Dreading the dread – The downward spiral
How much do you like to go to the dentist? How about exams? Flying? Presenting or being in front of large crowds? While each event may be stressful, what makes it worse is dreading the event well ahead of time.
Dreading is a form of anxiety, and any form of anxiety goes hand in hand with higher blood pressure, profuse sweating, increased heart rate and an intense fear of the unknown drives you crazy. That is especially true at night when you have fewer thoughts and thus your brain can really dedicate some time on going in these useless circles. Now you sleep even less and the next day you are feeling even worse. What a downward spiral that reaches its tip just before you are about to engage with the actual event. Subsequently you all but certainly set yourself up for failure.
Confronting this form of an anxiety attack is tough but still worth your while. Do you want to turn this into an upward pointing spiral? Do not laugh, but the first step I highly recommend is taking a deep breath and thinking about the moment that you are in right there and then. Are you not ok now? How about the next couple of minutes, hours etc? You will realize soon enough that your brain got hijacked and it is in your power to turn this around. Success is around the corner when you choose to think differently about your situation.
Now that you are able to engage in rational thought, start thinking about the threats and weaknesses that made your brain go into dreading mode in the first place. Next think how to address these threats and weaknesses and what you can do to turn them into opportunities and strengths. Make a list of the things that you can do to make them happen and take a calendar and plan your benchmarks now well in advance. Voila! Now you have a flight plan, sort of speak, that you can implement without having to think about or get anxious about while you need to execute your plan.
Do not just trust me on this, give this a try. You will be able to win accolades with your family or co-workers/ boss when you learn to implement this anti dreading plan. Good luck and have some fun with it.
PS: Today is the first day of the new Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday blog schedule.