When I was new to Al-Anon, one old-timer in my home group had a few stock phrases which used to make me gnash my teeth in silent irritation. (I've become so much less irritable, that I might almost be a different species than the frightened, anxious, angry woman who first entered an Al-Anon meeting 26 years ago.)
One of this member's pet phrases was: "Don't awfulise." I found this supremely annoying when I was the recipient, because I believed that anticipating trouble was nothing more than careful planning. I didn't understand that she was simply trying to offer the crazed newcomer that I was, a way to find some serenity from the madhouse between my ears. I understood it to mean that she thought I was exaggerating, and I felt offended. I thought she was oversimplifying, and that my life was far too complicated for little two-word phrases to be of any help.
Now, as is the way in 12-Step, I say to my sponsees, when they begin to get themselves worked up about what might happen if this, or that, or even that takes place, "I think you're awfulising. Try to stay in the moment."
Staying in the moment means that I must completely, willingly, with gratitude, give up all of the mental tortures with which I occupied so much of my time. Anticipating trouble took up a great deal of my waking hours. I could work out huge long interconnected horrifying possibilities, and create much misery for myself doing it. I'd imagine a terrible outcome, and then feel depressed about it.
That's insanity, to be feeling upset and depressed about an imaginary outcome. My first sponsor pointed out that these outcomes were never positive, only and always negative. I was scaring the dickens out of myself with things that might never happen. She taught me to pay attention to my internal dialogue, and when I started up anticipating trouble, to "switch channels" to the one in which my Higher Power was taking good care of me, and I could just go for a dogwalk and relax.
"I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened."
Some of your hurts you have cured,
And the sharpest you still have survived,
But what torments of grief you endured
From the evil which never arrived.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson