|Phew. See, she was worrying unnecessarily. Don't let yourself fall into that silly lady-trap, tsk tsk, there's a pretty thing.|
'Cognitive fusion' sounds like an exciting thing that happens in clever brains, but is actually a stupid bitch of a neuro-thing, and here's why.
Apparently when you start worrying about something (i.e. 'argh, my wife is going to divorce me because we had a big argument') your brain and body cannot distinguish between your imagining of the horrors of the event, and the actual event itself. To the brain and the adrenal system, when you imagine all the terrifying things that could happen during a divorce (brain screaming 'I'll be alone!' 'I'll lose my kids!' I'll never have sex again!'), you are literally experiencing all the same emotions and affective hormones etc you would experience during an actual divorce.
You've essentially created a nightmare-ish fantasy world that your body cannot divorce (ha) from reality.
So a day spent worrying about the possibility of a divorce, is a day where you've voluntarily propelled yourself into an unpleasant almost-genuine experience that either;
a) is never going to happen, in which case you've given yourself a traumatic fake divorce completely unnecessarily. (The eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted that this is the most likely option, particularly if your worries involve obscure, disastrous outcomes with infinitesimally small chances of ever occurring like mine do)
b) IS going to happen, in which case you've not only got to go through it once in your horrible pretend-land, but AGAIN in the real world.
The reason this is a bitch is that
a) it's destructive and horrible and nasty
b) knowing all about it doesn't stop me worrying in the slightest.
Well, maybe a little bit. I'm working on it.
The upside (it genuinely took me more than a day to hit on this, I'm such an Eeyore!) is that it works in reverse - i.e. imagining lovely things produces all the warm fuzzy good vibes you'd get if you were really doing those lovely things. Hence the popularity of visualisation ('you're lying on a warm beach in the Caribbean feeling the sand between your toes etc').
So all we need to do, is stop imagining horrible things, and start imagining wonderful things! Our anxiety will not only dissipate, we'll actually go from almost-genuinely experiencing divorces and gnarly deaths to almost-genuinely experiencing beach holidays and winning the lottery!
I told you there would be an easy solution to this anxiety lark! Stick with me, kids, and we'll soon have it licked.
|'I can finally see my happy-ever-afters clearly with these special rose-tinted spectacles on. Hurrah!'|