Listen to the Pgh Dreamer’s Pod: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/meghan-greenwood/episodes/Can-You-Withstand-Worst-Case-Scenario-e2b56rt
We’ve heard it stated time and time again. Worrying doesn’t solve anything. Don’t waste your time worrying. Don’t worry, be happy. Etc. Etc.
Worrying provides preparation for negative outcomes. It stimulates the brain to basically get ready for the fight-or-flight response, triggering the amygdala and building up hormone production. And, it’s pretty automatic (at least for some of us).
At the same time, worrying can balloon into anxiety and being so upset that we can’t function in our daily lives.
Basically, a balance is needed – we can control some of our worrying, but our genetic makeup also plays an inherent role. If you have a hyperactive amygdala and are prone to anxiety, you know what I’m talking about – and seeking help from a doctor or therapist is warranted.
The part that is in our control is leveraging that worry into preparation for worst case scenarios. When we feel ourselves creeping into worrying territory, start to think and analyze what you would do in a terrible situation. Visualize and see yourself dealing with it.
For example, what if tomorrow you were fired from your job? What would be your reaction? You would likely be sad or angry, but then what? What is your next step? How will you overcome this hurdle?
Or imagine that your family member is given an awful diagnosis, and your worry becomes reality. How will you respond? How will you support this person during their most difficult time? What can you do to alleviate some of their stress and give them the best chance of healing?
While thinking about these situations can be upsetting in and of themselves, if you’re able to work through them in your head prior to them being real, your worrying won’t be for naught. You’ll be prepared for whatever life throws at you.
Put the worry to good use. You can’t stop it from occurring, but you can get the most out of it.