If you’re feeling anxious or worried about the future, you’re not alone.
I too have been trying to weather the chaos and upheaval that has dumped into our lives.
I’ve been depressed, anxious and upset like most other people I know.
And sometimes I just let myself wallow in negativity.
But, what I know to be true is this.
There are ways to manage the chaos and navigate these uncertain times.
And, even, dare I say, land in a better place.
Before I specialized in helping people with career transition, I was a psychotherapist who helped many hundreds of people through every life crisis known to man (except a pandemic, of course).
I’ve had to find tons of resources to assist my clients in dealing with life changes, crises and even tragic and unimaginable loss.
Lately, I’ve been digging into this vast tool box to help myself through these tough times.
So, I thought I’d share a simple, easy and powerful tool I’ve been using.
It’s worked really well for many of my clients, too.
Whether you’re worried about your job, your health, your family or anything else I encourage you to give this a try.
How to Turn Anxiety and Worry into Hope and Action
This tool will help you take thoughts that make you anxious and worried and turn them into a set of desirable options you can choose from to create more peace, hope and centeredness. When you’re feeling more hopeful and calm you naturally generate more creative solutions and ideas to act on.
Follow the steps below:
- Write down the thought you’re having that makes you anxious. For example, “I’m worried my company will cut back on personnel and my job will be eliminated.”
- Below that in the middle of the page draw a circle with some spokes and circles at the end.
- In the middle circle give your worry thought a name. For example “No Job”
- At the end of one of the spokes coming out from the center circle write a word or short phrase for what “No Job” means for you. For example: “no money” and put that in the outside circle
- Move your eyes to the next spoke of the wheel and come up with another perspective on what “No Job” could mean. This time make sure you think of something that does not generate anxiety or worry. For example, “No Job” could mean “Time with family”
- Keep going to the next spoke and think of another positive option of what “No Job” could mean
- Other examples:
a. Create simpler life
b. Time to write a book
c. New job, better salary
d. Sell car, ride bike, get fit
e. Downsize house and belongings
f. Re-evaluate what’s really important
- Now look at the options you’ve generated and pick one that you’d want instead of the thought that is making you anxious. For instance, you might choose “New job, better salary” and begin to focus on that possibility.
- Replace the thought of “No Job” = “No money” with “New job, better salary”
- Focus on this future possibility and notice how your feelings shift from anxiety to hope. The future is not here yet, you get to choose your thoughts. Will you choose worry or hope?
Please try this simple exercise and let me know how you feel after doing it.