Questions people ask about their concerns (My answers on Quora)

Are you afraid of life? How can you deal with it?

Imo: No. Life isn’t all good, or all bad. It just is. We have to decide how to navigate it. Sometimes we naturally get it wrong, and hopefully learn valuable lessons which may move us to better decision making. The past does not dictate the future. We are not our experience, we move through experiences learning how to focus. When people have difficulty in focusing on what will help them they contact professional specialists like myself. We cannot inhabit the future, so fearing it may cause unnecessary harm. Probabilities need to be understood so we avoid scaring ourselves with stories about things that will never happen. It may happen to someone, but is it a reasonable estimation to expect it for ourselves? What would have to lead up to to it for it to happen? List it. Look at the statistics. Find the evidence.

Life is a bit like a meal, you can leave certain things on the side of the plate. You may not like something that’s good for you, but you can cook it a certain way to make it more palatable. Sometimes it’s not always pleasant (eat your greens), but you can get those vitamins in a variety of ways. Then you may realise there are more courses to look forward to, so you chew on, taking one spoon at a time, sometimes enjoying it, focusing on gaining the benefit, and eventually leaving out the undercooked and overcooked things.

Anxiety about the future? Predicting misadventure?

Q: How do I stop predicting the future/outcomes for every action all the time and control anxiety?

Imo: Helping you work out probabilities a little bit differently may help. Prediction versus certainty needs to be addressed. If you ever had a surprise call, gift, meeting, you will know that unexpected things can also be good. Look at how many tones the worst predictions actually came to pass for you, personally.

Let’s look at the chances of finding loose change in the street. It has become less likely if you happen to be where most people use electronic payment, and where people are dissuaded from using actual cash. Not so long ago it would have been more probable, but situations change. It can still happen, but the likelihood is diminished. The prediction of reasonable likelihood has become less effective.

Anxiety is putting yourself in a scenario that hasn’t happened. When you focus on a negative outcome without easy access to flexibility of thought it may still work it out differently, or even beneficially, while ignoring evidence to the contrary is likely to cause anxiety. Widening your focus in order to take in that evidence may increase flexibility and reduce anxiety. It’s like thinking you’re in a tunnel, and then widening your focus to realise you are in a meadow. Clinical hypnotherapy using solution focused strategic psychotherapy may assist you.

How do you get motivated when you have lost the desire to try?

Have you been diagnosed as depressed? If not, and you’ve been feeling a bit deflated, it’s useful to talk to people who love you. If this feeling has been there for weeks, or months, please tell your doctor and contact a crisis helpline. People will want to know, so they can give you the right help.

Watch a baby learn to walk. They fall down all the time, and laugh about it more than not. They focus intently on what they want, and go for it. Remember when you did this, as well as other things when were a bit younger? It priced you have resilience.

Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of all the times we got back up. It’s fuel to remind ourselves that we can persist, or try things a bit differently, or try something else. Sometimes we need to focus on aiming for something small that will bring us pleasure and satisfaction, to rebuild our confidence. Tell me how it goes.

How do I stop living in the future so much? I’m constantly worried about planning for and figuring out what’s next. Whether it be what I’m eating, my workouts, or what I’m doing that day down to the hour. I’m sick of the worrying.Mandy Worrall·just now

How do I stop living in the future so much? I’m constantly worried about planning for and figuring out what’s next. Whether it be what I’m eating, my workouts, or what I’m doing that day down

Imo: I see your point, but it could mean you are anxious about getting everything right, and projecting that into a future that hasn’t happened yet. Being healthy also means being calm. Being calm can be learned. When we aren’t confident and project future scenarios, the brain is good at keeping us busy looping this way, because this stops us mentally freezing up, as we look for solutions. However to get a different result we have to introduce new data.

To do this please consider mindfulness training, but remember to incorporate grounding. Mindfulness is allowing the thoughts to pass by like traffic that has nothing to do with you, just being aware of your body, and your breathe from your tummy. Even if some of the thoughts are to do with you, let them go by for this undisturbed time of mindfulness, so you can achieve a stillness. It’s not fighting the thoughts at all, just allowing them not to attach in any way for a few minutes. The grounding is a simple exercise of taking your shoes off (if possible), and being aware how at this moment you are supported and safely anchored. Remember to breathe in from your tummy, and relax that breath out more slowly. Imagine your feet rooted to a good place deep within the Earth, and let the things you are releasing safely flow into it.

Please see a therapist if you are engaging in ritual activities that stop you doing things more easily.