Dear Teen,

You are a nervous wreck! And it sounds like all this worry is having a huge impact on your daily life. To some extent, everyone in the world has negative thoughts, sometimes though unpleasant, it is perfectly normal. And the good news is: the thought will pass.

One of the faulty thinking styles that cause me a lot of anxiety is Catastrophizing.
This is a faulty thinking style that causes worry by imagining the worst possible thing will happen. E.g I have been to the toilet, it is full of germs. Germs cause infection. I will catch an infection and I will die!

So, you have the negative thought (germs), you then let it escalate to the worst-case scenario (dying) then you feel worried. Can you relate to this at all?

Let me share with you some unhelpful thinking habits. See if you notice your style then ask your parents or friends what there faulty thinking style is.


What is your faulty thinking style?


Mind Reading.
‘My friends thinks I am stupid!’ – Assuming we know what others are thinking. Are you a mind reader? Can you tell me what I am thinking now? ‘No, you cannot’. 

Tip – When you identify your faulty thinking style, you can then start to notice them and repeat;
1. Does thinking this thought feel good?
2. Label the faulty thinking e.g mind reading
3. Distract yourself positively; music, conversations with people around you.

Believing we know what is going to happen tomorrow or the future. ‘I am going to fail my exams and I am going to make a fool of myself.’ 

Tip – Notice and name the faulty thinking and do (the same as before).


Compare & Despair.
Seeing only the good and positive aspects in others, and then compare ourselves negatively against them. ‘They are so much better at that than me.’ ‘They are so smart and will get good grades. I won’t, Im so stupid.”

Again, notice the faulty thinking and follow the steps above.


Should or I must.
This is thinking ‘ I should be better at this’. This puts added pressure on ourselves and sets up unrealistic expectations.

Tip – Change the word ‘Should’ to ‘Could’. Repeat the thought differently; ‘ I could be better at this’.


Critical Self.
Putting ourselves down with self criticism, blaming ourselves for events or situations that we are not totally responsible for.


Mountains & Mole-hills.
This is exaggerating the risk of danger or the negatives. You are minimising the odds of how things are most likely to turn out or minimising the positives.


Memories of the Past.
Current events trigger upsetting memories, leading us to believe that the danger is here and now, rather than the past (a time zone that does not exist now!)

Recognise it is the faulty thinking now; it is causing the pain and worry!

So, when we worry it is the thoughts that are causing you to feel anxious. It is normal to try and get rid of intrusive thoughts, but noticing and accepting your thinking style will allow the thoughts not to spiral out of control.

Sometimes you have to try this for a few weeks before you notice change. Apply the tips and coping strategies that I am going to continue to share with you.

I have applied these tips over the years and I have been able to get a real grip of my anxiety and live the big life.


Love & Laughter,



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