One of the strategies in our anxiety workbook is to consider whether something may possibly occur or probably happen. I’ve been employing this technique over the past couple of weeks with the kids in my social groups, who have been bringing up current events and talking about how dangerous the world is, the threat of war, that our nuclear plants are growing old and will melt down, and various other huge, scary issues that none of us has any control over.
Probably or possibly questions can be used for big ticket scary things and small ones too. Is it possible you could get stung by a bee when you go outside? Sure. Is it probably going to happen? No. Is a possible you can forget your lines in the school play? Yes. Is it probable? No. Could the many big challenges facing our planet, or devastating weather possibly occur? Of course. Anything is possible.
As I was talking about this with the kids, I was happily surprised by a comment one of the girls made. She said, “Good things could possibly happen too! For example, it isn’t probable that an ice cream truck is going to by, but it’s possible!” That got me thinking that we all spend a lot of time on “what if” thoughts and worrying about the bad stuff that could possibly happen. Wouldn’t it be better to spend our “what if” thoughts on the possibilities of what good stuff could come our way?