"If you were looking back on this event 5 years from now, what would you think?"

One of my favourite questions when working with clients is:
"If you were looking back on this event 5 years from now, what would you think?"

The reason for this question being one of my favourites is because IT WORKS for me and it can work for you too. Let me set the scene...

...you're worried about not having enough time to do the washing or get the washing on the line; you're worried about the house not being clean enough and your friend will notice; you're concerned that you'll be late for your 9am meeting; you're worried because your friend may think you're rude for cancelling your meeting; you're worried that your child will hate you for not buying his/her 'favourite toy of the moment'; you think someone will think less of you for having chipped nail polish; ... The list is endless!!

How many hours/days/months of your life do you waste by having these sorts of worries and concerns? These thoughts preoccupy you. You may not realise it but they can be all consuming and take over your entire thought process for the whole day! And these thoughts can affect the way you feel instantaneously, which can have a knock on effect on everything else in your life, particularly your relationships.

You may feel a little bit niggly or frustrated with your friend/colleague/partner and not even realise why. The real reason is that you are annoyed with yourself for letting the 'worrynig event' happen in the first place. So instead of unconsciously letting these worries and concerns filter into the rest of your life, nip them in the bud straight away. Ask yourself the golden question:

'5 years from now, what will I think about this worry?'

My guess is that you won't even remember it. So if it isn't significant enough to have been placed in your long-term memory, it isn't important enough to affect you and your relationships now! So don't let it. Make yourself a much happier person by being aware of the worry and take control of it before it takes control of you...after all, it's only a thought!!

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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