Sometimes my mind tends to race at high speed. I can be very calm facing any situation and all of a sudden I am overwhelmed with negative thoughts without knowing where they came from. And the worst of all, many times these thoughts are nothing but a projection of “the worst that could possibly happen”. But “IT ISN’T HAPPENING YET”, and I can’t be sure it will ever happen at all.
For instance, there have been occasions that, just like everyone else, I have found myself struggling financially, having to make adjustments to my budget. Nevertheless, at times I picture myself begging on a corner. Incredible, isn’t it?
Another example, when my kids or my husband or any member of my family have a health issue, without even realizing it I find myself imagining the worst scenario, that they’re no longer with me. I picture myself dragging my feet around the house suffering such huge loss. Dramatic, right?
We human beings have a tendency to have fatal thoughts; every time something happens, we let our minds fly to the worst scenarios we can possibly imagine. Let’s name it: It is about our biggest fears.
Whenever our fears come to haunt us we are inevitably affected to the point that it’s difficult to avoid these fatalistic feelings. And even worse, we find ourselves suffering for things that are not even happening. We allow these projections to grip us without realizing we stop living in the present, in the now, and we embrace an uncertain future. IT IS ONLY HAPPENING IN OUR MINDS.
How can we avoid being swept away by our worst fears to the point they affect us and keep us from enjoying the here and the now?
Let me share what has helped me.
First of all, I try to nurture a positive state of mind every day. It means when I wake up in the morning, even before I get out of bed, I think “this is going to be a great day”. I simply say it in my mind. Nothing has happened yet, and I remind myself of that.
When I look at myself in the mirror, smile and repeat out loud over and over how fortunate I am to be alive. This usually kicks my energy in.
Throughout the day, when things get a little tough or I find myself starting to think negatively, I force myself to pause. To stop. Sometimes I even picture a huge STOP sign in my mind. I ask myself, “Why am I thinking about this? Is this really happening?” Obviously the answer is no. Then I remember the commitment I’ve made with myself of not dwelling on something that is not even happening. I tell myself not to worry about what has not yet happened.
And finally, I move away from where I am (this is very important). I try to occupy myself with something that can keep me distracted, even if I don’t want to.
These simple things have helped me greatly to keep my fears in line. First I try to keep them from coming. But when they inevitably do, I deal with them until I subdue them and remind myself of what they really are: just fears.
I love seeing my fears as smoke clouds. They vanish when I blow them away. It all depends on recognizing them and then blowing them off.