A few months ago I started playing mind games with myself. I’m prone to worry and anxiety, and it was making me miserable. Anytime a big event or appointment was coming up that had any elements of the unknown, I’d start worrying and thinking of all the possible things that could do wrong. It got to the point, where I had to really force myself to even go to these things, even though I knew they would be fun and interesting.
I decided enough was enough, I was sick and tired of worrying about things that I had no control over, and often were just figments of my imagination. I decided to shift my perspective. Instead of thinking, I’m nervous and a lot of things could go wrong… I made myself turn the thoughts around. I forced myself to think, I’m excited, this has a real potential to be fun and for things to go right! Then I started picturing some really positive scenarios in my mind that I could look forward to.
Now, you really have to make your mind turn the tables, and it may seem a little fake. However, let me tell you, it really works! If you psych yourself up for something, and think, yes, I can do this, the bad feelings start to melt away. They are replaced by feelings of happiness and positive anticipation.
We all know that the future is uncertain, and fear of the unknown is a biggie. As I turn my thoughts to the positive, I also energize my ability to deal with problems that may arise. When you are on the defensive, you tend to think small (where is the exit?!) However, if you can shift your mood and thoughts to the positive side of the street, you also gain broader thinking and problem solving skills. That’s right, thinking you can deal with whatever comes your way actually helps you hit the ground running. You are already in a position of joy and strength, and you can really have a good time, be successful, and breathe a sigh of relief.
Yes, you can do this!
I hope that the next time you are feeling queasy and unsure, you try this exercise. I admit that sometimes I forget to use my own tools and spend some time back in worry land, but eventually I perk up and remember to do the shift. You may not be able to control the future, but you can control how you look at the world. It’s a lot more fun when you look for the good stuff, I promise.