An Exercise to Reduce Anxiety and Depression

If you suffer from anxiety or depression, ruminating on negative thoughts could be to blame. Below is a step-by-step exercise commonly used in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that, if done regularly, will calm your anxiety and lift your mood.


First, notice the negative thoughts when they arise. A good signifier of negative thoughts is a low or anxious mood that comes seemingly “out of nowhere.” These feelings are a signal that you need to turn inward and examine your thoughts. A good example of this is if you’ve ever seen a photo of yourself and then minutes later noticed you feel depressed “for no reason.” Upon examining your thoughts, they could be something along the lines of: “My stomach is huge,” or “I’m so unattractive,” or “I will never be pretty enough.” These thoughts are not only irrational, they are also anxiety-provoking and depressing—it’s no wonder you’d feel depressed and/or anxious after having them!

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