time? Would others see this in the same way? So, I don’t know if there’s any worriers in the room, but I see a lot of people with worry, and often their partners, their friends, are like, why are you thinking about that? Like, what is going on? Like, why are you 27 steps ahead, and two years from now? And it’s like, oh. Maybe someone else could say, like, here’s how you problem solve or like, why are you worrying about where you’re going to be two years from now, after you get a job and you’re graduating, when it’s the third week of your master’s degree. So I just really like these questions, and it’s kind of helpful, like I often say, is it productive or unproductive worry? Is it current or future oriented? And like I said, if it’s sort of future oriented, thought records are great for that. Of like, what can I do? Where am I now? The other side is problem solving, which I’ll talk a little bit about in a second, in terms of shifting behavior.

– [Host] Thanks for joining us for day four of this course on stress and anxiety. We talked all about worry today, and there were a number of questions that Kate mentioned. you should think about when you’re faced with worries. She called them the worry questions, and I hope you’ll take some time to look through those today. They’re in our app and website, and it would be a great way for you to think through how your body and how your mind react to worry. Well have a great day. Bye for now.

Question: Work through the worry questions today.