Many of us have times when we are prone to pessimism. Our mind engages in “worst-case scenarios”, and we start taking these scenarios seriously. There is benefit to considering such worse-case scenarios. It can help us to prepare a course of action if the unlikely worst-case event occurs. Buckling our seat-belts saves countless lives annually.

However, once we have done any necessary preparations, there is no point in being anxious and dwelling further. At this point, we must train our minds to relax and release. It is particularly important to avoid worrying about issues about which we can do nothing. We may believe that we can somehow prepare ourselves for the situation by simulating it in our minds beforehand. When done in a constructive way, this may have benefits. However, all too often, we spoil our experience of the present by “preparing” for an experience in the future. As Mark Twain said, “I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.”

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