By Lori Lite
“WHAT IF the pole falls on your car when we go into the store Miss Lori?” Nine year old Jane asked me as I parked the car in front of a large utility pole. ( I cannot make this stuff up!) “Hmmm…What if it doesn’t and we come out to find the car exactly the way we left it?” I responded. We both smiled, took a deep breath and off we went.
I am amazed at all the WHAT IF? scenarios children can come up with in a 24-hour period. When coupled with negative outcomes, these words create unnecessary worry, fear, and anxiety. I say unnecessary because most of our worries NEVER materialize.
“I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” – Mark Twain
When we ask the world, or ourselves “WHAT IF?” we have the power to answer our own question with our choice of positive uplifting words. Children are creative and many are eager to fill in the blanks with anxiety causing outcomes. “What if we fall in the pond?” What if a monster is hiding under the bed? What if no one likes me?” This negative self-talk creates anxiety and keeps happiness at bay. WHAT IF? has the power to create stress or increase optimism. By coupling WHAT IF with positive hopeful outcomes we can experience calm and joy. WHAT IF becomes an effective stress management technique for adults, children, and teens. A simple WHAT IF lowers stress levels and keeps us optimistic and hopeful.
Take the WHAT IF? challenge! The next time you hear your kids or yourself filling in the blanks with negative words…take a moment…take a breath…smile…. and finish your question with a positive outcome!
Here are a few examples of how to use WHAT IF to reduce anxiety & increase optimism:
WHAT IF my son gets the best teacher?
WHAT IF monsters are only in movies?
WHAT IF I am on time for my appointment?
WHAT IF I stay healthy?
WHAT IF we sit next to the pond and have fun?
WHAT IF I make a great grade?
WHAT IF everyone likes me?
WHAT IF I hit a home-run?
Still not convinced? Look at the positive uplifting words “IF” can be found in.
Take the WHAT IF? challenge….keep me posted!
Indigo Dreams CDs introduce children, teens, and adults to positive statements. Positive statements are an effective stress management and self-esteem building tool and are included in each CD.
Indigo Dreams shorter stories with positive statements for younger child.
Indigo Ocean Dreams longer stories with positive statements for older children.
Indigo Teen Dreams guided instructions with positive statements for teens.
Indigo Dreams: Adult Relaxation guided instructions with positive statements for adults.
Indigo Dreams: Garden of Wellness stories for all children with positive statements.
Stress Free Kids founder Lori Lite has created a line of books and CDs designed to help children, teens, and adults decrease stress, anxiety, and anger. Ms. Lite’s books, CDs, and lesson plans are considered a resource for parents, psychologists, therapists, child life specialists, teachers, and yoga instructors. Lori is a certified children’s meditation facilitator and Sears’ Manage My Life parenting expert. For more information visit Stress Free Kids and for daily advice follow Lori on Twitter and Facebook.
This article was also posted on The Life Change Network. Thanks John!