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replacing worry with positive thoughts


pinkrobot

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When you're awaiting the outcome of a scenario that could either be really good or really bad, how do you stop yourself from thinking of the worst that could happen? I hear so many people tell me to keep my chin up and keep a positive attitude--which I totally agree is what I should do--but it's so HARD! Every time I think positive thoughts, I turn right back around and tell myself, "Well, that's just getting your hopes up so you'll be disappointed when it doesn't turn out that way."

 

How can I think more positively about something with an unknown outcome?

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There's a difference between being positive and setting an expectation. It sounds like you're like me - you want something to go positively so you think about that outcome... but anything short of it is a disappointment.

 

All you can do is look at the worst, as is a normal worry, then when it goes better, realize it could have been worse.

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i have to agree with Raistlin.

 

i've read about something in a book on cognitive behavior therapy. it's called the fortune teller error. bascially you invent scenarios, no matter how ridiculous or irrational they may be. i've found that becoming conscious of this fact has helped me to fight back against the negative possibilities. when you become conscious, you can begin to develop more rational responses to the problems you're facing. i find it helps to write down the initial thought, and then create a series of rational responses to that thought. they have to be responses that you believe in. once you've done this enough, it soon becomes habit for you to just automatically talk back to the irrational thoughts.

 

the other approach i've tried is a little more on the spiritual side. it's the whole idea of become present in the moment...because this moment (right now) is the only moment that matters. it's all there is. in this moment, there is no past, and there is no future. there are no problems. i know it sounds a little vague...but it's made a WORLD of difference for me. initially, you need only become aware. take a deep breath, feel the air in your lungs. what does it feel like? is it cold? is it warm? how does it feel? it's very much like meditation...becoming more present. by acknowledging this moment, you're free from the past, and free from the future. when the time comes for action you'll be more prepared, because you're not plagued by anxiety, or fear.

 

this is something i do every day: on my way to work, when i stop at a traffic light, i make myself present. i become aware that i'm here right now. no thoughts...no worries...nothing. there are periodic times throughout the day when it's easiest to do this. even at work, if you become aware that you're thinking excessively, you've become present...just by acknowledging it.

 

might sound hokey to some...but i've had some great success with both of these processes.

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