Dread can overwhelm you and ruin a whole day or multiple days if you’re like me. It can exhaust your mind and your body if you aren’t careful.
How to control it
- Write out the worst possible outcomes: This is a technique most counselors suggest for people with anxiety. By writing out the worst outcomes, you can get them out of your head and reexamine them. This gives you a chance to step back and realize that these outcomes are probably unlikely.
- Minimize: The fastest and easiest way to relieve dread or guilt or any other negative emotion is to “zoom out”. Instead of focusing in on one bad experience, picture your whole life spread out in front of you. This event that you’re dreading is relatively small compared to your whole life. Will you remember this event when you’re seventy? Maybe, but probably not.
- Replace the dread with excitement: Dread focuses all your attention on one negative event. You could flip the emotion associated with the event or you could focus in on something in the near future that you’re excited about (even making something up to be excited about). Instead of dreading the event, focus on moving past the event. Become excited to get the event over with rather than dreading being in the middle of it. OR focus on something that you’re genuinely excited to do after the event. If you heighten the excitement enough, you can bury the dread. OR if there’s nothing you’re excited about, make something to be excited about. Plan to go out for ice cream after the dreaded event to take your mind off of it.
- If you’re religious, pray: That probably goes without saying for the religious people, but asking and believing it will go smoothly will help you relax.