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Outline of Presentation: 21 Ways to Stop Worrying by Dr. Albert Ellis, 1991

Presentation: 21 Ways to Stop Worrying by Dr. Albert Ellis, 1991
Recorded life, at The Institute for RET, NYC, Oct 16, 1991
Duration: 1:25
Presenter: Albert Ellis
Worry technical term: anxiety
3 Main forms
Ego worry/ anxiety
Core: most dramatic form self-downing
Perform anxiety dire necessity to perform well in general, in
relationships, and specially in love
Discomfort worry/ anxiety
Not as dramatic. Very pervasive. Form of hostility
Dire need for approval dire necessity of approval instead of a
wish, want, desire
Conditions, the world
Low frustration tolerance/ self-pity
Most humans are born with a tendency to worry about worry.
Goals and values: to succeed, to be approved, to be comfortable
A Activating events/ Adversity: Values are not acceded:
B Beliefs about A:
Rational (wishes, wants, desires about A)
Irrational (commands, demands; shoulds, oughts, musts)
C Consequences
choice of feeling appropriately (sorry, regretful, annoyed)
unnapropriate feelings (horror, terror, panic, etc.)
You chose:
Good consequence good feelings when you do something about your
wishes, wants, and desires, either change A or accept A
Bad consequences anxiety, shame, etc. when you go into a command
that A must not exist. Rising wish to jehovian command
Contributing factors not direct causes
Major life changes
Traumatic events: illness, death in the family
events in themselves are not traumatic, its the way you look at them
Meanings you give to frustration: defining them as horrible and awful
Lack of hardiness: being vulnerable, weak, and unhardy
Lack of leisure or too much leisure:
Lack busy, dont have time for yourself
Too much leisure not enough to be occupied, so you sit and worry
Overloading of work not the overload itself, but the way you look at it
The Belief that you cant control events Hopelessness
A lack of commitment to anything in life
Feel rotten, upset
Work inefficiently: not focused on the matter, focusing on succeeding distractor
People dont favor anxious people
High correlation: worry and various psychosomatic illnesses
Anxiety about anxiety
Advantages of worry if divided into:
Appropriate concern
Exciting, adventurous,
Interesting: gives you something to think about it
Pushes you to achieve
Leads to enjoyment
Greater health: concern about proper food, exercise
Helps society concern about other
Inappropriate anxiety: horror, terror, panic
Why are humans over-concerned, so anxious?
Evolutionary background
Now what do you do about it?
You can change activating events
Economic betterment
Ecological change
Move to a new neighborhood, job
Marrying/ divorcing
Going away to school
Simplifying your life
Getting more structure, plot and scheme, and plan ahead
Taking time off: hrs, weekend
Break up the stressors into smaller pieces
Accept the fact that you are often going to have mediocre solutions
Dont try too much
Problem solving: analyzing, considering alternatives, try many kinds of solutions,
validate and check your solutions, seek better solutions, assume that a solution to a
problem is possible and that something can be changed
Inoculate yourself against stress: info. about stressors, train yourself in coping skills,
reinforcement principles
RET tries to get at the philosophical core of how you make yourself over concerned:
1st: thinking techniques
Whenever you are really upset look for the should, the must; derivative of the
should awfulizing Rip it up
You can stand what you dont like.
You are not what you do.
Dont rate yourself.
Rate your actions.
D Dispute: Scientific Method find proof
Whenever you find a should, a must; self-rating; an I cant stand it.;
nutty, irrational, self-defeating beliefs
Dispute, challenge it, until you give it up.
E Effective new philosophy
Write out coping statements. You go over them many times
I dont have to do well, but it would preferable.
I can cope with stressors and adversity in the environment. And
usually, not always, do well.
I never need absolutely under all conditions what I want.
Modeling find people that are not that worried that went through adversity,
learn from them
Reframing see the bad things in life and in a different light
Reparenting you indulge in anxiety, make a list of disadvantage, go over them
to give you motive to give them up. The advantages of unconditional acceptance.
Semantic precision the reason you worry, not only think sloppily, you talk to
yourself sloppily
Psychoeducation reading, watch videos, etc. to give up demands
Teaching others use different methods and start teaching them to other people
2 Emotional techniques:
Always accept yourself, whether or not you perform well, whether or not anybody loves
you, whether or not the world is very unfair and uncomfortable to you.
It helps you to accept reality.
Rational-emotive imagery:
You imagine some of the worst discomforts. Get in touch with the horror. Make
yourself change that, force yourself.
By changing what you are telling yourself.
Practice for 20-30 days in a row. Get practiced on changing your feelings
to appropriate feelings.
3 Behavioral techniques:
Shame attacking exercise for people that put themselves down or worry about
disapproval of others
Force yourself to go out in public and do something very idiotic, shameful, and
ridiculous. Do it several times and work on not feeling ashamed.
Tape recorder a really, nutty idea and dispute it vigorously for several mins., then show
it to some family and friends
Have a friend hold one of your own crazy, nutty ideas, and have them not give it up and
you have to talk them out of it.
Use humor because when you are anxious you lose your sense of humor.
Reduce to absurdity one of your crazy ideas until you see how silly it is.
Poke fun at your acts that you do stupidly, rather than yourself.
Do what you are afraid of doing do that thing over and over, and make yourself as
uncomfortable as you can be
You can reinforce yourself with something pleasant only after you have gone
through it
Take your worst phobias and your worst anxieties and force yourself to take
emotional, and behavioral risk
This entry is rather long, yet I made the outline as short as possible. I left out a lot of interesting details
and comments, which is why I encourage you to listen to the presentation. Ellis was quite funny and a
bad mouth on this one, typical of his informal style, which makes it easier to go through. As you can
see, he starts by explaining the root of anxiety, passes to explain the ABC of the RET, and spends more
than half the talk discussing all these arrange of thinking, emotive, and behavioral exercises to take care
of anxiety in a lasting and efficient way.