Perhaps in part due to being the daughter of a psychologist, I’m simply fascinated with psychology myself. It nearly became my major in college. And gosh, the reason I didn’t choose it might have been due to catastrophizing about the statistics and math required in such a major.
Do you ever assume the worst? I’ve been guilty of that far too often in the past and I still work on overcoming that tendency sometimes today. Here’s one example from earlier this week. I was drying my hands with the bathroom hand towel at home when a gecko poked its head around and I saw its body clinging less than an inch from my hands. I jumped back a bit, made some kind of “Whoah!” cry, and then thought, “Oh no, what if I don’t catch it and it runs away and I don’t know where it is?!” The fear of the unknown…the unknown location of a little intruder in the house. Ugh. At least geckos aren’t disgusting like roaches or dangerous like scorpions I’ve had inside encounters with. Of course, I caught it and released it outside. No problem at all.
I’m not sure why often my mind will go directly to the negative. Meg Selig points out in 3 Ways to Stop Imagining the Worst thoughts to reflect on when we catch ourselves doing this. I do wonder about the opposite sometimes. How would it change you? Here are my thoughts for a “What if…I might” fill in the blank poem. You can find directions on how to write one yourself here: My friend’s poetry challenge day 10.
What if I ceased to worry about the moment after? I might enjoy the given one, and even perhaps the next! What if I chose to believe in the best possible outcome? I could perhaps discover a self-fulfilling prophecy! What if I caught an idea and didn’t let go? I would learn by traveling a distance farther than before. Do you think I’d be happier then?
We jump right to the negative because it is our habit to plan for the worst. Our mind, biologically speaking, thinks of hundreds of scenarios that could go wrong when it isn’t tamed. I know this for a fact because my mind is often spinning with negative thought, and one of the ways (other than poetry) that I get out of it is by being in the present moment.
That said, I love your short poem! Good way to short-circuit the supply of negative thought to the brain, to actually force it to stop and think of positive possibilities!
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Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed it! The article I linked to has great strategies I am working on to think of those positive possibilities.
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