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30 april 2020

Visualise the worst

By Buro Winners

So, here we are. In a totally new situation, with a lot of new challenges. How to study at home? How to become productive with temptations like Netflix, Facebook or your bed so close? How to stay in contact with your friends, study mates and relatives? In the upcoming posts we try to help you with these questions and support you to make the best of it. This time on how visualising the worst can make you happy.

Ups and downs

There is people writing at social media about the upside of this lockdown. You might have experienced some ups as well. But let’s be honest, it’s a lot of fuss as well. Not only the practical issues like how to keep distance from people in the supermarket but also the insecurity about when this will all be over, what the world will look like at that time and also if you will be infected by the virus or not.

Human condition

The ability to think ahead, create scenario’s and anticipate on what the future will look like is a human condition. It’s hard not to do. And sometimes it can be really helpful, because anticipation is a great tool to deal with change. It’s just that we – humans – not only benefit from this ability to think ahead, we might also suffer from it. Because staying focussed too much on what might happen, could lead to anxiety and stress.

You are not the only one

It’s nice and good to know you are not the only one suffering from your own ability to create anxiety and stress. So accept it, and try to use it to your advantage, for anticipation for example. And when you don’t benefit from it anymore, when you get stuck in anxiety and stress from it, it’s time to stop it. So how can you do that?

What is the real worst case scenario?

First, take into account that the Netherlands is not the worst place to get infected with corona. And in fact, although getting infected is a serious thing, it might not be the worst thing that could happen in your life. So, you should use your imagination and ability to look into the future and find some REAL worst case scenario’s.

Visualise the worst case scenario

This might sound stupid. Why dive deeper into the worst case scenario and take your anxiety so serious? Well, because imagining the ultimate negativity might lead you to positivity. Answer questions like:

 

-        How would it feel not to have a roof over your head?

-        How would it feel to have to beg for food every day?

-        How would it feel if your friends would no longer look after you?

-        How would it feel to be deaf, blind or to lose both your legs?

-        How would it feel to lose a loved one? 

Gratitude

Maybe you might get carried away in these scenario’s, realising what these situations really might be like. But eventually, you will get back to the current situation, to reality that is. This is not fake, and it’s probably a lot better than the worst case scenario. So, after looking into the future, you could feel gratitude for the real situation your in. What do you have, what is still there, what hasn’t been lost yet? You can probably name a few things. And if you can think of one, you can probably think of something. And if you can think of one more, you can probably think of another one. Now, as you have forced yourself to think what bad things might happen in the future, why not force yourself to think about the good things that are in your life now?

Don’t worry, be happy

(Bobbie McFerrin)

Stay healthy: don’t stop singing and dancing!