Listen to Reduce Anxiety by stopping What If’s
Hi this is Dr Tyler Woods and today I want to talk about something I hear everyday….In fact, I hear it daily in my practice, what if….what if I lose my job, what if the other shoes falls, what if I am not always happy, what if my spouse isn’t always happy, what if they leave me, …what if….what if….
More people seem to be preoccupied with “what ifs” and worst-case scenarios, what ifs become worry’s and worries becomes a problem. Unrelenting doubts and fears can be paralyzing. They can sap your emotional energy, send your anxiety levels soaring, and interfere with your daily life. But chronic worrying or the constant ifing is a mental habit that can be broken. You can train your brain to stay calm and look at life from a more positive perspective.
If you suffer from chronic what ifing I will call it anxiety for now, chances are you look at the world in ways that make it seem more dangerous than it really is. For example, you may overestimate the possibility that things will turn out badly, jump immediately to worst-case scenarios, or treat every negative thought as if it were fact. You may also discredit your own ability to handle life’s problems, assuming you’ll fall apart at the first sign of trouble. These irrational, pessimistic attitudes are known as cognitive distortions.
When we worry about something all the time, it is a way of focusing on a particular thing or idea that will manifest believe me I call it all thought is prayer…because to what if….is almost like a prayer for something one does not want. To avoid undesirable outcomes, we must learn to control our thoughts, especially when we are under emotional stress. Stress and emotion are forms of thought energy which fuel the creation of a negative thought being held in our minds.
So how can we work on balancing the what ifs in our lives?
First of all, Question the what ifs…..
What’s the evidence that the thought is true?
Is there a more positive, realistic way of looking at the situation?
What’s the probability that it may actually happen?
Is the thought helpful? How will worrying about it help me and how will it hurt me?
When you question it more of the what ifs begin to lose power….
Another helpful way to stop the what ifs is Accept uncertainty …The inability to tolerate uncertainty plays a huge role in anxiety and what ifing. Chronic worriers can’t stand doubt or unpredictability. They need to know with 100 percent certainty what’s going to happen. Worrying is seen as a way to predict what the future has in store—a way to prevent unpleasant surprises and control the outcome. The problem is, it doesn’t work.
Thinking about all the things that could go wrong doesn’t make life any more predictable. You may feel safer when you’re worrying, but it’s just an illusion. Focusing on worst-case scenarios won’t keep bad things from happening. It will only keep you from enjoying the good things you have in the present. So if you want to stop worrying, start by tackling your need for certainty and immediate answers.
One more thing that does work is stay in the now and practice mindfulness it can help you break free of your worries by bringing your attention back to the present.
Remember Let your what ifs go. Notice that when you don’t try to control the anxious thoughts that pop up, they soon pass, like clouds moving across the sky. It’s only when you engage your worries that you get stuck.
Stay focused on the present. Pay attention to the way your body feels, the rhythm of your breathing, your ever-changing emotions, and the thoughts that drift across your mind. If you find yourself getting stuck on a particular thought, bring your attention back to the present moment.
for today this is Dr Tyler Woods saying walk in peace…