Everyone has moments when they are concerned about what might happen if anything goes wrong. They are an important part of life, assisting us in making decisions and driving us to make better choices; but, they can become overwhelming at times, signaling the presence of a greater problem. These ‘what ifs’ questions become problematic when they start showing up for every little moment or decision.
When the what if loop begins, the attention is frequently on predicting the results, which are usually negative. Worst of all, most of the time we don’t have a realistic manner of answering these questions. Because most of these queries are prompted by fear, the responses we give tend to be negative or even “worst-case scenario.” The cycle then spirals out of control.
So, how can we put a stop to it? Taking on these what-if thoughts head-on and halting them before they get out of hand will help to reduce the anxiety that leads to the questions. The first step in dealing with these “what ifs” is to recognize them. Simply defined, it starts with recognizing what a ‘what if’ question is and when it begins to spiral out of control.
1. Make a mental note of your thoughts
Recording one’s ideas on paper objectively encourage one to be in charge rather than a passive victim. This also allows you to become more aware of the types of what-if scenarios that are running through your mind.
2. Retrain your thoughts
Begin by speaking to yourself in a sensible and productive manner, rather than asking what-if questions and making predictions about the outcome. Recognize and correct problematic thought processes.
When a ‘what if’ question is discovered, concentrate on putting an end to it. Recognize when you’ve had it and put a stop to it straight away. Thinking switching begins with identifying the negative notion, but instead of halting the chain of thoughts, it focuses on replacing it with a more positive or rational thought.
3. Relaxation can be beneficial
When done correctly, relaxation exercises can help you lessen the amount of anxiety you experience on a daily basis as well as combat the what-if loop. Deep breathing, muscular relaxation, visualization, and mindfulness are among strategies that are commonly utilized.
4. Professional help
Professional assistance may be required in some circumstances to help cope with what-if inquiries, stress, or anxiety. Mental health specialists can also provide counseling that focuses on teaching relaxation and cognitive strategies to help people feel less anxious.
Also Read: Tips To Help You Accept Tough Situations