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How This Type of Letter Helps Me Deal With Anxiety

Life is hard.

Add to that a propensity for anxiety and it becomes harder.

I used to worry about everything; how did I do in that exam? Will that university accept me? Will I get financial aid? What would happen if I had to repeat a course?

Of course, a lot of my worries were school — related because it’s the only thing I’ve been doing for so long. But that’s not the point. An anxious mind can be crippling because sometimes those mental spirals get so out of control, you find yourself curled up under the blanket, hoping the outside world will just leave you alone…

Then I discovered futureme.org.

It’s a website that sends you a letter in the future. And whenever I got really worried about something, I would write my future self a letter about the topic. The last one was about a certain application being accepted.

“I’m really worried about the results of my application. I don’t know what will happen. Maybe they’ll reject it and my life will drastically change. If that happens, it’s going to be okay , because you’ll adapt, and find a way to make the best of the situation. You’re smart and resilient. Nothing about the sudden change can change that because it’s at the core of who you are.”

Though the sample above is just a sample, my future letters tend to answer a combination of these questions;

What am I so anxious about? 

Why am I so anxious?

What’s the worse that could happen?

If the worse case scenario had happened, what positive thing can you tell yourself to uplift you? 

After drafting the letter, I’ll time it six months down the line, and press send. Except for a few rare situations, I tend to just forget about it, and I don’t even know why. Maybe it’s David Allen’s Getting Things Done system of moving things out of your head and onto a physical — or virtual item. The end result of this exercise is usually less-crippling anxiety.

Then when six months pass by, so much would have changed in my life, that my usual reactions to the letter are;

  • Oh, I forgot I sent this. Let’s see what I’m saying.
  • I’m glad I didn’t fret over this forever, because that situation worked out fine in the end.
  • That situation didn’t work out but so much has changed, and in light of new information, I’m grateful it didn’t work out because better things were in store. I just had to have more faith in God.

So do you get anxious a lot? If you do, try this method and let me know how it goes for you..Also share it with a friend who might be suffering from the same…

You can always reach me on twitter/IG @ahechoes

Get my ebook “Mine your inner resources” at a discounted price on Kindle or as PDF. Also, check out my short story collection, “All Bleeding Stops and Other Short Stories from the Kenyan Coast” and subscribe to the newsletter here;

Published inLife LessonsPersonal DevelopmentWriting