Alison Smith

It's all going horribly wrong!

Are you living in a hostile world? Sometimes it feels that way and it can be difficult to step out of that frame of mind. Perhaps a kind person has said to you, or you read in a self help book, that you create your own reality. That can be so annoying when you really feel that it's all happening TO you and you don't have any control.

When I feel like this, and I want to find a way out, my favourite First Aid treatment is the game of "Wouldn't it be nice if....".

It works like this. Just suppose I'm waiting for several parcels to arrive in the post and we haven't seen the postman in our street for two days. "Wouldn't it be nice if all the parcels arrive in time." Immediately I relax and feel there is no need to worry about that any more. It's as if everything is taken care of. Oddly enough, the situation tends to resolve itself in just the right way too.

There are two important points here
1: Did you notice that I said "and I want to find a way out". Sometimes it's enjoyable in a weird way to feel that everything is going horribly wrong. If the world is against me and it's all someone else's fault I can wallow in being the victim and feeling self righteous. The anxiety and worry is somehow enticing and addictive. I need to have just enough objectivity to want a way out.

2: I used words to describe the positive outcome that I want, and framed it in positive language. For example "all the parcels arrive in time", "we catch the train home", "writing this article goes smoothly", "l have an easy journey to my sister's house".

I like this game so much I now find that just by saying the "Wouldn't it be nice if" part I start to feel more optimistic. Go on, give it a try now.

Confession time, I read about this game in a helpful book. ‘Ask and it is Given offers a very interesting way to look at our emotions in a totally non-judgemental way along with a number of other games to help choose how we feel.


By the way, 10 minutes after finishing this article, the postman arrived with the last parcel.

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