I can be really good at predicting the future. In just a few minutes I can have thought out 500 different things that may or may not happen in the years to come... and some of them are even good things!
Often my predictions seem to center round things that can go wrong though... It's an entertaining game, as in: "What kind of problems may I be facing in the future?" Some people call this catastrophe thinking, while my inner skeptic calls it being prepared.
A few weeks ago I was elaborating on some of my fanciful "What can go wrong?" scenarios with a friend, who was silent for a while before she cut me off and said: "When I get stuck in that kind of thinking I say to myself "Where are your feet?"
That really got my attention, and as I tried to figure out what her feet had to do with any of my problems she continued "Then I look down at my feet...
...and I describe where my feet are. Like... right now they are in the grass, under a table, on a lawn, in Erin's garden..." ( I started doing the same as she was talking) "... and then, when I'm totally focused on where my feet are, I ask myself "What's the next right action?"
"What do you mean, the next right action? I asked.
"You know, just what is the next thing I should do right now. Like, go help out with dinner, or put some sunscreen on. In that situation, I just need to get out of my head and into the now, so I focus on my feet first, bring my attention to where I am, and then I think about what I can do to be helpful to the people around me - right now."
That shut me up for a while... I tried it the next time I found myself swept away into a stream of unconstructive thought processes, and guess what? It worked like a charm!