It is said that depressive thoughts are a consequence of the burden from the past and anxious temper is a consequence of the fear of future. In the previous exercise, we dealt with the former. Let’s work on the anxiety part now.
The anxiety about the future comes from two activities going on in our minds:
- We are thinking about future.
- We are not thinking enough.
Some people might advise you to not think much. After all, that is the primary cause of anxiety. The problem is, it does not work. We cannot simply ignore the voice in our head or stop hearing it.
The other approach is more practical. It comes from the second cause of anxiety: that is, we think but we don’t do it enough. If only we can carefully explore the possibilities, we would realise that our fears, even if they come true, cannot end everything. Besides, it gives us a perspective on how to avoid getting close to our fears, and if not avoided, how to plan in order to deal with such a reality.
Thankfully, we have writing.
Take out a piece of paper and a pen. Think of your life after one year from now. Divide the page into two segments. On one side, write down the ideal scenario: things you would love to have. On the other, write about your worst fears. Pick at least two-three points from each segment and devise a strategy to get to a point or avoid something. Be precise about both. Go back to this page from time to time, update it and track your progress.