Seniors: Living with What Ifs

Mar 16th, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

The temptation to live with what ifs is a sinister means for redirecting purpose, passion and meaning in our lives. The what ifs proliferate almost daily for many senior citizens. They grow like bacteria and spread like fire ants. What ifs are dangerously invasive in our lives when we give them room to take over, to rule our thinking, to shape our behaviors.

Right now, we are faced with a huge tsunami of what ifs. The reminders come hourly via media and the madness of those who are frightened about what may happen next.

To be sure reasonable caution is a wise course, but unreasoned, bordering on hysterical behavior, is useless, unproductive and, down right dangerous.

When you sense you are caving into a what if response to any developing situation, put in place a way to check that behavior. When you hear your inner voice suggesting that some unpleasant circumstance may be emerging, back away, stop the behavior and choose another course of action.

When you hear others declare their own what ifs, in an attempt to recruit you to join them, excuse yourself and walk away.

When you are absorbed in reports that decry how horrible things are, turn off the source, stay in charge, limit negative input.

Deciding that you will not be inundated with psychological disaster is a critical step in heading off your losing control and missing the opportunity to be creative in problem solving. In many cases, what ifs present scenarios about which you can’t really do anything about them anyway, therefore you define your own boundaries and initiatives.

Life, by definition and reality, is too short anyway. Therefore giving in to overreaction will weaken your ability to choose survival techniques which can be implemented and healthy. While disaster may seem imminent, none of us can know what or when one may strike, take a deep breath and think it through. You will likely save yourself from the disaster of precipitous action that wasn’t necessary.

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