Anxious Worst Case Scenarios – Hypnotherapy in Ely Vlog
If you struggle with anxiety then you’ll be very familiar with those worst case scenarios that can take over your mind. The more you imagine the worst case, the more anxiety you feel and that just leads to more anxious overthinking. This is something I help clients to overcome so in this video I cover a bit about anxious worst case scenarios and some ways to start addressing them. Click on the image to watch this now:
Anxious worst case scenarios
Hello, it’s Dan here today. I hope you’re good today. And today I just want to say a few words about anxious worst case scenarios. It’s something I help people with a lot. It’s obviously fairly common with anxious stuff, to feel anxious, and to start imagining things going badly, going wrong.
What tends to happen when you do worst case scenarios, is you get really engaged in the content of them. Say you imagine something going wrong at work, that thing’s going to go wrong at work and that means my colleagues, my manager’s going to think I’m rubbish at my job, that means I’ll probably lose my job, and if I lose my job I won’t be able to pay the bills, and if I can’t pay the bills, then I’ll lose my house, I’ll end up homeless. And we tend to go down that kind of negative spiral that comes from accepting that kind of original idea, that original worst case as a thing.
So, if you treat it as a thing, if you treat it as fact, that it’s definitely going to happen, it’s the only thing that could happen, then you find yourself going down that kind of spiral of negative consequences which just inflames your anxiety, makes you feel even worse about the thing, more anxious about that forthcoming thing. And it’s true whether it’s a work thing, a social thing, some other aspect of life, coming from the worst case scenario generally leads to feeling bad, and leads to thinking about it more and the two things getting linked together, in that, the more you think about that forthcoming thing, the more anxious you feel, the more anxious you feel, the more you think about it, and the more you go down that path of negative consequences.
So we want to have ways to deal with those things because, as I’ve mentioned, we want to keep in mind that, just because you think something doesn’t make it real, doesn’t make it a fact, doesn’t mean it’s probable, doesn’t mean it’s definitely going to happen. However real it feels in your mind, however much belief, energy and focus is there, however anxious you feel around it, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily going to happen in that way.
And you only have to think back on your previous times, when you may have had worst case scenarios, to recognise this, because many times what you thought was going to happen just doesn’t happen, many times you might come out of situations and go that wasn’t as bad as I was thinking. And we spend a lot of time worrying and coming up with these worst case scenarios, that are often, like I say, they just don’t happen, things don’t unfold that way. Often things are okay, the bad stuff doesn’t happen, things can be even good. You can enjoy things that you thought were going to be uncomfortable, or you were dreading in some way.
So we want to keep that in mind that just because you think it, doesn’t make it a fact. Because it’s in our head, because it’s a future act, because it hasn’t happened, there are several things you can do to start reining those things in, and to start interrupting them. The first is just to remind yourself that, just because you think it, just because you imagine it, just because it’s vivid in your mind, doesn’t mean that it’s definitely going to happen and to start to challenge it in that way. It might be possible but it’s not necessarily probable.
Linked to that, what you can do in your mind is to start to kind of dilute it so, rather than what people tend to do, you feel anxious, think of the worst case scenario, and essentially you say to your brain here’s an option of one thing that’s likely to happen and you just think about that. But, of course, because it’s the future, because we know sometimes things go better, sometimes they don’t, sometimes things are just kind of okay, then you can start to dilute it by deliberately coming up with more possible things that could happen.
So, if you’ve got the worst case that a thing is causing anxiety and worry rather than going down that rabbit hole and those consequences, is to deliberately go what would be the best case, what’s the best thing that could happen here, if things go well, I’m pleased in some way, I’m happy about how stuff goes, people say it’s good, depending on what the thing is, and between those two ends of the spectrum there will be dozens of possibles, things that go not great but you can cope with it, things that are absolutely just plain ordinary and not too much happens, there might be a more realistic option, there might be grades of good, but the more options you come up with the less your mind can fixate on one and treat that as a kind of thing simply because it’s the only option you‘ve come up with about the future.
Of course, what people tend to do as well, and it’s quite common – I’ve just been working with someone who does this – you predict the future, it’s an anxious thing, and you tend to go to the point of most anxiety, most anxious provoking point. So you think of when things are at their worst, when things are going really badly, when people are judging you in some way, when you’re perceiving you’re failing in some way, and the images in your head tend to fix on that point of maximum anxiety, which obviously makes you feel anxious, makes you feel bad and leads to feeling dread.
But, of course, time’s not going to stop at that point so you can start to go what happens next, what happens next, you cope with it somehow, you get through it somehow, you deal with it like you do with other challenges. You get to a point where it’s over, you get to a point two weeks from then where no-one even remembers it, where it’s not even a thing any more, you’re not even thinking about it. It could be two weeks, a month, six weeks, go beyond that in your mind when it’s become insignificant, in the same way that other stuff you might have dreaded is way back in the past in your mind and you may not spend any time thinking about it, no-one else is thinking about it, it’s almost irrelevant, it’s just a thing that happened.
So you can fast forward, go beyond it, you cope with it, you get through it somehow, you find a way, you have the resilience, you reach a point where it’s no longer a thing, or focus on being able to cope with whatever happens, you deal with it, you have the strength and resilience, believe in yourself, trust in yourself, you get through it and you can fast forward beyond that to a point where the anxious stuff has dropped because you’ve reached a point where you’re kind of more okay and you’ve dealt with it and it’s now in the past.
In contrast to that, rewind it, bring it back to now. Go, alright, that’s the stuff that’s in the future, but right now you’re doing whatever you’re doing, you’re sitting where you are, watching this video, thinking about these particular things, so right in this moment, the future hasn’t happened. There are many possible things that could happen in the future but bring it right back to now, where that stuff hasn’t happened, in the now it doesn’t even exist, so right now I am doing this, if your thoughts go to it, bring it back, and right now I am here doing this, thinking about this, going to do this, moving in this way, thinking in this way, looking at these things, I am present here in this moment where that stuff doesn’t exist.
There are many other ways and variables along those techniques and, like I say, you can first of all remind yourself that it’s not necessarily a fact, it’s just a perception of what’s going to happen, it’s not a fact, it’s not written in stone, there’s not necessarily evidence to support it, it’s just a perception. Undermine it in that way, start to take away some of that kind of belief that you’ve inadvertently given to it, it’s stuff you’re making up in your mind, so you can do all sorts with it, you can just make it black and white in your mind, you can move beyond it to where it’s not a thing and you’ve coped with it, you’ve dealt with it, you can change the context, you can change the content of it, you can rewind it back to now, you can challenge it, you can do so many wonderful things that start to break that cycle of I think this, I invest in it, I give it belief, I give it focus, and I feel anxious.
So really do practise some of those things, keep them in mind but always remember that just because it’s a thought doesn’t make it fact. It’s just a perception based on how you’ve been thinking about stuff, based on feeling anxious, so you can do a whole range of stuff with that that’s going to help you feel a lot better, a lot calmer, a lot more able to deal with it, to cope with stuff but remember that most of it doesn’t even happen. Keep that perspective in mind, challenge the stuff in your head, learn to do those things consistently, repeatedly until you recognise that you can start to manipulate, you can start to control and direct the things in your mind in a way that means you feel less anxious and you feel better.
Certainly it’s something I work on a lot with anxious people I work with, it works wonderfully with repetition, with practise, with commitment and you find yourself just feeling better quicker and feeling okay about stuff that might happen more often. So do practise those things, take back control, rein in the anxious stuff and I think you’ll find you that you enjoy the positive ramifications from doing that. So, I’ll leave you with that. Some thoughts there about worst case scenarios, the things you can do. I hope you find them useful and I will speak to you very soon. Take care.
30th July 2020
Hypnotherapy in Ely & Newmarket
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