What if to What is Strategy.
October 16, 2020
A tool to alleviate thoughts of worry and stress.
Cory Muscara, Positive Psychology Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, teaches a simple mindfulness technique to change catastrophic thinking and unnecessary stress into productive and grounding thoughts to positively influence the present moment.
There are times when we must dream big and ask ourselves the what if’s of our potential and success, yet if the what if’s take on a negative tone, this is where it is important to change the narrative and bring our thoughts to the present moment in order to halt catastrophic thinking.
When anxiety or stress takes hold of our thoughts and emotions we more than likely are projecting unrealistic stories into the future of what could go wrong. This is a natural human tendency.
To drop back into what the reality is, in the present moment, we shift our self-talk from the what if’s to the what is. Rather than asking ourselves questions such as; “What if I’m not capable?”, or “What if something goes horribly wrong and it ruins my life?”, we ask; “What is the reality of the moment now?”, “What is the truth of this situation?”, or “What can I do right now to take action?” It may be even more powerful to pray and have faith in order to let go of the things we cannot control.
Take a moment to breathe deeply for several breaths and notice what is in your environment as you look around. Ground yourself in what you can sense and feel as you stand or sit where you are.
The truth of what is actually happening at the moment is typically a little less catastrophic than our minds are making it out to be. There are times when we are dealing with some very heavy experiences that are truly difficult, but more often than not, we tend to ruminate over stories that we create in our minds that never end up happening.
Create an intention to notice when you feel flooded with emotions and check in with the what-ifs you may be formulating and instead ask, what is. Take a few moments to completely absorb yourself into your breath and surroundings and observe the truth, in-the-moment. This technique will revive your energy and ability to respond with agility and resilience to change how you perceive and experience life in a more positive way!