This article originally appeared in Psychology Today.

My mind loves worst-case scenarios. And yours might too. Our brains are hard-wired to protect us, which means they are hard-wired to look out for danger and worst-case scenarios. Anxious brains are constantly scanning the environment for people, situations, and things that could be dangerous and jumping to "what if" scenarios. Because of this, anxiety can easily spiral out of control.

After years of living in my anxious brain, I searched far and wide for a solution. People would always tell me to “just relax" or "stop worrying," but I never found it to be that easy. Finally, while earning my Ph.D. in clinical psychology, I found a way to control my spiraling brain and tense body. And it was easier than I thought. Over time, I learned to quiet my anxieties using one word. Here’s how it works.