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Self Help Articles

What if..? - So What..!

Author: Kathleen Savory
(Founder / Co-ordinator Chester-le-Street Self Help Group)

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Anxious people are nearly always saying to themselves, "What if..."

What if this pain in my chest is a heart attack? - What if this headache is a brain tumour? - What if I faint? - What if I die? - What if I go mad?

In fact the brain doesn't need the rest of the sentence. Just by saying "What if..." has started the physical reactions already. Taking notice, or writing down your thoughts, will make you more aware of how many negative "What if's" you use every day.

In order to change the way we feel, we need to change the way we think.

Replacing "What if" with "So What" can become your positive thought. Saying "So What" to yourself is like letting go; letting go of the tension you feel, dropping your shoulders, releasing the tight hold on your stomach. "So What" is accepting the way that you feel, knowing you have felt this way before, and survived. It will be hard work at first.

Write down a list of your usual "What if's", then try writing a positive "So What" opposite the negative "What if". It may seem difficult at first but give it a try. It's worth it!

To me, recovery is having all the symptoms - having all the "What if's" - and saying "So What!".

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Wallsend Self Help Group 2015 Rob Rolls

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