Created by the Center for Spirituality & Healing and Charlson Meadows.

The Worst Case Scenario Exercise

Many people react emotionally to things that never even happen. If they can rehearse the worst possible situation and think of ways to respond and deal with them, they can release and clear the emotions and be better prepared to best face whatever actually occurs.

Try this exercise, which is particularly helpful for people who experience a great deal of fear, worry, or anticipatory anxiety.

  • Look ahead to a situation that is creating fear, anxiety, or worry in you.
  • Imagine the worst possible things that could happen. Feel what those things would feel like in your body. Make it as real as possible.
  • Plan now how you would respond if any of these things actually happened. How will you take responsibility for your well-being in this situation? What will you do to take care of yourself?
  • Accept these scenarios as possibilities, then release them with gratitude for the learning they may bring. Focus your attention on the most positive and desirable scenario.

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