How This Type of Letter Helps Me Handle Anxiety
Post as appears on; http://ahscribbles.com/anxiety-letter/
Life is hard.
Add to that a propensity for anxiety and it becomes harder.
I used to worry about everything; how did I do in that exam? Will that university accept me? Will I get financial aid? What would happen if I had to repeat a course?
Of course, a lot of my worries were school — related because it’s the only thing I’ve been doing for so long. But that’s not the point. An anxious mind can be crippling because sometimes the mental spirals get out of control, and you’re unable to move on with your life because you can’t stop thinking about that thing; explains why you’ve locked yourself in the toilet crying…
Then I discovered futureme.org.
It’s a website that sends you a letter in the future. And whenever I got really worried about something, I would write my future self a letter about the topic. The last one was about my visa. I didn’t know if my application would be accepted, and my brothers’ was rejected prior to that.
Though this is not the exact letter, but my letters usually go something like this; I write about what’s worrying me and I say something positive in the end in case the worse-case scenario does happen.
“I’m really worried about the results of my visa application. I don’t know what will happen. Maybe they’ll reject it and I’ll have to pack my bags and leave. If that happens, and you’re back in your home country, it’s okay. At least the country is safe and it’s not war-torn. Also, you’ll adapt to the new place, and find a way to make the best of the situation. You’re smart, resilient and creative. Changing your location doesn’t change any of that. Maybe it’ll just mean that the environment there needs you more.”
I’ll time it six months down the line, and just forget about it. I don’t know why it works. Maybe it’s David Allen’s Getting Things Done system of moving things out of your head and onto a physical — or virtual item. But the moment I process it, write it down and press send, I’m less crippled by the anxiety.
Then when six months pass by, so much would have changed in my life, that usually, I’ll be like, “Oh, that visa thing worked out fine in the end.”
Also, a couple of times I used this method, new information would have come into light that make me realize, “Thank God I didn’t get that thing I wanted so bad. It wasn’t good to begin now that I know all this.”
Just the process has made me realize that a lot of the things that make me anxious work out in the end — maybe in the same way that I imagined it but they somehow work out — and overall it’s lowered my anxiety levels greatly.
So do you get anxious a lot? If you do, try this method and let me know how it goes for you..Also share it with a friend who might be suffering from the same…
You can always reach me on twitter/IG @ahechoes
P. S. I don’t know where the idea came from; I just remember in university I used to mentally project myself to the future, looking back at this ‘moment’ and recognizing that everything turned out fine in the end. Then I discovered futureme.org and I was worried about this, and I thought it would be cool for the future me (I used to project) to actually get a letter from this anxious past me.