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How do I stop imagining worst case scenarios and manage my anxiety so I can do what I have to do?

20 Answers
Last Updated: 12/01/2020 at 10:33pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Courtney Cline, MS in Psychology and MS in criminal Justice

Counselor

I have 15 years exeperience in working with clients suffering from depression and substance abuse. I have worked with children and adults and believe in a holistic view.

Top Rated Answers
livisapenguin
November 10th, 2015 2:49pm
Think "it's not happening now" it's possible to occur but it's not happening now. Thinking this could help you see that in that moment you're safe. "Whatever happens, I can cope." you've been through tough situations, and you're still here. You'll make it through that too.
BlueLiberty
September 13th, 2016 3:16pm
This is something that I've done a lot. It almost feels like imagining the worst-case scenarios is like some sort of protection against anything bad happening (a type of control); almost superstitious. The way I try to cope with it is by examining how likely it is that imaging those things actually helps control anything. That the outcome is likely the same whether I imagine the terrible things or not - this helps me release myself from the compulsive imagined protection of that train of thought.
bestDreamer15
February 25th, 2015 7:22am
When you feel yourself becoming anxious and you imagine a worst case scenario, you should always remember to take deep breaths, and think about the best case scenarios. Think about how in this scenario you are doing the same thing that everybody else does, and that you are a totally normal human being.
kat5373
July 7th, 2015 8:13pm
I create a worry time. A specific time once a week in my room, where I imagine all of the worst things that could happen to me. Then, when I have to do work, I've already though of all of them.
SheKnowsHope
March 21st, 2015 1:33am
Ask your self how likely the worst case scenario will happen. Most of the time, there is a low probability that it will occur. Think of the positive possibilities also. Remind yourself that what is causing your anxiety isn't forever and that you can get through it.
EllaLoves
February 9th, 2016 12:55am
You have to combat negative thoughts with positive ones, try for every worst case thought to come up with three good case thoughts.
Anonymous
September 6th, 2016 8:30pm
Caring too much about the future will take away ur present. No one can help you in this. Its better to try and fail than trying at all.
justkismet
March 29th, 2015 10:48pm
You can always try the opposite if that works, which would be imagining the best case scenario. Another idea is to try and find a distraction in something you enjoy doing and which will get your mind out of a train of thought which doesn't help you achieve your goals. You could also try to think in more practical terms, i.e.: if this worst case scenario situation really did happen, what could I do to soften the impact or make it better? Be kind to yourself and you'll go a long way. :)
Stephanie01101
July 28th, 2015 2:14am
I ask myself what the worst case scenarios are and create a backup plan in case it comes up! I tend to feel pretty anxious when going to new/unfamiliar places but having directions, a fully charged phone, and emergency cash helps me feel more certain about the journey.
Anonymous
May 24th, 2015 5:17am
Instead of thinking in terms of "It will happen" , switch to thinking in terms of "There is a possibility of it" . Furthermore, also think about other possibilities. This should make the anxiety less intense.
SimpleAndNatural
June 13th, 2017 7:56am
Knowing that you won't be completely destroyed in the worst case scenario gives hope, even if that's just a tiny bit. So I think it's crucial to let yourself imagine the worst case scenario and realize that you still can survive it - and yes, we come out from most of the awful situations at least alive. Actually, we usually are able to find adequate solutions in worst cases as well - so take your time and think of the most adequate solution in the absolute worst case. ( yet, you don't have to draw a 5 year plan ;) ) Now that you've prepared yourself for the worst - try to assess objectively - how likely is it that you'll deal with it? The absolute worst is usually less likely than moderately bad :) So start doing what you have to do, because you will outlive the situation, and whatever steps you take now, they'll count. I wish you best of luck - and yes, you can kick as8es ;)
Anonymous
June 23rd, 2015 12:28pm
For anxiety there are some techniques that can help.For instance one technique is called deep breathing exercise which is one of the most universal things to do while youre stressful.
Anonymous
July 21st, 2015 2:16am
try to take walks outside, with a friend or someone you care about. or try to isolate yourself as much as you can.
cheerfulPanda17
May 30th, 2017 4:32pm
Thinking about worst scenarios feeds our brain somehow. I used to feel the urge to think so negative and that still happen some times. I can tell you what I do in such cases. First off I distract my mind by watching some really positive videos on youtube. It is important to know why you need to stop. You can never force your mind without explaining it why, so you literally need to make an effort and make yourself understand that why you should not be doing this. This hampers your work, makes your health worse and attracts negative energy. I always think, my body doesn't deserve such a bad treatment. And in the end, if you are not able to manage it all by yourself, seek some professional help, that can work wonders.
RedPanda01
May 9th, 2015 4:10pm
People who are doing things which they are passionate about always get anxious. Some people learn how to relax in those situations while diagnosed anxious people should be recommended to try out things a couple of times before they are actually done. See on what step you fail. Restart it and do it again. Create list/steps in how to execute a situation. Break down the problem piece by piece so you can have number of shorter goals to execute, which makes the situation very easy to control.
Anonymous
February 13th, 2018 10:28am
Stop and breathe calmly for a while before reassessing. Think positive. Find your positive path around your obstacles. Strive to follow it.
Anonymous
July 22nd, 2019 11:30pm
focus on the realistic outcomes of a situation and try to remember all your qualities. you can make it right. breathe, try to be positive and talk about your fears to someone; they will probably help you face them or make you realize they're not so likely to happen or so terrible. think about the result you want, and work for it. fight for the best scenario. once you manage to start, focus on what you're doing, and don't let anything get in your way. if it becomes too overwhelming, relax and take a break if you can, because sometimes it's all you need.
2emily4
August 26th, 2020 12:12pm
i really like acting as though i am strong. I talk to my anxiety and say 'come and get me', 'i know you're only n my head' and 'you're not even real'. it may not work for everyone and you sound cray but in times when i am drowning in anxiety i really rely on this technique. Dealing with anxiety as what it is (just an invisible thought trying to trigger some reaction in your brain) can really help to put it into perspective and therefore help you get on with living your life happily. i hope that this helps!
Anonymous
March 12th, 2018 10:21am
you have to trust what you are doing. and you have to accept that things can never be like what you expected. it doesn't have to be 100%, 70% is ok, and maybe 10%, just learn how to accept it. don't want it to be as you want, don't need the result, don't expect too much, lower your expectations. just do, accept failure, and move on. you are anxious of your failure because because you have failed so many times before, and you also care what people think, you're worrying if people will judge you or act differently if they see your failure.
CaseyOra
December 1st, 2020 10:33pm
Sometimes imagining the worst thing possible is a good thing. It prepares you for the worst and allows you to make adjustments. When it causes anxiety there are some things that I do to help. I first ask myself if I am or if my family is in any immediate danger. If not then I stop and take a second to breath. Then I pay really close attention to my thoughts that I’m imagining. Where are these fears coming from? Are they true? Is there a deeper core pattern that is coming up in these scenarios? Then I think about these thoughts as if they happened and how I would feel. An example is “I can’t keep my family safe” then I look at all the ways that I do in fact keep them safe. Which gives my brain the opposite to focus on that is more positive. This takes practice but eventually You will find the opposite of these triggers.