What If A Poem About Anxiety

It’s the human condition to worry, but some of us worry too much.  One way that people over-worry is to always think of  “WhatIfs”.  This wonderful poem below, “WhatIf”, by Shel Silverstein, captures the true essence of this kind of anxiety, but it does so in a way that we can laugh at ourselves.  Be sure to see what can be done for worry and the “WhatIfs”, right after the poem.


by Shel Silverstein, copyright 1981

Last night, while I lay thinking here,
some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
and pranced and partied all night long
and sang their same old Whatif song:
Whatif I'm dumb in school?
Whatif they've closed the swimming pool?
Whatif I get beat up?
Whatif there's poison in my cup?
Whatif I start to cry?
Whatif I get sick and die?
Whatif I flunk that test?
Whatif green hair grows on my chest?
Whatif nobody likes me?
Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?
Whatif I don't grow taller?
Whatif my head starts getting smaller?
Whatif the fish won't bite?
Whatif the wind tears up my kite?
Whatif they start a war?
Whatif my parents get divorced?
Whatif the bus is late?
Whatif my teeth don't grow in straight?
Whatif I tear my pants?
Whatif I never learn to dance?
Everything seems well, and then
the nighttime Whatifs strike again!

So, although this poem is humorous, real excessive anxiety and worry is not a fun place to be.  And most people who worry like this, would like it to stop. Or at least have it become manageable.  But is that possible?  YES!

THE GOOD NEWS.  Excessive worry and anxiety can be changed.  Really.
It can actually be reversed.  In the same way that it can grow into a monster and get bigger and bigger.  It can go the other direction and get smaller and smaller.

And you can learn to manage it. Rather than the other way around.

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