Say This Word to Lower Your Anxiety, Says a Leading Psychologist

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It can be hard to navigate the murky inner workings of the mind when anxiety takes hold. Your heart starts to pound, your thoughts become erratic, and you can't shake that sinking feeling that something bad is going to happen. If you're familiar with this scenario, psychologist Jeffrey Bernstein says one simple strategy might help you navigate anxiety and lower the chance of it reoccurring.

According to Bernstein, who has over 20 years of experience in adolescent and couples therapy, using one word can help alleviate anxiety: nevertheless. "This word helps combat discouragement and turns potentially disastrous days into productive ones," says Stanley Hibbs, who taught Bernstein the strategy at a professional conference, outlined in "It's good for your health, your self-esteem, and can make you a more productive person."

It's a simple concept but one that encourages us to pause and acknowledge our options, often prompting positive thoughts. In practice, it might sound like this: "I'm tired and I've earned the right to goof off. Nevertheless, I can get a few more things done and then relax," says Bernstein. Or, "I think I will fail this test but, nevertheless, I am going to start studying and give it my best." His advice certainly doesn't replace the need for professional help and perhaps medication, but it's a good, simple strategy to keep in mind next time anxiety takes hold.

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