The anxiety demon: how to let go of ‘what if’
How do you deal with the constant fear of ‘doing something wrong’? By focusing on the present and breaking the cycle of negative thoughts that feed anxiety
Ruminating over what might have happened (if you hadn’t spotted patient X was trying to get out of bed) or worrying about what may happen in the future (I’m so tired – what happens if I make an error with medication) can become an addictive pattern that will leave you anxious and exhausted.
Steven Seay, a psychologist who specialises in treating anxiety, uses the analogy of trying to fill a colander with water to describe how futile constant ‘what if’ questioning is. ‘You can spend time doing it, but it’s never going to get you anywhere,’ he says. So, using this imagery, how can you redirect the water (your energy) so that you are nurturing,...
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