I’m just as guilty as most. I’m a “what-if’er”. Thoughts creep in often, creating situations, scenarios, even conversations that might happen. Sometimes that’s a good thing. I’m usually prepared. I pack well and typically am ready for most scenarios that come up. Kid messed up an outfit out somewhere ? I have another. Stuff in your teeth? I carry floss. In these mundane life events, I’m usually covered.
More often than not however, what-if’ing creates unnecessary and completely useless anxiety. What if there’s a long line at the grocery store I’m going to anyway? What if I get sick and can’t go to work? What if ‘so and so’ is nasty to me at the party? Cue anxiety.
The key to managing this type of thought process is self-evaluation. Do I have any control over this situation? Will my preparation change the outcome in any meaningful way? When the answer is no, it’s time to let it go. The thoughts are no longer useful.
Remember: depressive thoughts live in the past, anxious ones live in the future, and mindfulness lives in the present.
Stay present, friends.