Be Prepared

What would happen if you lost your purse? Or your car breaks down while you’re driving? If you tend towards anxiety, as many bullying victims do, you can spend a lot of time worrying about things that might happen.

Fortunately, there is an antidote to this kind of worrying. Whenever you feel anxiety about some possible event, make a note of it. Later, when you are feeling calm and in a familiar and safe environment, take out your note and think about what you would do if that situation happened.  If you lost your purse, there would be credit cards to cancel, and you might need to get a replacement driver’s license. Find out in advance exactly what you would need to do. Find the phone numbers you need to call or the websites you need to visit. Store that information in several places – on your phone, on paper, on your computer.

When you have thought a situation through in advance and know exactly what to do, the anxiety is much lessened. Often, you’ll that you completely stop thinking about the situation that worried you.

Preparation Beats Anxiety

Some of my American friends are bracing for an oncoming snowstorm while I am sitting in the rain in Denmark hoping for a bit of snow.

The weather affects us all, but for some people, it’s yet another thing to worry about. Many of my clients are victims of bullying and other trauma, and if you have that history, you are likely to feel more anxious about the future than most.

One technique that works well to combat anxiety about specific possible events, like power outages, is to think them through in advance. How will you get light if you don’t have electricity? You might stock up on candles, batteries, and flashlights. How will you heat your house? Maybe you have a gas heater and a filled tank. Maybe you can close off parts of the house and heat only that. Specific plans beat general anxiety.