July 2011 What If? for Anxiety Sufferers

Live It Up eNewsletter

  • Hello from Narelle
  • Invitation to come to Nepal
  • Answering the “What if?” questions for sufferers of Anxiety
  • Master’s Wisdom
  • Recipe:  Narelle’s Nachos  


Dear Reader  

Please can you let everyone know that there is the opportunity to complete a free, online Depression, Anxiety and Stress Survey, so that as many people as possible can be assessed.  It is completely free and you won’t be hassled by me afterwards.     

The reason being that the more pro-active we are in addressing a potential problem, the easier it is to resolve.  I will write more on this in the article that follows.   

Next week, I am finally going to attend a one day Art course that I promised myself a few months ago, which should be great fun.  I will let you know as I am not particularly artistically minded!   

I trust Winter has not driven you indoors all the time, and that you have been venturing out to enjoy some beautiful sunny days, and enjoying moving your body.  

Until Next Month,  

Warm regards, Narelle    



Graphic of Nepal Prayer Temple Nepali Prayer Temple     Interested in a retreat in beautiful Nepal, the land of mountains and mysticism?  Now is the time to let me know you are serious about coming, as we are running out of time!    Go to http://wealthy-spirit.com.au to read more and book online.     



What If? What If? What If?   

The question that most often plagues someone with an Anxiety Disorder, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, is “What If?”   

“What if this happens, and it will be terrible if it does?”  “What if this doesn’t happen and it will be terrible if it doesn’t?”   

Their mind goes whirling through all the dreadful, disastrous, horrible things that may or may not happen, and they are naturally predisposed to automatically feel terrible, or stuck, or guilty or hurt and the sad fact is that, this event has not happened.   

The strategy goes like this:   

  1. Think of something awful, such as “What if they don’t like my chicken skewers?” (much like Nina in the TV show Offspring!)
  2. Imagine the worst possible outcome in full colour, sounds and feelings
  3. React in fear, panic, anxiety, hurt, guilt etcetera
  4. Feel completely at a loss
  5. Take ages to get out of that stuck state
  6. Beat self up for all those imaginings
  7. Feel bad because of the mental whipping
  8. Lose energy all over again until the next trigger that sets her (or you) off.

Perhaps you even recognise this strategy and are falling about laughing right now?  

So, here is a problem solving exercise to overcome this debilitating sequence of events.     


  1. Think positive thoughts that contain positive outcomes
  2. Imagine the best possible outcome in full colour, with happy sounds, and positive feelings!

What is that just too simple for you?  Okay then…   


  1. You hear yourself ask the “What if?” question and immediately you ask the opposite:  “What if they love my chicken skewers?” and then you spend time imagining everyone pouring praise on you for your wonderful cooking. 
  2. You bask in feeling wonderful, knowing that you can cook.
  3. You take this fantastic feeling with you into the kitchen (work, bedroom, beach, park, gym etcetera)
  4. You recall all the happy times when you have received praise, and stack those feelings on top of each other to make them deeper and stronger in their affect on you.
  5. You always focus on your past positive outcomes to fortify you in the future.

I can hear someone saying, I hate praise… they are just saying it to be nice to me… and my response is?  ACCEPT THE PRAISE YOU DESERVE IT!  And why shouldn’t people be nice to you?  

If you can’t accept praise, you probably never praise yourself, because everything falls short of your perfectionistic stance.  So, begin praising yourself and ALLOW YOURSELF to bask in the glory of that praise, even if you are not perfect, you are perfectly imperfect!  

Hmm, so you don’t like that strategy either?  OK, then here’s another strategy just for you.  


  1. Ask your “What If?” question, and then answer it logically.
  2. What if they don’t like my chicken skewers? 
  3. Answers: “People wouldn’t tell me because they are polite.”
  4. “If they tell me, then it isn’t the end of the world compared to an earthquake or a tsunami.  I will tell them to be grateful that there is food on the table!”
  5. “Everyone has a dud now and then, so I will just practise cooking the dish first, so I can easily do it at the time. ”
  6. And imagine practising successfully cooking the dish and how good you feel.

Got the idea?  Focus on the positive, successful end result, and logically challenge those questions.  And nothing wrong with a back-up plan like a frozen pizza that you can put in the oven instead.    

No back-up plan posible for your scenario?  Then simply, imagine the best outcome and that means you and others speaking calmly, listening calmly, staying calm, being reasonable, feeling safe and secure!  

Do let me know if these tips help you to reduce anxiety, won’t you?  


Master’s Wisdom

Alt text for the image of Master the tabby cat“When someone approaches you with a tube in their hand, RUN!”  

This cat knows when he has to have the next application of flea prevention, and he always takes off.  Talk about psychic!   




Narelle’s Nachos

  1. Put oven on moderate heat
  2. Spread a baking tray with corn chips of your choice
  3. Lightly spread with baked beans, leaving the juice in the can or it will make the corn chips soggy
  4. Top with grated cheese
  5. Continue your layers if there is any chips, beans or cheese left over, making sure to finish with cheese
  6. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes until cheese is melted and dish up with a green salad.
  7. Optional extras to cook with the nachos:
    slices of capsicum, slivers of garlic and a sprinkle of fresh herbs such as chopped parsley, basil leaves and coriander.  YUM!!