5 Strategies for Getting Unstuck
The author of The Anxiety Toolkit
explains how we get caught in negative, fear-based ideas—and how to break free.
Illustration: CommerceandCultureAgency/Getty Images
2 of 5
Become Aware of Memory Bias
When people are anxious they often have biased recall for events. For example, Brian talks himself into believing he screwed up an interview for a promotion because he thinks over and over about things he could've said. However, he doesn't as easily recall the good answers he gave. He endlessly mentally rehashes ambiguous cues the interviewers gave off, such as appearing to rush through questions, but doesn't as easily recall when the interviewers responded positively.
Experiment: Do you have any current rumination topics where memory bias might be playing a role? Answer the following questions:
1. What's your ruminating mind telling you?
2. What are the objective data telling you about whether your ruminative thoughts are likely to be correct?
3. Are you recalling feedback as harsher than it was or recalling blips in your performance as worse than they were?