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How to Find Your Way Off Anxiety Avenue

Saturday, November 06, 2004
I think I'm finally feeling at peace with that difficult decision I had to make a while back. Earlier this week, I realized that things are going to be okay, no matter which way things ultimately end up turning out. Up until then, I'd been stuck in worst case scenario mode.

It wasn't until this morning, however, that I started to understand why I was suddenly feeling so much more at peace with my decision. So what made things click for me? I stumbled upon a quote in this really great book that my friend LeeAnne gave me years ago. The quote is from the philosopher Bertrand Russell:
"When some misfortune threatens, consider seriously and deliberately what is the very worst that could possibly happen. Having looked this possible misfortune in the fact, give yourself sound reasons for thinking that after all it would be no such terrible disaster: Such reasons always exist, since at the worst nothing that happens to oneself has any cosmic importance. When you have looked for some time steadily at the worst possibility and have said to yourself with real convinction, 'Well, after all, that would not matter so very much,' you will find that your worry diminishes to a quite extraordinary extent. It may be necessary to repeat the process a few times, but in the end if you have shirked nothing in facing the worst possible issue, you will find that your worry disappears altogether and is replaced by a kind of exhilaration."

Who knew that being able to creatively brainstorm all the worst case scenarios could help you to find your way down Anxiety Avenue and to a more peaceful place? Pretty cool, eh?

| posted by Ann D @ 9:49 AM