Sometimes our mind will play through negative and terrifying scenarios and we get paralyzed by worrying, catastrophizing and fear. It is a fact that these states are not helpful when it comes to moving on and finding creative solutions. The function of worry and anxiety is to keep itself alive and give us an unhealthy direction in life. That’s why I have decided to write this article in which I will discuss a few ways that will help you to deal with the dark side of hope.
…it’s pretty much the same: The future remains uncertain. It helps to realize and reflect on this fact often – even if you are not in a state of worry. Always remember that anything could happen. People told me the most amazing life stories based on this simple truth. We don’t know what will happen until it happens. And once it happens it’s still not sure whether it’s “good” or “bad”.
Everything in this universe is in a constant state of flux. Always moving from one state to the next – there’s nothing that is truly static. Good turns to bad, and vice versa. Everything in the known universe moves in a cyclic way. This can show you that no matter how bad things are looking right now – they won’t stay that way and might well lead to one of the “best things that have ever happened to me”. And of course – the good stuff doesn’t stay either. Haha 🙂
Hope and fear are basically the same. They are the proverbial “two sides of one coin”. Hope is based on fear and fear is based on hope – analyze it deeply when these states hit you the next time. Worrying arises out of fear and might well lead to hopeful thoughts. But no matter how much we run through certain scenarious within our heads, we still don’t know what will happen. Therefore I value presence above all else. Instead of worrying about what might happen 100 meters from now, I am steering the car in a good way right NOW.
Presence gives you this advantage. It helps you to take care of what is happening right now instead of watching horror-movies inside of your head. This is an awesome choice. We al\ways have this choice. I can always decide how to deal with the present circumstances. I can choose to be kind, or I could forgive. I can be generous and compassionate. There’s so many positive choices! And they all determine my direction in this moment. So why would I paralyze myself by indulging in head-fiction when I can do something really nice right NOW?
There was this one time when I was worrying about moving to Thailand. It was a big thing for me and I was very scared! Horrific scenarios were running through my head day and night. They were fueled by all the terrible stories I read online and my own insecurities and fears. It was a hard time! But there was this one day when I suddenly realized that no matter how I envision my future to be, I don’t know how it will be! So I asked myself: Why would I waste my time freaking out about things I have no control over?
I could have envisioned pain and death – or I could also think up something lovely and encouraging, right? So why would I choose to dwell only on the negative scenarios, when I simply didn’t know what will happen in reality. In fact – I decide more and more to be with what is REAL. The result is that the states of fear and worry are fading. There’s nothing scary if I’m not producing it in my head. Even being at the dentist last week showed me that most of my anxiety was mind-made. The actual pain was very little compared to the painful scenarios in my head.
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Tobi has been studying and practicing meditation since 2002. He stayed 7 years in a Tibetan Buddhist Temple and currently lives in Thailand where he founded the Dharana Meditation and Retreat Center in Phuket with his wife Parn. In Thailand he continued his practice and found a spiritual home within local Theravada Buddhism. Tobi is known for an open and relaxed teaching style focusing mainly on a practical application of mindfulness meditation within a modern society. The direct experience of what the practical teachings point to is of foremost importance to him.