Anxiety is a fact of life. It evolved to protect us from danger and is built into the nervous system. That means that we cannot prevent ourselves from experiencing some anxiety in our lives. We cannot achieve complete control over it. When we try to control it or stop it we usually wind up making it worse.
The brain makes mistakes. Sometimes it perceives danger where none is present. But unpleasant feelings aren’t in themselves emergencies. Anxiety gets out of control when we believe in the reactions of the body to a false alarm by the brain.
Worry isn’t preparation. Understanding clearly that worrying about nonexistent dangers doesn’t make us any safer is the first step to awakening from the “trance” of worry.
Anxiety is never permanent. Every episode of anxiety has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
Progress in treatment should be measured, not by how seldom we experience anxiety, but by how much we accept it. That means reducing the believability of our fears rather than the frequency of their occurrence. They become ordinary mental events.