The anticipation of results from a blood test, or school exam, or a job interview can be agonizing! Even your kids coming home from an evening out can send you into tears with the worry that something may have happened to them. Instead of worrying, is there something else that can get you through this agonizing time without driving everyone else in your life crazy?

The Producer of our Own Tragic Movie

Worrying about something in the future, that we don’t know how it will turn out, can bring negative thoughts. We often go in the direction of what’s the worse that can happen. And when we start to think of those scenarios, we build up a movie in our head of what can happen if, and then if that happened what else will happen. The result is a tragic end to your movie.

The time right after you take the blood test, or write the exam, or have the job interview, or tell you child to have a good time, is filled with hope. I hope the blood test is negative, I hope I pass the exam, I hope I get the job, I hope my child comes home safely. But as time goes by worry starts to set in and your mind gets filled with overanalyzing – did I answer this question right, I should have told the employer about my volunteer work, or I should have told my son to call if they were in trouble. All these messages cast doubt on your hope for a positive outcome.

Have you ever been waiting for the result as promised on a certain date and that date comes and still no result? This heightens the anxiety and has you questioning everything about you and your life. It’s like stress has called in its army to give you no hope of a positive result. Stressing about stressing leads to panic. You’re doomed!

How to Turn Worry into Calm

When we’re in this state of worry we dedicate all our energy and thoughts to the movie in our head. We lose focus on what we’re supposed to be doing and throw up roadblocks to moving forward until we get the result. We become consumed with the outcome.

If you find yourself going down this rocky and treacherous road too many times in anticipation of a result, it’s time to consider a new road. A road that will turn worry into calm until you get the result.

In a state of ruminating, obsessively dwelling on certain thoughts and symptoms, it’s challenging to think about anything else. When you notice yourself saying, “I hope….” add in, “but while I wait this is what I’m going to do.” The idea is to stay active and productive which is the opposite of ruminating, or worrying, or stewing. But plan the activities for the time you have to wait. Here are some ideas to fill your time with positive activities:

  • Go for a walk
  • Watch a particular movie
  • Write in your journal and explore what you’re experiencing
  • Cook a meal for someone or a big batch for the week ahead
  • Call someone you haven’t talked to in a while and find out how they’re doing
  • Listen to some music and dance
  • Work out and build up a sweat
  • Volunteer

The idea is to do something that will move you into a more positive frame of mind. There is nothing you can do about the outcome until you get the result, so enjoy this time until then.

If you know someone who may benefit from this info, please share!