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How To Handle “What If” Thinking

what if thinking

The best way to tackle your thoughts is by breathing.

Our minds get the best of us sometimes. Anxiety often begins when we start thinking about the “what ifs” in life. Oftentimes this sort of thinking can snowball and lead to us thinking about solutions to things in the future that have not happened yet. But since many fearful stories come from this dreaded “what if” mindset, having some tools in your back pocket to be able to handle those times can come in handy.

Stop, Just Stop

Sometimes the simple solutions are the ones that could be most beneficial. Simply saying stop to yourself when you start to notice your mind going into that “what if” headspace can be all you need to reduce the anxiety and eliminate the snowball effect. Once you can recognize that your “what if” thinking is not based in reality, but is actually based on a future event of fiction, then you can begin to slow the progression of this mindless behavior. Bringing your mind to the present moment can instantly take you away from getting stuck on obsessing over the future.Taking a mindfulness approach to our thinking is a great way to shift our thinking towards a more positive direction.

Positive Reinforcement

Being kind to yourself is an essential element in eliminating or at least reducing anxiety. By avoiding any catastrophe thinking, which is when you begin thinking about the worst possible outcome. For example, when your mind instantly begins thinking: “what if I get fired?”. This type of thinking is not healthy for anyone and only increases your anxiety levels. Instead, try to replace your anxiety with some optimism by incorporating positive thinking into your daily life. By choosing a positive answer to your conundrums, you can shift your perspective into one of positivity as opposed to negativity. This simple shift can immediately brighten your mood and create a sense of peace and calm that replaces all the anxiety that “what if” thinking brings.

Therapy Through the Family Service Foundation, Inc.

If you are struggling with anxiety or thinking about the future, and looking for someone to help you move forward, contact a professional at Family Service Foundation, Inc. We offer outpatient mental health clinic services from trained staff who are passionate about helping all of their clients. We are committed to encouraging growth, changing lives, and enriching the community around us. If you are looking for help, give us a call at (301) 459-2121 or visit us online. For more tips on getting over grief, follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.