How often do you catch yourself worrying or obsessing over something that hasn’t even happened yet?
Something in your near future that has you in a fit of anxiety, but is far enough away that we really can’t do a thing about it right now?
A common example of this is the Sunday blues; much of the world goes “back to work” on Monday morning, and Sunday evenings are notorious for the anxiety and dread of the looming alarm clock the next morning. But what if we could eliminate that anxiety and reframe our mindset for the better?
I think we can. And it starts with recognizing your anxiety-driven thoughts in the moment.
Next time you catch yourself worrying unnecessarily about something in the near future, try this instead: push aside those thoughts, recognizing them as nothing more than self-inflicted anxiety. Then, close your eyes and focus on walking through your day or event or whatever it is that is causing the worrisome feelings. Visualize the entire thing from when you first wake up to when you go to bed the following night; throughout this visualization, create a positive experience in your mind. Focus solely on how well things will go and how successful you will be; focus on how happy and accomplished you’ll feel at the end of it. If negative thoughts pop in during your visualization, gently push them out and remind yourself that you’re in control.
Visualizations are a powerful technique for reframing our mindset in the moment, and like anything, the more you practice doing them, the easier they’ll be.
Keep this technique in mind for the next time you find yourself worrying incessantly about something; you’ll quickly discover that most anxiety is brought on by our own minds and can be replaced with positive thoughts with just a little effort.