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13 Tips to Help You Stop Your Brain from Worrying Too Much

By Andrew Alpin, 6 September

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Did you know that everyone has “two” brains? Even though people may have only one body, they still have two minds. There’s the brain that “thinks” and the brain that “doesn’t think.” Everyone’s minds are set up, so they worry first and then think. Joseph LeDoux, a brain scientist at New York University (NYU), says, “connections from the emotional systems to the cognitive (thinking) systems are stronger than connections from the cognitive systems to the emotional systems.”

The system Dr. LeDoux is talking about is called the limbic system. It is a group of structures deep in the brain that make you feel emotions. The limbic system is also the oldest part of the brain, which is made up of the hippocampus and amygdala. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is the newest part of our brain responsible for thinking. This helps explain why you can sometimes do stupid things even though you’re smart. If you don’t know how to control it, the brain that worries will always win over the brain that thinks. It is important to know how to make your brain stop worrying.

These 13 tips can help you learn how to trick your brain to stop worrying.

1 Have confidence in your own self-control

The notion of self-efficacy implies that people can stop doing bad things when they believe they can. As you get stronger by making good decisions, getting over your worries, or taking control of your impulses, you’ll find that your fears and impulses control you less and less.

Have confidence in your own self-control

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2 Examine your irrational thoughts

People often believe things that don’t make sense, which makes them see threats where there are none. These ideas have to do with the “musts” of life that they have to meet. Find a better balance between your ideal self and the person you are, and your worries will disappear.

Examine your irrational thoughts

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3 Figure out how to talk about your feelings

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In cognitive-behavioral therapy, people learn to counter their illogical thoughts with more logical ones. A big part of this process is to change people’s negative thoughts and actions into more neutral or positive ones.

Figure out how to talk about your feelings

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4 Ask for help from someone who can give it

No matter how hard people try, no one can’t stop their emotions from responding quickly and strongly to certain events. This is why sponsors are necessary to group therapy sessions such as those dealing with alcohol or drug addictions. The other person you seek help from can act as your “cortex” when your own “limbic system” is being controlled by an addiction.

Ask for help from someone who can give it

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