“Oh no, if I don’t wake up in time I will be late!”
By Jackie Saulmon Ramirez | November 7, 2013
When I had something important to do I would often lay awake at night thinking about how awful it would be if I were late. I had everything ready for tomorrow: Clothes, shoes, paperwork, keys, coins for tolls and other items. Then 2:00 a.m. would pass, then 3:00 a.m. Shortly after 3:00 a.m. I would fall asleep only to wake up at 5:00 a.m. My feet hit the floor and before I even get out of the driveway I am already exhausted.
One day I asked myself, ‘What is the worst that could happen?’
What is the worst thing that could happen if I rush or do not get to the appointment on time?
- I could get a speeding ticket or at the very least, a moving violation. In New Jersey, one of the highest insurance rates in the nation, our premiums would go up immediately.
- I could have an accident and hurt myself or others.
- I could incur damage to my vehicle.
- I may need to reschedule the appointment.
Not rushing to an appointment:
- My car uses less gas when I drive the speed limit.
- I’m less likely to have an accident or get a ticket.
- I am more relaxed and see the countryside on the way there.
- Not missing sleep the night before I am more alert.
Thinking through worrisome problems ourselves helps put things into perspective. Since children mirror things like worry or problem solving skills, thinking things through helps children learn those skills.
- What is the worst thing that could happen if I don’t make the cheerleading squad?
- What is the worst thing that could happen if the coach doesn’t recommend me?
- What is the worst thing that could happen if I don’t get into my first college choice this fall?
- What is the worst thing that could happen if I don’t get my driver’s license this year?
Often our worst fears never actually occur – like my not waking up on time. I had become so concerned that I had difficulty sleeping. In reality, not only did I get up on time but I arrived early consistently.
Is there something you get anxious or upset about? Ask yourself, ‘what is the worst that could happen?’
Copyright © 2014 Jackie Saulmon Ramirez. All Rights Reserved.
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