Don't panic

Don't panic

When you're freaking out and panicking, things can seem way more intense than they probably are. Here's a simple technique to help you find your way back to rational thinking.

Jot down the situation.

  1. EXAMPLE: Mom's threatening to leave Dad.

Picture the absolute worst-case scenario. Go all in. 2. EXAMPLE: Mom leaves. Dad loses his job. Mom marries someone else. Dad gets depressed. I have to take care of him and drop out of school.

Envision the absolute best-case scenario. 3. EXAMPLE: They split up and end up happier apart. I score double birthday presents, own both an Xbox AND a PS3, enjoy twice as many vacations, and gain a super cool older step-sibling.

Imagine something between 2 and 3. 4. EXAMPLE: They might take a break, and although they'll be a bit down at first or even happier apart, things will eventually settle. Life will be different for a while, but it'll be manageable.

By picturing the extremes, it becomes easier to arrive at a more likely outcome.