You have the capability of deciding how you feel. You aren’t at the mercy of uncontrollable outside forces. Even when you have a physical disorder that leads to anxiety or depression, you still make the problem better or worse with your own self-talk. Self-talk is that little voice in the back of your head, and constant discussion that you maintain with yourself. I’ve had students refer to this as “the committee.”

Albert Ellis has written many books discussing the idea that there are many false or irrational beliefs that people hold which, when combined with “should” or “must,” lead to anger, depression, or anxiety. Often the belief isn’t immediately evident and will take a little digging to find. Below is an example of Sad Sue, who believed that she wasn’t good enough herself, but needed love and approval from others in order to matter.

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