Joseph Luciani, Ph.D. makes a strong point about how to change these self-defeating habits in his book Self Coaching-The Powerful Program to Beat Anxiety and Depression: "Learn to develop the psychological muscle necessary to overcome the knee-jerk habits of insecurity that have been ruining and ruling your life. Why not recognize that the friction you feel is a clue that you've drifted away from your natural and spontaneous center, your capacity for genuine happiness?" When you can question the immediate, insecure response you can start to change your thoughts.
Luciani identifies insecure thinking as a source of much of our anxiety and depression. Knowing that, I can learn to recognize insecure traps, such as mind-reading or black and white thinking, and simply not allow myself to think them. Although these may seem to protect me from harm, they actually create insecurity. Guess what one of the top reasons is that people use drugs or drink? For most that seems impossible. "Stop my thinking? Good luck." True, at first, it is an act of faith. But once you try it and experience even a few moments of peace that you created by refusing insecure thinking, you'll want to try it again…and again…until that becomes a habit-a habit you'll want to keep.
I always tell my clients, "The 'position' of mind-reader has been eliminated, and we're also not taking any volunteers." So let me ask you, "What number am I thinking of right now?" A thousand bucks says you're wrong.
Stephen McReynolds, Th.M., CAC-II