(NEWS CENTER) -- The strongest voice to combat feelings of vulnerability, anxiety and misery is the one inside yourself.
Licensed family therapist Jack Burke addressed those often crippling emotions during his weekly Therapy Thursday visit with NEWS CENTER's Sharon Rose-Vaznis.
Jack said everyone experiences moments of vulnerability. Rather than being viewed as a sign of weakness or helplessness, they are a natural response to the possibility of a hurtful outcome. It's only when we dwell on those moments that they can progress into the pervasive dread of anxiety or chronic misery.
According to Jack, our control over those reactions depends on our own internal dialogue. He said a 5 percent change toward more positive thinking is all it takes to bring about greater success in your life. Jack recommends pushing back against self-doubt by repeating affirmations like "I can handle it." But that mantra only works if it is backed up with the power of belief.
Personal vulnerabilities can be compounded by a partner who brings their own vulnerabilities to a relationship. When your partner approaches a situation by imagining the worst-case scenario, Jack said to try countering with an equally-plausible but happier scenario. Optimism can be contagious. But don't push beyond your partner's limits. By recognizing the strengths and weaknesses in a relationships, partners can compensate for the vulnerabilities in each other.