I'm no doctor, but I know a sickness of the soul when I see one---or feel one. What if syndrome is a very common soul sickness and occasionally decides to pay me unexpected visits. I'm sure almost everyone has experienced what if syndrome at some point in their life. But in case you're not completely sure if you have it or not, I would like to show you a list of its most common symptoms.
Symptoms of what if syndrome
~ Wondering what your life would be like right now if you had taken a different path besides the one you're on
~ Wondering if your current circumstances would be better if you had made a different choice
~ Uncomfortable feelings of anxiety and regret
~ Anticipating the dropping of the other shoe in an aspect of your life that is going exceptionally well (Career, relationship, etc.)
~ Fear of the future
~ Being terrified of making any choice that could potentially affect your future in an unexpected or unplanned way
~ Constantly fearing that your life will ultimately take a turn for the worst
~ Worrying about whether or not you're good enough to live up to a pre-conceived notion of other people's expectations
While there is currently no known cure for what if syndrome, I have come up with a few ways to alleviate the discomfort of it.
Ways to alleviate the discomfort of what if syndrome
~ Take a minute to be grateful for what you have instead of focusing only on what you don't have. Seriously. It's surprisingly liberating.
~ If you're unhappy with the course of your life, know that it's not too late to change directions. Take a little step in a different direction each day.
~ Make a conscious effort to stop worrying about the future. It hasn't arrived yet, and you have no way of knowing how it's going to turn out.
~ If you're happy, let yourself be happy. Don't obsess over potentially losing that happiness in the future.
~ Leave the past in the past. Don't stress over something you can't change.
~ Surround yourself with people who love you, believe in you, support you, and tell you how awesome you are.
~ Take a risk or try something new without thinking too much about the outcome.
~ Eat lots of ice cream and get plenty of rest.