"What is the worst that can happen?"
This is the question backing up one of the most efficient techniques in the cognitive behavioral therapy. Does it sound completely opposite of what you would do, because you generate enough of the dark outcomes anyway? Well, maybe it does _sound_ like that, but in reality imagining the worst possible outcome with as many details as possible is known, tried and tested technique for decades and even centuries.
So. You are worried about the public speech you need to give? Evaluation? Image? Health? Usually tell yourself "this is it/I am done for/it is catastrophe"? Usually a sticky, anxious and repetitive thinking does not go past that stage, and it is a problem. If you'd like technique to work, you need to imagine this outcome with all the small details. What exactly will go wrong? What will happen? How will you feel? What will you think? What will you do? Avoid stopping at "I don't know". Look for further details. Paradoxically, after you are done visualising the worst possible outcome, you will feel better. Because it did not really happen. And probably - will not, either. Also, after you have visualized this outcome, you will probably realize that it is not as bad as you thought it might be before you gave it a shape.
A second necessary step - imagine the best possible outcome. Do not limit your imagination, and avoid stopping at "oh it will not happen anyway". You know, worst possible scenario "will not happen anyway" as well, but that did not stop you from thinking about all the time.
Third, final step - what will be the middle, most probable scenario? After you've considered worst and best outcomes, it will be easier to understand and accept that something in between is the most realistic scenario. This is the situation that you can very practically prepare for, and not the spookiest, and not the most amazing scenario. What will happen, will not be like "this is it".
In general, anxiety is diminished when facing the triggering issues, and not when avoiding them. I definitely am not proposing biting your nails all day long. Dedicate time and space for this activity, but do take on activities that cause you to be anxious, prepare, plan, rehearse, just do - all of this will help to decrease and not increase the anxiety.
My name is Monika, I am health and nutrition psychologist. I help to deal with daily and difficult questions about behavior, thinking, emotions. I write, teach and provide psychological counselling.
Photo: Niklas Ernst from Pixabay
#spoonfulofreason #psychology #anxiety #paradox #whatistheworstoutcome
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My name is Monika, I am health and nutrition psychologist. I help to deal with daily and difficult questions about behavior, thinking, emotions. I write, teach and provide psychological counselling. Book my talk to discuss minimalism and psychology!
Photo: Sofie Zbořilová from Pixabay
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My name is Monika, I am health and nutrition psychologist. I help to deal with daily and difficult questions about behavior, thinking, emotions. I write, teach and provide psychological counselling. Book my talk to know more about psychology of cleaning!
Photo: Scott Webb from Pixabay
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