Anticipation is a dangerous way of relating to the world. When we were little and expected our gifts, both at Christmas and for our birthday, the anticipation generated a positive feeling in us. But as we got older, we started making a negative association and now the anticipation gives us anxiety because it brings dozens of negative thoughts to mind.
“What if I don't meet your expectations? What if i can't? Will he leave me? " Doubts about our abilities begin to take the place of positive ideas and obviously this creates a lot of tension. This is known in psychology as "anticipatory anxiety".
The point is, almost every future event is accompanied by this type of anxiety. This happens because our brains go further and anticipate potential disasters, calamities, mistakes and problems, which can arise along the way. In a way it is normal, and it is part of the process of allowing us to consider the pros and cons of situations, but when this thinking becomes a habit, then we have a problem.
5 steps to face the fear of the unknown
Most of the time we trigger this mechanism unconsciously but the good news is that we can consciously end it. How to eliminate anticipatory anxiety? Here are some steps to help you do that:
1. Break the vicious circle of negative emotions. Virtually every thought we have creates an emotion, so it's not hard to understand that if we fill our minds with catastrophic ideas we will end up very anxious and on edge. Therefore, the first step to stop anticipatory anxiety is to discover the emotions it generates and calm them down. Take a deep breath and relax. When you regain control of your emotions, you can go a step further by rationally analyzing the situation.
2. Identify negative thoughts. What are you thinking about? If it helps, you can write down your thoughts on a piece of paper. You will be surprised to realize that you focus more on the things that can go wrong than the good ones. This is the cause of anticipatory anxiety.
3. Disassemble and analyze every thought. Once you have identified these negative ideas, analyze them one by one and imagine what the worst scenario would be. What can happen to you in the worst case? How would you feel? Often, the worst case scenario is not as bad as you think, what happens is that you are magnifying the consequences in the
your mind and that is why you are afraid.
4. Shift the focus of attention. To eliminate anticipatory anxiety, you need to change your attitude, which means you should focus on the positives. You know what things could go wrong, take the best precautions and arm yourself with positivity. I'm not saying that by thinking positively, you can get what you want, but definitely everything
it will be easier.
5. Get used to uncertainty. In reality, life is quite uncertain, and the sooner we accept it the better. To eliminate anticipatory anxiety, it is essential to learn to live with uncertainty without feeling uncomfortable, making it a part of our life. A good strategy is to focus on the here and now, trying to control the trend of imagining what will happen in the future.