Often when we find ourselves stressed, agitated, and overwhelmed, we’re caught in a negative cycle of “what if.” What if I lose my job? What if he or she breaks up with me? What if this person passes away?
When you notice your mind caught int his way, take a trip to the “what if” bank, and ask the teller to exchange your “what if” currency for some “what is” currency. By asking “what is” instead of “what if”, we drop our attention into the reality of the present moment–what is here right now–which helps prevent our minds from catastrophizing.
So if we reframe the above examples to “what is”
I still have my job.
I’m still in a relationship.
This person is still in my life.
It’s not sugar coating, it’s just being with reality. Bad things will happen; you don’t need to suffer before they do.
Of course, it can sometimes be helpful to ask “what if?” especially as it relates to dreaming your best future or insuring yourself against real potential danger. So use practical wisdom to discern when this will best serve you.